My Greek story
Reading about the kitschbitch Greek sabatical has caused long forgotten memories from my deep past to resurface, presumed lost due to my immense age. Come with me, and walk in the garden of the mid 1990s...
Dave Banks, a good friend of mine, and I went to Zakynthos for two weeks about five years ago. There are so many stories, oh so many stories, but none quite as odd as the dreams, nightmares and hallucinations that plagued our stay.
Each day: We went out in the evening, got pissed, spent our taxi money, got back to our apartment late, woke screaming in the middle of the night, slept more, got up at 4pm, put on insect repellent, had a frappe and a sunbathe, put on more insect repellent (have you seen those mosquitos?), went out again.
One night I woke to see Dave dancing on the bed (he was having a nightmare that if he stopped dancing he would die). Another night I saw a little old woman curled up on a chair in the corner of the room. One night someone lay on the floor next to me (I could see their arm as they stuck it up to look at their watch), but they weren't there when I looked down. Every night, either Dave or I would wake up shouting and screaming. During the day our hands would shake.
Naturally, alchohol poisoning was suspected. So we carried on.
Anyway, so one night, about ten days in, I'm rubbing the insect repellent on and I look at the can and say "Dave. Where exactly does it say on here that we wear this?" and Dave says "Well, you picked it out" and I say "But you've been to Greece loads. I thought you knew what you were talking about when you pointed at it" and Dave says "No". And the can has a huge picture of a dead mosquito on the front and not a single word of English on the back.
So we stop rubbing bug spray into our skin twice a day, and a couple of days later the nightmares stop and our hands stop shaking. Which was good, because by that point I'd had to use both hands to hold my frappe, and lighting cigarettes was near impossible.