No Gas Til Tuesday (2)

_Blog Review Ikaria 2012 # 10 The Explorers (1b)_


Hello readers!

I hope that some of you are by now familiar with my idea of reviewing a selection of blog entries about my island. I also hope that my most faithful followers have read «No Gas Til Tuesday (1)» -the first part of selected entries from an entire blog dedicated to living in Ikaria written by jandcfox. Jackie has been undoubtedly the best of that category of bloggers who I have decided to name «Explorers». Don’t misunderstand me; there have probably been a lot of people who have taken risks and had many interesting adventures in Ikaria. The difference with Jackie is that she shared her experiences with the world. And she did this through a well-written and frequently updated blog wonderfully enriched with many great pictures!

I am a mother of three and a teacher by trade. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, and now, my family lives in Lancaster, PA. For the next year we are going to live in the village of Karavostamo, Ikaria, Greece. My philosophy on life? Check things off of your bucket list! What are a few things on my bucket list? Speak greek fluently Live in Greece Enrich my children’s lives

We are in the middle of September so time falls right for the second and last part. It is about living in Ikaria «off season» when the island empties from tourists, visitors and relatives; that is, living in the Ikaria of the all-year-long residents, which, some say, is The True Ikaria

What was it like? Has she won the bet? See for yourselves. Read my selection of blog entries of Jackie in Ikaria, September 2012 – June 2013

(As always, a selection of the blogger’s own words appear when you move your mouse over the highlighted links and photos. VERY USEFUL TO HASTY READERS!)


















Until Next Year! Και Του Χρόνου!

Indeed, these people have set a good example. Yes, a good example.

How unlike me, that’s all I have to say, and that says it all.

Note : As I have said many times before in my reviews, comments and credits should be adressed to the bloggers, not to me! As far as I am concerned, all I want is to send more readers to these amazing people -my explorers. All I wish is that my choices are good.


«Misokolaki» and other scary tales from Ikaria in comics


(Ελληνικά στο μπλογκ της Νανάς).
Finding a moment to advertise this comic art drawings and book exhibition which takes place in Athens next month.

comic art ikaria 1Kavo Papasbar tesera

16 February - 2 April 2009 in Bartesera, 25 Kolokotroni str. Athens
 Opening: 16 April - 8 pm


misikolaki 2


Among these stories there's "Misokolaki",
the kid with half his bottom chopped off.



– A Greek folktale from Ikaria island –



misikolaki Ikaria 4

.(«The witch under the pear tree», drawing  by  Thanassis Psaros)

