The Ferryman of Paros
“Tickets,” demands the man in the uniform, his hand out stretched with impatience. His face is filled with disgust and disapproval. I can hear him tapping his foot. We are seated in four very comfortable, squishy chairs on the air-conditioned interior of a ferry headed from Athens to Paros. In our group is my husband, Frank, my 2 year old son, Max, and my 14 year old daughter, Claudia.
We found these beautifully vacant chairs after searching high and low on the gigantic ferry. On the deck of the ferry the heat of the summer and the smoke of the cigarettes cling to the deck like a frightened sailor, afraid of being swept into the sea. This combination of smoke and heat is suffocating. There are no available seats. We boarded late and now everything is taken. It is like a game of musical chairs and we arrived after the music stopped. As we search desperately for a place to sit for the five hour journey, we drag our suitcases behind us like balls and chains. Finally we spot four large, beautiful, cushioned chairs side by side in the cool air conditioned interior of the boat just around the corner from the bathroom. They are tucked in a corner as if forgotten. Gratefully we sink into this heavenly oasis.