Sunday, August 1, 2010

Fly the ocean in a silver plane...

Last day in Samos. Double quick shoving of stuff into suitcases so Bethy and I could take one more trip down to the pebble beach in front of the hotel. She was determined to demonstrate her ultra bravery in holding a spiny purple sea urchin. I had snagged some for her the day before while she sat like a mermaid on a sea-surrounded rock and I lazily snorkeled around her.

The Greeks of Samos, as you can see, are very into painting their concrete with white designs. I do not know why they do this, but we enjoyed the whimsy of it.

After breakfast we had all of an hour and a half before we needed to return the tiny blue rental car, so we headed straight into Samos/Vathy. As it turned out, driving around the town was slightly more stressful than it was worth, with the streets getting steeper, and narrower, and one-way, well, we turned the car around and headed back the way we'd come, then around the other side of the harbor.

This also proved a fool's errand as the road became less like a road and more like bushwacking, with branches nearly obscuring the way forward and no place to turn around. So we called it quits.

Pulling up in front of the hotel I looked at the time. We still had 25 minutes. Enough time, surely, to go along the road a bit further and see what the beach around the corner from our hotel looked like.

This time we were rewarded for persistance with a lovely pebble beach, and even, better, a cafe

with a jolly propriator who served us some especially good Greek coffee.

Back at the hotel, I went to snag the last luggage and to look one last time for two of our acquaintances, the only other non-German guests besides ourselves that we'd met, the large and avuncular Rudy and his commonlaw wife, Rita, from Belgium. We'd met them our first afternoon there, well into their schedule of getting and remaining plastered on vacation. A noble goal, to be sure, as they were friendly, only slightly slobbery drinkers.

I had, on the spur of the moment, asked them about a lullaby that has been in our family for as long as any of us can remember, but no one really knows the words to. We sing it something like "do-do, keenie meenie mootch". It's supposed to be Belgian, so, feeling I had nothing to lose, I asked them about the song. "Of course!" Rudy roared, "all Belgians know this song!" Then he and Rita started to sing it, but then decided they were too drunk and to ask them later.

Later I saw them only in passing, and this last few minutes of the last morning there was my last chance to track down the song. I had spent hours and hours trying to figure it out on Google, so begging Mike's indulgence, off I went with my notebook. And there they were at the poolside bar, merely 2 out of three sheets to the wind, and very enthusiastic about the song.

But first they had to slowly write down another Belgian nursery song they felt I should know and to make sure I could sing it properly, and that I knew what all the words meant. Knowing that Mike was undoubtedly looking at his watch and grinding his teeth, I tried my very best to encourage them to give me the song I was after, quickly, while still appearing polite and grateful.

Finally I had the song in hand. Here it is:

Do do kindje do,
slaap en doe je oogjies toe,
do do do
which basically means:
Sleep sleep little one
sleep sleep and close your eyes
sleep sleep sleep.

With more whiskery cheek kisses from both of them, and fond farewells, I sprinted like mad to where the kids and Mike and our driver were waiting to take us to the tiny Samos airport. It was, in fact the smallest one any of us have ever been in, and waiting for us was an honest-to-goodness propeller passenger plane.

We crossed the tarmac and into our 6th plane of this trip. The propellers did their work and we were off, over the islands, to mainland Greece and Athens.


*Paula* said...

Wow. How are you ever going to get used to being back in the real world when you return :) It looks beautiful!

Julia said...

Wonderful bit of sleuthing about the song! You'll have to teach me the new one and give us all the history on the well-loved one.