Once upon a time on a faraway Greek island, an old man and an old woman lived alone in a small house near a forest. The old man was a woodcutter.
One night the old man and the old woman were peeling broad beans and putting them into a pot on the stove.
«If only we had children to bring a little joy and happiness into our lives» the old woman sighed loudly.
«Yes», said the old man. «If only we had children.»
Before they went to bed that night, the woman said a special prayer.
«O God», she prayed, «How I wish that all the broad beans in the pot could become children!»
Early the next morning the woodcutter and his wife were woken by a terrible noise. Their house was full of children. Some were playing, some were singing and some were quarreling. Others were crying out for food. The house was filled with a terrible racket. The old woodcutter was beside himself: the noise was more than he could bear. He grabbed his axe and began to chase the children. The frightened children darted everywhere to escape, jumping out of the windows and pouring out of the door. Within a few minutes they had all gone.
The house was suddenly silent. The old man and the old woman looked at each other in dismay.
«Now we ‘re all alone again», said the old woman.
«Yes», said the old man sadly. «What are we going to do?»
Suddenly a tiny voice came from under the bed. «I’m here», it said. A young boy crept out. He looked a little frightened; half of his bottom had been chopped off by the woodcutter’s axe.
The old lady and the old man looked at him in joy and wonder.
«Oh, little boy», said the old woman. «Don’t be afraid. You can live with us. We will make you well again.»
The young boy was happy to have found a home. The old couple gave him clothes and food, and a bed to sleep in. They called him Misokolaki, which means «Little half-bottom».
The next day the woodcutter told Misokolaki that now that he lived with them, he would have to help them with their work.
Misokolaki’s first chore was to guard the pear tree in the orchard. Every year, when the pears ripened, a cunning old fox would come and steal them. The old man gave Misokolaki a wooden flute to play while he sat in the tree.
Before Misokolaki left for the orchard, the old man warned him: «Be careful of the fox. It’s cunning and it may try to trick you.»
All day Misokolaki sat in the pear tree and played his flute. Then, at dusk, along came the fox. It looked up into the tree where the boy was playing his flute.
«Hey, Misokolaki!» the fox called out. «You play your flute so fair, please throw me down a pear.»
«Go away», said Misokolaki. You can’t have any pears.»
«But my little ones are hungry», the fox said, with tears in its eyes.
Misokolaki felt sorry for the fox and threw down some pears.
«Please, Misokolaki», said the cunning old fox. «Help me find the pears. It’s dark and I can’t see.»
Misokolaki forgot the old man’s warnings and climbed down to help the fox. No sooner had he touched the ground than the fox grabbed him and threw him into a sack. The fox threw the sack over its shoulder and set off for its home.
On the way, the fox stopped by a stream. It put down the sack and went to the water to have a drink.
Misokolaki quickly wriggled out of the sack. He filled it with rocks and prickly bushes and ran away.
When the fox returned, it threw the sack over its shoulder and continued on its way. Soon the fox began to feel something pricking its back
«Stop pinching me, Misokolaki!» the fox kept calling out, all the way home.
When the fox arrived home, its cubs danced about with joy. They were very hungry. They burnt lots of branches in the oven to make it red hot so that they could cook Misokolaki.
But when the fox emptied out the sack, only rocks and prickles tumbled out on to the floor. The fox was angry and it vowed that next time, Misokolaki would not escape.
The next day, Misokolaki again kept watch in the pear tree. At dusk, the fox returned to the orchard. Misokolaki was in the pear tree, playing his flute.
«Hey, Misokolaki!» the fox called out. «You play your flute so fair, please throw me down a pear.»
Misokolaki pretended he couldn’t hear. He kept playing his flute.
The fox began to cry loudly. «My little ones are hungry!» it sobbed. The tears flowed from its eyes like rivers.
Misokolaki felt sorry for the fox and threw down some pears. But the cunning old fox called out: «Please, Misokolaki, help me find the pears. It’s dark and I can’t see.»
The fox’s voice was so sweet that once again Misokolaki forgot all about the old man»s warning. He climbed down to help the fox. No sooner had he touched the ground than the fox grabbed him and threw him into the sack. This time the fox tied the sack very tightly so that Misokolaki couldn’t escape.
The fox carried the sack straight back home, without stopping on the way.
As the fox neared home, it called out to its cubs to light the oven. The fox untied the sack and let Misokolaki out, and the cubs danced around him with glee. They were so hungry that they could hardly wait to eat him.
Misokolaki would have to think quickly if he was to escape from the oven.
Now, the fox’s oven was built into the wall. It was so high off the ground that the fox had to stand on a stool to reach it. As the fox reached up to open the oven door, Misokolaki quickly grabbed its hind legs and with one mighty thrust, he pushed the fox headfirst into the oven.
The cubs scattered in fright and Misokolaki ran all the way home, as fast as his legs could carry him.
The old man and the old woman were overjoyed to see him. They had gone to the orchard to look for him, and were very worried when they couldn’t find him. Misokolaki told them all about his adventure with the fox. The old man called out to his neighbours from the village and invited them to come and celebrate. They were all happy because the fox would never steal their fruit again.
Misokolaki took out his flute and began to play. The villagers sang and danced until the sun rose up behind the mountains in the east.
(From a book by Petro Alexiou, illustrated by Clare Watson, HARCOURT BRACE JOVANOVICH, PUBLISHERS (Australia) © 1989 on behalf of Petro Alexiou ISBN 0 7295 0833 1, ISBN 0 7295 0800 5 (series). The author dedicates to his Ikarian mother who told him this tale.)



Note:  The original Greek version which has survived in Ikaria is more poignant, rougher and bloodier. The wish for children is not intentional but rather trivial. The ‘broad bean’ children are not just naughty and restless. They cry and yell for food! The woodcutter does not just chase the children out of the house; he actually kills them one after the other with his hatchet! Misokolaki is spared if only he can carry out two tasks: keep the old couple company by playing the flute and climb on that precious pear tree to keep the thieves away. Finally, instead of a fox, there is an evil witch who eats human flesh. There is also the daughter of the witch to who the witch trusts Misokolaki to roast and she leaves, but Misokolaki turns loose, throws the daughter into the oven and he escapes. So when the witch returns, she eats her own daughter’s roasted liver thinking that it is Misokolaki’s. When she realises what has happened, she is furious and she rushes to the pear tree to find Misokolaki and kill him. Misokolaki is there, but the witch can’t climb the pear tree and get him. Blinded as she is by now with furry, she takes Misokolaki’s advice that the best way to shoot up and reach him is to stick a red hot iron bar up her ass! The witch does exactly that and she shoots up to the sky! She falls back on the ground and bursts in pieces. Misokolaki gets home to his step parents. They are very proud of him and they live happily ever after.

misikolaki Ikaria



(9 total)

Great presentation as always, good witch. What’s your way to shoot up?

