Monday, June 11, 2012

the next morning at the monastery

The next morning at the monastery of Kastriani on the island of Kea . . .

When I opened my window, I could hear the sounds of the caretaker in the kitchen across the courtyard.  I walked downstairs to the bath house to wash for breakfast.  When I attempted to leave the bath house I found that I could not.

The bath house was a separate building at some distance from the rest.  It had walls of stone and cement almost a meter thick and was perched on a ledge, its only window less than a foot wide and facing out over a cliff.  Its only entrance was a solid wooden door firmly secured by a steel latch.  It was this latch, apparently corroded by salt air, that refused to open to allow my escape.

The high wind of the day before continued unabated, making it impossible to be heard across the courtyard where the caretaker, the only other living person for miles around, puttered away behind the thick stone walls of the kitchen.  If I did not appear for breakfast she would probably assume that I had left early and would have no particular reason to check the bath house.

But I am a resourceful traveler and prepared for such things, and with my Swiss Army Knife I quickly took apart the latch and let myself out, confirming my long-held belief that there are few problems in the life of a traveler that cannot be solved  --  or at least considerably ameliorated  --  by a Swiss Army Knife.

I crossed over to the refectory for breakfast.  As I was sure my Greek would be inadequate to the task, I did not attempt to explain to the caretaker what had happened to me since I had last seen her.

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