Extract from Chapter 17
I did the best that I could, against all the odds, but the band really let me down. Still, I’m a professional kinda guy, so I battled on.
When we finished our first set I went to the bar for a drink. Nik had groomed me
in some local phrases, so I say to the barman, “Ena-
“No,” I reply, “I just wanna beer.”
He says, “You are very good, very talented; handsome.” He grins at me, and I don’t like that grin. It’s a grin that says to me, ‘I want your arse.’
That’s the problem with being a good-
“Thanks,” says I, “but we’re not at our best tonight.” I was a bit off-
“You’re a good mover,” says the little creep. Then he asks me my name. This is when I realise that all his mates are gathering around, all dressed in their navy suits. I thought I’d better humour him for a bit, so I say, “Rats.”
Well he took it the wrong way. “‘Rats’? What’s this ‘Rats’? You insulta me?”
“Short? How do you mean?” he asks. So I explain to him the way it is with English names, just like with Greek names, where Nikos becomes Niko or Nik. Then he’s all right again and starts chatting to me.
Greeks are very physical people. They’ve got this habit of touching you when they
talk to you, you know? Putting their arm around you and giving you a hug. Well that's
the men: the women are more stand-
Now I’ve got the problem of getting the little bastard to take ‘no’ for an answer. He’s saying, “You come to my ship, tonight. We have party. You sing.”
“I can’t,” I says, “I’ve got to meet a girl when we’ve finished. Anyway, your captain would have me thrown overboard if he found me.”
Then he starts to laugh at me. He says, “You don’t know Greek uniforms? No? I AM the captain, my friend. You will be my guest of honour.”
The bastard! He had to bring honour into it. Nikos told me all about Greeks and their ‘honour’. They’re not that different to the Italians: I mean, they all eat pizza and pasta. One of the most dangerous things you can do to a Greek is to dishonour him, and here he was talking about me being HIS guest of honour. On top of that the guy was pissed. He was knocking back Metaxa Five Star like there was no tomorrow.
I had to figure out how to let him down gently.
I carried on talking with him for a while, and then I saw her.
She was a vision of beauty to me, she really was. Normally I would have looked and
thought, yeah, she’s OK, but right now she was my get out from an arse-
Olimpiada just sort of appeared from between a bunch of Greek sailors that were standing
behind the captain. She walked over to me. She’s only about five-
Ever heard a couple of Greeks having a friendly chat about the weather? It sounds
like they’re about to rip each other’s throats out. They rant at each other twenty
to the dozen, top of their voices, arms waving around like windmills. Well Olimpiada
had this Greek stuff off pat. I thought she was having a real go at him, but this
was just a quiet chat. At the end of it they give each other a hug and she stands
next to me and slips her arm round my waist. I’ve never been one to miss out on an
opportunity, so I put my arm around her and act like I already know her. She says
to me quietly, “I’ve just saved you from a gang-
Shit! I thought it was bad enough that the captain was wanting to do me, now she tells me that half the crew were lining up for a go. So I asked her, “What did you tell him?”
She says, “I told him you’ve got diarrhoea, and that you have piles as big as marbles. Oh, and that you do lousy blow jobs.”
We still had to play the second set and I was praying that the rest of the band had bucked up a little. Well they did, but it was only just a little. We were lucky not to have been booed off, the way they played.
Once we’d finished I was back at the bar with Olimpiada, just trying to get to know her. She’s a Russian, right? I wanted to know what she was doing in Greece and how she got there. I didn’t think they let anyone out of Russia unless they left their children or granny as a deposit. If I remember correctly, she told me that she did a land journey that took months. She’s from Belarus. She drove into the Ukraine, down through Romania, into Bulgaria where, she said, she had trouble crossing the Balkan Mountains. She then got over the border into Turkey, down to Istanbul and across the Bosphorus. Then, she said, she travelled through Turkey by car and camel, and got to a port called Kusadasi. Apparently, the Greeks have an arrangement with the Turks to do day trips for tourists to go and see the ancient ruins – places like Ephesus. She managed to slip onto one of the cruisers going out of Kusadasi to Samos when she befriended the captain. She obviously does well with captains, this girl.
While we were nattering Nikos and Panos came up and interrupted. Nik spoke to Olimpiada like he knew her, ’cos he starts off in Greek, not English. Then he tells me that he was the one that sent her over to rescue me from the navy. Panos just stood there, grinning.
Nik dragged me away from Olimpiada and starts to tell me that the drugs delivery is on board the warship that these sailors were from, and that the courier was going to meet a crew member the following night on the town beach. He told me that one of the local police had tracked us down and had spoken to him a few minutes before. I asked him who the courier was and he says, “This is not good news my friend. I can’t think of it. It does my fucking brain.”
“IN, Niko. It does my fucking brain IN.” He never could get it right.
He says, “Yes. It does my fucking brain. IN.”
So I says, “Who is it? Tell me.”
He says, “Tomorrow you find out. Tonight you have fun with the lady.”
So I did.
Like I said Derek: best lay I ever had. There’s sex, and then there’s sex. But what
we had that night was SEX! She’s the most flexible, mobile, tight fannied little
thing I’ve ever come across, if you’ll excuse the pun. Her breasts are small, just
about mouth sized, but her nipples are huge and rock-
OK, I’ll spare you the detail. You’re a bit of a prude Derek, aren’t you, on the quiet.
We had a great time. You have to bear in mind that I was a man about to enter the lions’ den; the next day I was going to be looking out for drug smugglers and couriers. As far as I was concerned this might be my last session of lust and debauchery. This was a dangerous game I’d gotten into and I was determined to enjoy life while I could.
We screwed all night and way into the morning.
We were in her apartment near to the club we’d played in. She told me that she served drinks in the ‘Nexus Bar’ on the harbour front. I asked how she managed to not get thrown off of the island, being as though she was an illegal. She said that she had friends in high places and that she had ways of manipulating Greek officials. Most Greek officials are men, so I guess it’s pretty easy to imagine how she did that. She must have stood out a mile out of season. If the island people wanted her off they’d have no problem finding her. She must have had a strong hold on those guys.