Sunday January 25, 2009 – 10:46pm (EET)


Monday January 26, 2009 – 03:44am (PST)

As children, we were not supposed to read such grostesque tales yet they are the tales I remember best! My favorite ones came from a small island called Adakale.

Monday January 26, 2009 – 10:18am (EST)

Tales of warning about hunger! also about family programming -hep;

Monday January 26, 2009 – 10:25pm (EET)

(Pear trees seem to figure in stories a lot.
Take for instance this one:
Eat pears, make a hut out of pear-wood, but avoid sitting up in pear trees.)

Tuesday January 27, 2009 – 02:32pm (CET)

(especially if they are like this!:)
thorny sage-leafed pear tree

Tuesday January 27, 2009 – 03:02pm (CET)

@ Can : yes, we are brought up to dislike the gruesome, yet there is truth in the gruesome. Speaking of islands and tales, the same tale exists in Mykonos! Can you imagine?

@ egotoagrimi : ok, but don’t overdo it with programming, ok? Leave some ends loose…

@ Simon G : thanks God you are here! I was worried that the winds in France took you off! Yes, the pear tree seems to be the next best after the apple tree in European lore. And the old varieties must have had quite a lot of thorns. That sheds light to another feat of Misokolaki. He was a fakir like Nana :lol

Tuesday January 27, 2009 – 12:30pm (PST)

It’s a tale about a young fakir?!?

Wednesday January 28, 2009 – 10:39pm (EET)


Thursday January 29, 2009 – 08:41pm (EET)



Why why why none of these folktales speak about our  «immortal soul»? Is it only the body then? When somebody dies we have to remember him or her the way he or she looked in flesh and bones. If this is hard!.. Isn’t it better to pay the church to do that?


Μύθοι για την Ικαρία : Ο ΜΥΘΟΣ ΤΟΥ ΙΚΑΡΟΥ

(In English)

(Μια συνέντευξη με τον Άπιστο Θωμά)


Είναι η Ικαρία ο τόπος που έπεσε ο Ίκαρος;

Δεν μπορώ να σου πω. Δεν είχα γεννηθεί τότε και δεν υπάρχει βίντεο που να δείχνει το ατυχές περιστατικό. Το το πιο κοντινό που έχουμε σαν βίντεο είναι ο σχετικός πίνακας του Μπρύγκελ, όμως δεν είναι αρκετή απόδειξη. Είναι μια ελαιογραφία που έγινε στην Ολλανδία, πολλά μίλια μακριά από το Αιγαίο και πάρα πολλούς αιώνες αργότερα. Είναι γεγονός όμως ότι ο πινακας μοιάζει σαν κάποια ερασιτεχνικά βίντεο που ενώ κεντράρουν σε μια αθώα σκηνή, τυχαίνει και πιάνουν ένα τραγικό περιστατικό που συμβαίνει την ίδια στιγμή στον ίδιο τόπο. Ξέρετε, απ’ αυτά που γίνονται διάσημα και οι δημιουργοί τους τα πουλούν στα μήντια για πολλά λεφτά. Ο πίνακας μοιάζει με βίντεο, όμως δυστυχώς δεν είναι βίντεο. Είναι μια ελαιογραφία -μια καλλιτεχνική φαντασίωση, με άλλα λόγια.

Ωστόσο, όλος ο κόσμος λέει ότι στην Ικαρία έπεσε ο Ίκαρος.

Ο κόσμος λέει πολλά. Για παράδειγμα, κάθε εγκυκλοπαίδεια και ταξιδιωτικός οδηγός γράφουν : «Η Ικαρία, γνωστή από τον μύθο της πτώσης του Ικάρου, κτλ.» Οι άνθρωποι αγαπούν τις ιστορίες, ειδικά άμα έχουν σχέση με δυστυχήματα.

