Between previous visits to Greece and our current trip to Cyprus, where we are for the very first time, I’d kind of forgotten how much I like Greek food.
Yesterday, we indulged in a delightful Sunday dinner at family-owned Militzis, a charming and traditional tavern situated by the sea in Larnaca. The place was bustling with local families, savoring their meals and relishing in each other’s company.
We rounded off the dinner with a couple of glasses of Ouzo which then reminded me of a beach party a long time ago on a completely different island in the Mediterranean….
I can’t recall if I’ve shared this story before, but during my month-long Inter Rail tour across Europe in 1983, I boarded a ferry from Brindisi (Italy) and found myself on the Greek island of Corfu, accompanied by a lively group of blonde Danish gals and some cool dudes from New York.
Once we arrived on the island, we claimed a portion of the relatively unknown Agios Gordos beach on Corfu’s west coast. We spent our days swimming, playing frisbee, and enjoying carefree parties throughout the nights.
One afternoon, my newfound friend Todd bought a large watermelon and a bottle of Ouzo. He skillfully created a small hole in the melon and poured the Ouzo inside. We let it marinate in the fridge for a few hours, eagerly awaiting the flavorful outcome. Once ready, we sliced the infused melon and devoured it with great enthusiasm.
I can’t recall the number of slices I had or the specific details of the rest of that evening. However, I do vividly remember the throbbing headache that greeted me the next morning. Apparently, I had drifted off to sleep inside Todd’s compact beach tent, just below the terrace of our hotel, where everyone was now enjoying their morning meal.
Bathing in sweat and feeling unbearably hot, I stumbled out of the tent and made my way to my hotel room. To my surprise, both Todd and an unfamiliar girl were fast asleep and snoring on my bed, devoid of any clothing.
It took nearly a decade after that wild party before I could even fathom sipping Ouzo or any other pastis. But last night, it brought back fond memories and tasted absolutely delightful!