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Greek God

your bill?
the waiter – so many are tall, dark and handsome
leans over the white paper table covering
Okay – so you the octopus
you – mixed grill?
he counts with his pen
three glasses of wine
Okay, he holds his breath
I take 6% off because the sun is out.
add 10% because mama is sick
5% off because it’s Tuesday
7% off because I like you.
add 6 % because I hate my sister in law

86 Euro.

Inspiration:  Lunch at the edge of the world

True, true, story.  We disembarked our little ship for what is called “A free afternoon on your own”, which means that today, you pay for your lunch.   

Our small boat docked on the magical island of  Santorini. The purported location of Atlantis, sunk into the ground after a volcano erupted in the 16th Century BCE and sunk the center of the island and all its contents into the sea.  The remaining city clings to the edges of the bay – white against the brilliant blue sky.

Traveling in a tiny boat – 50 passengers, we easily beat out the enormous cruise boat docked in the middle of the bay and tendering in the passengers. 

We took the funicular from the dock to the city above and watched the family in our gondola take photos of their cruise ship through the dirty windows.

You used to be able to ride a donkey up and back on the narrow road.  But I believe those rides have been curtailed since the very large American tourists are taxing the donkeys too much.  Many back injuries.  Even tourists.

The town is packed with stores and shops, the merchants stand outside (they can easily see us coming) and offer us – everything.

I start to say reply that I’ll look later, but I am quickly mocked  “Yeah, yeah, you come back later.”

They are right.  I need nothing.  And the merchandise is far too expensive for me.  Clearly, it is not too expensive for visitors from larger ships.

Good for the Greeks.

Santorini is white hot and startling blue, all those photos on Instagram and Pinterest?  They are accurate.  

We make our way, slowly, since we are with mom, up to the edges of the town and choose a cafe not for the food but for the view.  We wanted to sit on the edge of the world.

Worth it.  Pay the money.

Or not, as my poem indicates.   

We rode the funicular down to the boat. One of our members who did ride a donkey for the full experience almost missed the boat.

 She called to us while listing back and forth on her mount.  “Don’t leave!”

The Greek crew couldn’t resist and pulled in the gangplank and pretended to raise the sails while the engine started up.  They waved goodbye.

Of course, they did not leave her.

I love the Greeks.


Catharine Bramkamp is a successful writing coach and author. She has published over 300 newspaper and magazine articles in publications like Modern Maturity (AARP), SF Chronicle and Santa Rosa Magazine. She was a contributor to two Chicken Soup Books and has published anthologies of her work, non-fiction works and novels. Her work has also appeared in a number of poetry and fiction anthologies. She has experimented with the self-publishing world since 2001. She has published and self-published seven books through companies like Author House, author assist companies like 3L Publishing and through traditional publishers like Write Life. Her poetry collection, Ammonia Sunrise, will be released in August 2011 by Finishing Line Press and her mystery novel, In Good Faith will be released by Write Life in 2011. Catharine holds a BA in English from UCSB and a MA in English from Sonoma State University. She is a 25 year member of California Writer’s Club. She is an adjunct professor for the University of Phoenix. She works with authors of both fiction and non-fiction to make their dream of producing a book come true. For more information on that, visit her at Catharine has lived in Sonoma County for 25 years and considers wine a food group. She is married to an adorable and very patient man who complains he’s never featured in any of her books. Her grown children who are featured in a few of her books have fled the county.

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