Ναι, αλλά το όνομα του νησιού;

Α, τα ονόματα μπορεί να σημαίνουν κάτι ή μπορεί να μην σημαίνουν και τίποτα. Μπορούμε να πάμε στον ληξίαρχο και να αλλάξουμε το όνομά μας όπως γουστάρουμε και να κάνουμε διάφορους συσχετισμούς. Ή το όνομα που έχουμε, να του αλλάξουμε το νόημα και τη προέλευση, όπως μας βολεύει. Για παράδειγμα, υπάρχει ένα Ελληνικό νησί, η Κάρπαθος, που συμβαίνει να έχει το ίδιο όνομα με τα Καρπάθια όρη στη Τρανσυλβανία της Ρουμανίας. Οι Καρπάθιοι (οι νησιώτες), ας πούμε, είναι ελεύθεροι να συσχετίσουν το όνομα του νησιού τους με τον Δράκουλα. Να ισχυριστούν, για παράδειγμα, ότι βουνά της Τρανσυλβανίας πήραν το όνομά τους από το νησί τους. Επιπλέον να πουν ότι ο Δράκουλας είχε γεννηθεί στην Κάρπαθο και αφού ως παιδί ρούφηξε όλο το αίμα από τους κατοίκους, όταν μεγάλωσε, πέταξε (βρυκόλακας ήταν) σε ένα μεγαλύτερο μέρος με μεγαλύτερο πληθυσμό και ατελείωτες προμήθειες αίμα. Παρ’ όλα αυτά, σήμερα, ακόμα κι αν οι Καρπάθιοι (οι νησιώτες) ήθελαν να κάνουν έναν τέτοιο συσχετισμό, είναι πάρα πολύ αργά. Οι Ρουμάνοι έχουν εκμεταλλευτεί στο έπακρο τον μύθο του Δράκουλα και το κάστρο του είναι η μεγαλύτερη τουριστική ατραξιόν της χώρας τους. Θα γινόταν τρομερό διπλωματικό επεισόδιο ανάμεσα στην Ελλάδα και τη Ρουμανία, αν οι Καρπάθιοι (οι νησιώτες) έβγαιναν κι έλεγαν το νησί τους ήταν ο τόπος γέννησης του Δράκουλα. Είναι βλέπετε, το γόητρο και τόσα πολλά λεφτά στη μέση.

Τότε λοιπόν ο συσχετισμός Ικαρίας και Ικάρου είναι ένα ψέμα;

Δεν είπα ότι είναι ψέμα. Όλο που είπα είναι ότι δεν ξέρω. Δεν έχουμε βίντεο και δεν έχουμε αξιόπιστους αυτόπτες μάρτυρες, το BBC, το CNN, το SKY NEWS και όλα αυτά. Ενδεχομένως υπήρξε κάποιο ερασιτεχνικό βίντεο (που τράβηξε π.χ. ο ξάδελφος του ζευγολάτη που φαίνεται πρώτο πλάνο στον πίνακα) ή μπορεί να ήταν μια δοκιμαστική λήψη για κάποιο ντοκυμαντέρ με θέμα την αγροτική ζωή. Επειδή είχε συλλάβει τη «Σκηνή της Πτώσης», γι’ αυτό φαίνεται διασώθηκε μέχρι τον 16ο αιώνα και το είδε ο Μπρύγκελ και το μετέφερε στον διάσημο πίνακά του. Όλο κι όλο που λέω είναι ότι πρέπει να βρούμε και να δούμε το αρχικό βίντεο για να ήμαστε σίγουροι για το γεγονός. Μπορεί να είναι κάτι σαν αυτό.

The drowning of Icarus

Την άλλη εβδομάδα νέο επεισόδιο της συνέντευξης με τον Άπιστο Θωμά.

Θέμα : «Πολιτική Ικαρία» : Κόκκινος Βράχος, Ξερονήσι, Νησί του Διαβόλου, Νησί της Εξορίας.

Αθηνά Σκ. ^^’



(3 total)

Παιδιά, δεν τρελαθήκαμε, οκ; Πλάκα κάνουμε. Καρναβάλι είναι, εντάξει; Μην παρεξηγηθεί κανένας, οκ; Είναι ξενέρωμα που το λέω, αλλά πρέπει να το πω γιατί θα ακολουθήσουν κι άλλα χ-ει-ρο-τε-ρα. Ο «Άπιστος Θωμάς» είναι στα φόρτε του…

Monday February 12, 2007 – 11:05pm (EET)

Ωραίος ο «Άπιστος Θωμάς»…περιμένουμε τα επόμενα!!! Φοβερό το Carousel!!!

