3 Jun

The black sky faded into midnight blue, clung to the hue for a few long moments, then began the transformation to gray.  As the blanket above opened up ever so slightly to sun, the gray turned lighter and lighter and lighter.  Light, in its most hazy state, broke through where stars had lingered only an instant before.  Sitting at a small white table overlooking the sand and sea, the sun approached from behind, making this transformation slow and uneventful, albeit for the shocking end result, that being morning.  I looked around, the view becoming easier to drink in as the blue twisted into gray and night turned seamlessly into morning.  Just a few minutes before, I hung in that confusing limbo with only a few souls surrounding me, not knowing night from day.  Was it extremely late at night?  Was it extremely early in the morning?  But with the darkness now completely obliterated, there was no question anymore.  It was day.  The sun was out.  And I was sitting, completely baffled, in the center of a packed nightclub with young Greeks guzzling down cocktails and bumping to the pounding techno music that…Just.  Wouldn’t.  Stop.

I knew what I was getting myself into, of course.  For the past 9 months people have been telling me everything about Mykonos.  My students continually asked me, “Ms., have you been to Mykonos yet?”  My peers constantly raved about it, bragging about its status as their favorite island.  Mykonos has the reputation as THE party island, and I was well aware and ready to go.  With friends visiting from America, I couldn’t wait to show them the best that Greece had to offer.  Forget the best food, or culture, or breathtakingly beautiful views.  I wanted them to experience the best partying Greece had to offer at some of its best beaches.  And so there we were, boarding a crowded ferry at 7am on a Thursday morning, not knowing that a mere 3 days later, we would be struggling to keep our eyes open and our butts shaking as the sleepless Greeks made us ashamed of our inability to pull an all-nighter.

I’ve pulled an all-nighter before; don’t get me wrong.  Unfortunately, those all-nighters in my past have usually involved coffee rather than booze and a trimester’s worth of reading and note taking rather than mingling and club hopping.  While this style of all-nighter was much more fun, hands down, it was also much harder.  When studying, you don’t need energy; you just need your eyelids to keep from smacking together.  When partying on Mykonos, you need every ounce of energy you’ve ever had in your life, all bottled together and oozing out as you jump up and down and anticipate the rising house music that makes its way into the…wait for it…wait for it…wait for it…CLIMACTIC BEAT DROP.  And then you begin it all again, since clearly the music never ends and these Greeks don’t seem to ever take a minute out of their day to rest.  As one guy said to us at 6:45am with a drink in his hand, “I don’t sleep on Mykonos.  I come here for 5 days and party.  I grab souvlaki on my way from one club to another, and eat it on the drive.”  They’ve really got partying down to an art over here.  While I cannot, in any shape or form, call myself an artist, I’d like to pat myself on the back and congratulate my friends and I for doing Mykonos right.  Unfortunately, I’m still too exhausted from the weekend to gather the strength to reach my arm over my shoulder.

We clubbed it up during the day at Super Paradise.  We bar hopped in Mykonos Town two nights in a row, until about 5am each time.  We hit up famed club Cavo Paradiso at the suggested 5am and managed to hang around there until 7.  We rented ATV’s and zipped around the island, making our way to Agios Sostis Beach, known among the locals/frequent visitors as one of the most pristine and quiet beaches on the island.  We ate at the little-known and hidden no-name taverna overlooking Agios Sostis, chowing down on some of the best Greek food I’ve had as of yet.  We chatted over frappes in the afternoon and discussed the day’s events over dinner at 10:30pm each night.  We made Greek friends at every corner of the island and managed to be befriended at every corner of our bodies by the local mosquitoes.  We wandered through the winding pedestrian streets of Mykonos town during the day when they were charmingly not packed and welcoming to wanderers.  And we left the island feeling that we did it justice, and didn’t waste a single moment.

And so as the grey sky gathered up light and blossomed into blue, and the sun perched above the coastline and jutting rocks, I conked out and waited for the ferry to take me back to Athens.  The faintest sounds of bumping techno still linger in my eardrums days later in the sleepy suburbs of Athens, and if I try really hard, I can still hear the DJ’s voice yelling over the music to pump up the already wild crowd, “MYKONOOOOOSSSSSS!”


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