The view from the office28 Sep 2014
This is the view from George's Taverna on the Greek island of Kalamos. During the day, George busies himself by helping the visiting boats deal with the vagaries of stern-to mooring, with cross-winds, crossed anchors, frayed tempers and too many boats in one small area. At night, the grateful visitors frequent his taverna and eat from a varied menu. The other tavernas sit empty, save for the few tourists who may have already dined at George's or who have decided there is no need to add their patronage to his busy restaurant.
Kalamos is a nice town. And a beautiful, majestic island. The pilot book tells us "the islanders make a living from fishing and a little agriculture [...]. Sadly the village is dying as the young move away to more lucrative jobs on the mainland." For the visitors, it's easy living, here. You get the impression that days flow into weeks and the rhythms of visiting boats coming and going, the hustle and bustle of feeding the travellers, interspersed with the local fishing boat edging its way out. Broadband is of course hard to find. Like most places, the WiFi is free but intermittent. Cash is also hard to come by. The island does not have a "bank network" whatever that is. As a result, no credit cards. Just cash, please. One sceptically wonders if the cash-only business also helps when it comes to tax time.
Today is particularly breezy but we are spared the torrential rains of yesterday. A brief opportunity to dry clothes.
At George's Taverna you can have a warm shower for €2.50. Overall, you cannot help to think that George is creating his own micro-economy. Yes, the state (or more likely the ECB) paid for the harbour, but he makes the most of it. By contrast, when the Volvo Ocean Race came to Galway, the clear winners were the pubs and hotels in the city. How much did they give back to the organisation which brought the event to Galway? A scant few shillings. Guess where the Volvo Ocean Race isn't going, this year? Eventually these types of events will dry up in Galway. Eventually the pubs and hotels will cry crocodile tears about how they have been short-changed by the Government and by all around them, but really they are the perpetrators of the misjustice.
They could learn a lot from George.