Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bus Ride on Crete

Excerpt from Journal - May 26, 1976

How to Use Greek Worry Beads

As in Italy, there's often two men in charge of the bus - one who drives it and the other who collects the fares and stacks luggage. Greek bus drivers don't honk as much as Italian bus drivers and they don't drive as fast which still means don't look down if you're sitting by a window. But, the real difference can be found at the front of the bus! Usually, there is a small, religious altar in the upper right hand corner in a glass case. From a mirror hangs a variety of dingo balls, toy parrots, faded photographs of the driver's family and worry beads (see video) in every conceivable color. It's an exhilarating ride as the bus careens over death defying mountain roads and, as you're catching your breath, oddly entertaining to watch the driver's memorabilia swing from side to side.

On a less rocky road, the driver will often attempt to find a radio station but usually to no avail. A tape maybe? Even those sound loud and scratchy but lend a special flavor to the trip and take one's mind off the absence of a protective guard rail. While traveling in such remote areas, you get desperate for music of any kind. But, all things considered, I've really enjoyed the bus rides in Greece, especially on Crete. After walking a few kilometers, its a pleasure to sit back and play with your worry beads assured, once again, that your destination will indeed be reached - if you're lucky.