A SHORT BREAK

A SHORT BREAK

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Air-conditioning cooled the room, a far cry from the standards of nearly 30 years before. As I stretched out on the bed I closed my eyes, casting back to my first night ever on this Island.

Trudging through Town (In Birmingham, my home for over a decade, the City Centre is called Town) one grey, grim Tuesday morning in the early 1990s, fuddled and muddled after a long weekend of clubbing & parties, I passed a travel agent.

My personal life was in tatters. My relationship with my fiancé was over. Things were bad enough before I’d gone to work on construction in France, and although the money was great, I’d hated it and just wanted to come home. When I got home, I wished I could get away again. I needed a break.

One of the guys I’d been on site with in France was off to work on Zante, in a bar, and was set for a great time. Why not, I thought. I should have been sorting out a new flat, getting more work lined up and generally being more grown up, but at that moment, it seemed like the most sensible thing to do. Get away, for a bit.

“Any flights to Greece, soon as you like?”

A young woman sat at her computer screen, and tapped away.

“We’ve got a flight-only, tomorrow, Birmingham to Rhodes, 14 days, £120, been there before?”

I shook my head and shrugged.

“Lindos is good to visit, laid back, chilled”.

Next day the plane door opened to a dry, windy heat I’d neither experienced nor expected. Walking down the steps to the tarmac we crammed onto a bus which took us joltingly to the terminal.

With my quickly stuffed rucksack, a hat and nothing else I passed through passport control and walked out of the airport.  

This was about as far ahead as I had planned. It was late in the evening, I knew nothing about where I was or where I was going, none of the language. The Taxi drivers could spot the clueless a mile off.

“You want room? Come, I bring you room”

A short taxi ride later and I was in Paradise. Well, Paradisi, the village near the end of the runway. If I'd known, I could have walked there in 4 minutes, but the Taxi driver did take me to an apartment with rooms to rent, and for that I was most grateful.  

Soon I was stretched out on a wooden cot with a hard mattress, the constant noise of motorbikes and loud talking, punctuated by landing planes was a lullaby to lure me to sleep in the heat of the night.

 I closed my eyes and slept.

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