Tuesday February 13, 2007 – 06:27pm (EET)

Ευχαριστουμε Α. Αν δεις ποτε αυτο το αρχαιο βιντεο (π.χ. στο youtube), να μας κανεις ενημερες, παρακαλουμε. Ομως πρεπει να φαινεται πως ειναι η Ικαρια απο πισω -να φαινεται στο βαθος π.χ η αρχαια Μαντουβαλα η ακομα καλιτερα το πλοιο «Δημητρουλα» (σιγουρα υπαρχει απο τοτε)

Thursday February 15, 2007 – 01:10am (PST)

Eleni’s Carnival in Ikaria

I don’t know if it was out of place and rather ‘un-Greek’ to speak about an investment ‘in green’, but I don’t have to be born and brought up in Greece to understand ImageCARNIVAL !
ImageIt’s just broke out here and it took me by surprise because I had forgotten about it and now I have to catch up !
In Carnival here they don’t wear Imagecostumes. They dress up as their opposites -to their opposite’s grotesque extremes ! So kids dress like old (in ugliest, most degenerate, etc.), men dress and behave like women (with as big as possible stress on the weakenesses of the sex), women make like men (the same stress on the weak side) -I repeat: to their grotesque most colorful extremes!
So you see a respectable tradesman appear as a nymphomanian bride, a beautiful young girl be a black hairy gorilla and the carpenter of the village dig out an impossible costume and show up as Lord of Bam-boum-burry O:)) Obscenity, liberality and wild dance are allowed (even encouraged), on condition (repeat) on condition that the ‘mascarades‘ or (local) ‘moutsounarides‘ are dressed up and covered so well that they can’t be recognized. If the are (repeat) if they are recognized, either they either leave or find very fast a different way to be funny -which is very hard and takes a real actor to do.
I am going to… Oh no ! I’m not going to tell you what I’ll dress up like !
I’m just saying what I said before; that I am going to be my opposite -to the grotesque extreme !

Karnavali in Rahes

I’ll be lost- not found for 3 days -I hope. ImageSorry readers !

(send me the map next week, will you? Then I may be good girl Eleni again.)



(5 total)

Nana’s recipe: buy the least fresh, cheapest fish, one that’s as dead as a fish can be (use Felicia to test -the fish must be really rotten). Boil it in very little water on a very slow fire for about an hour (2 hours is the best but then it’s inhuman – in that case If I were you, I’d use a timer or a remote control or switch off the plugs of the house to turn off the fire. You wouldn’t do that manually.) Now the scum should be unbearable and you know that you have the best all-natural, chemical-free «super-dead-fish-glue» !!!

photoWith a mask or (better) a clip on your nose, take away the fish bones, and add and stir in some flour, if you want your glue to be thicker.

Nana’s super glue can attach hair (like whiskers, moustache, beard, armpit hair and other) just any kind of fiber on your skin. It wouldn’t be torn off or drop off never mind how much you move, grim or perspire. The super fish glue will also grant you a super dead fish smell which will enchant your partners in carnival and it will keep them in a safe distance from you so that they don’t even think of trying to uncover your face. Thus you will be able to act as crazy as you like.


Saturday February 18, 2006 – 12:46am (EET)

Wow! You Greeks are insane! The only costume-appropriate occasion we Americans have is Halloween (Oct. 31) but that doesn’t sound remotely similar (children going door-to-dooor for candy). Even Halloween is routinely a cause of controversy with out more conservative citizens (the ones who elected our president). Each year there are an increasing number of articles in the news about how it’s unchristian devil-worship, authored by folks who wouldn’t know a good time if it bit them on the ass. So, on that note, Happy Carnival!! Wish I was there.

Sunday February 19, 2006 – 12:12am (EST)

I see you are getting prettier and prettier and more romantic with time ! Do you also smell of Nana’s ‘super dead fish glue’? Remove that photo, or I may be in love with you !

Sunday February 19, 2006 – 01:04pm (EET)

I won’t remove it ! I want you all to fry in the fires of passion for me !

Sunday February 19, 2006 – 04:19am (PST)

We shall have to refer to this phenomenon when we discuss «drama in life» again. It is very therapeutic, Ο γιατρος approves.

Monday February 20, 2006 – 02:51pm (GMT)