Leaving Fourni in the run up to the election

Fourni is a pleasant little island, tucked away between Ikaria and Samos. In low season there were few visitors and not many boats. I had enjoyed my stay on Fourni, but the time had come to leave. There was no travel agent open so I went to the grocery with a ticket agency on Tuesday evening and bought a ticket for the flying dolphin to Lipsi the next morning.

I was down at the harbour with my bags by half past eight in the morning. I had a sense of déjà vu. The large fishing boat I had seen on the nearby island of Thimena was in port; the Egyptian fisherman offered me some coffee. A number of people asked me where I was going. Lipsi I said.

A port policeman came across to me and said there was no flying dolphin - yet. Despite having bought a ticket the previous day, the times of the flying dolphin had changed. The flying dolphin would arrive at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. - until the flying dolphin arrived at eleven the port official would not know in which direction the flying dolphin was travelling. I refrained from asking about modern aids to communication, such as the telephone, that were available on Fourni. I would have to come back to the harbour, with my bags, at eleven, to see if the flying dolphin was going to Lipsi. I went back to my room, with my bags. Luckily the room was as I left at.

At half past ten I went back, with my bags, to the harbour. The port official told me that the flying dolphin would not be going to Lipsi until 2 p.m. I headed back, with my bag, to my room. As I headed up the high street Nico, who owned the room at which friends were staying, pointed to the flying dolphin on the horizon. "Ochi Lipsi", I said. "Lipsi dia." I was back in my room again. About one o'clock I saw a flying dolphin coming in, and charged back to my rooms for my bags. This was not "my" flying dolphin. Or was it? A hundred or so people, professional looking Greeks, got off the flying dolphin. What was happening? An election was imminent, and these Greeks had come to Fourni to do a spot of electioneering. Was I to leave with them, or was another flying dolphin coming in? Another flying dolphin arrived. The flying dolphin lurched, as flying dolphins do, and I slipped on the dolphin wing. So I came to leave Fourni with the makings of a large bruise on my knee. "A tiring day" said the port official.