Out of town, Restaurants, Stories
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Wander, eavesdrop and ponder but always chew your food carefully

I’m in Asos, a little fishing village built into the narrowest part of a rocky peninsula on the Greek island of Kefalonia. The tiny bay arcs out from the rocky headland to encompass its stony beach, harbour, and the clearest water I have ever seen.

It’s a postcard location with two or three tiers of houses, hotels and holiday apartments framing the crescent’s waters in shades of umber, terracotta, cream, and pink.

The fish taverna I’m sat in seems to have only British clientele; the couple to my left are in their late-60s and discuss medication renewal notifications from their GP. Then ponder if the stone-clad ground floor of a building across the bay is occupied by the building’s owners, or if it’s the dining room of the holiday accommodation above it.

This is the small talk I make on holiday, too. There’s no chance of an answer arriving on the wind during lunch, and the question will be forgotten before the bill arrives.

Behind me, four friends from Doncaster talk exclusively about things they already know. It’s harder for me to hear what they’re saying but they share exuberant stories and swap friendly opinions about one another’s lives. The guy in the group has a lot to say about his experience in Dubai.

By the time the two tables have paid their cheques and left I’ve stared wondering if their respective preferences for certainty versus inquiry are generational, or just circumstantial.

Ten minutes later my lunch is over, the salmon I ordered is gone and I start reflecting on the eternally precarious relationship between a bony piece of fish and the person eating it. Rarely do we feel more gratitude toward our food than when an unscreened piece of cartilage could hasten our demise.

Another few minutes pass and as I finish my coffee, I watch the newly seated group of Chinese tourists in the taverna terrace’s back quarter. I start thinking about where to go next and my earlier observations are quietly taken away with my empty cup. 

I’m going to Myrtos Beach.

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