With a dark red face, the woman strides across the quay of Itea past our Coco to her yacht further on. Sweat pearls all over her face. She drags a cart with two jerry cans of diesel behind her, but she herself seems to pose the most explosion hazard. Her husband follows at a safe distance with the third jerry can dangling on his arm. He also looks hot, but seems resigned. Apparently the walk to the gas pump in Itea is a little longer than their relationship at forty degrees Celsius tolerates.
I get up, Ron says, it is already nine o’clock. Jackie apparently needed a bit of extra sleep and didn’t wake us up before. The sun is already burning. As soon as I get out of bed and put on my sparse clothes, sweat gushes out of all my pores. It is 32 degrees and the day has yet to begin. I take Jack for a walk to the beach around the corner and give him his first cooling bath. Back on the boat we drink our morning coffee, as always. Against our better judgment, because immediately more sweating is our share. Greece is hot. Overheated. Even the Acropolis at Athens is closed to the public.
We carefully plan our activities for the day. First the three of us go to get groceries, because now there is still shade and therefore some coolness to be found under the high buildings along the boulevard. For Jackie, that is his last activity until sunset. Except for some swimming and showering to cool down. When it’s hot, he refuses to walk. Demonstratively, he looks for the nearest shadow spot, sits down and refuses to go any further. He does like to be transported by bike. He doesn’t eat much anymore either. He mainly sleeps and therefore is clearly the wisest of the three of us. On Facebook we read the story of a woman who brought her dog to a Greek vet with the same symptoms. His diagnosis: he is in ‘Greek mode’, so nothing wrong. Just a Greek dog.
Like real northerners, Ron and I can’t help but also try to do something useful in the middle of the day: the laundry, a chore, a bit of cleaning, cooking and writing this blog. Less and calmer than normal, but too much by Greek standards. The heat wave has now lasted more than a week and here on the Gulf of Corinth daily temperatures reach around 40 degrees. The further the afternoon progresses, the warmer it gets. The wind is coming down and even the crickets give up. When finally a strong wind picks up, it feels like someone has switched on a hair dryer at the hardest and hottest setting. Our attempts to keep the boat cool with cloths against the sun, an extra dorade and a fan deliver only minimal results.
In the evening we take a walk into the town. It doesn’t really cool down, but at least the sun has disappeared. A bit of walking, shopping and drinking an ice cold beer. Just like the Greeks. The couple of the diesel is also present. Their overheated moods seem to be cooled down again. They smile at each other while enjoying two large bottles of Alfa beer.
We never walk to the gas station together to get diesel. It would simply take too much Alfa beer to extinguish our overheated moods again.