By the time I drag myself out of the ruins of Yaya Stasa's house there are ominous clouds gathering all around. We were planning to go to Erressos, for no better reason then to buy a USA Today so we can get the full story of Dole falling off the podium, of which we had a sketchy account from a villager who had come into Thanasis' after seeing it on television. Laughing, he described it and continued to laugh everytime the image reappeared in his head while he drank his ouzo in the corner. But to drive through a driving rainstorm for thirty kilometers to see what at best would be a photo of Dole's feet and argyle socks waving in the air seems like a risk not worth taking. Instead we drive in the opposite direction to a coastal village called Kalo Limani, which means 'good harbor'. We see from the map that the road begins right after Skalahori but with our first try we miss it and have to turn around and try again. On our second pass we are successful, though there is no way of knowing this since there are no r oad signs, until a villager reassures us. The road is unpaved and slowgoing, but the views are spectacular of Skalahori, perched in a horseshoe on the side of two adjoining mountains, and then of the eastern coast of Mytilini with the castle of Molyvos visible in the distance. We pass through fields, olive groves and a flock of sheep being guarded by a lone watchdog, tied in the shade of a roadside tree.

Kalo Limani, we see, is a small collection of houses and old stone buildings on a narrow isthmus between an enclosed bay and the sea. The bay is as still as a lake and full of small colorful fishing boats. The road is a narrow stretch of packed sand between the houses and the water which we follow until we reach the only place that can possibly be a taverna and in fact appears to be open. As I get out of the car a woman runs to us from the kitchen and asks if we will be eating here. There is desperation in her voice and as she shows me what she has to offer I realize that the chances of eating sardeles pastes, or any kind of fresh fish for lunch today will be slim. From the freezer she pulls out a plate of kefalo, frozen like rocks and looking almost as delicious. They are fresh, she assures me, but I am not interested in buying a frozen version of a fish that I don't even bother shooting at when it is swimming. She also has fresh barbouni in the back for 2500 drachma for half a kilo but she doesn't show us t hese and we are reluctant to pay so much for fish unseen. But what she does have that entices us to stay, as if we had a choice, are the flowers of zucchini, stuffed with eggs and cheese, dipped in batter and deep fried. These are delicious, as is the salad and fried potatos. Apparently we are not forceful enough in our refusal of the kefalo because they magically appear on our table and on the bill. Amarandi eats the noses off them all and we each do our part before feeding the remains to the crabs and translucant baby shrimp that live in the stone pier that juts out into the bay.

Two young villagers sit at the next table and pull out the backgamon board, then surprise me by turning it over and engaging in a game of chess that continues through our meal and after we leave. The woman who owns the restaurant is a cousin of Andrea's cousin and asks us to send her regards to the family. I ask where the best fishing is, in the bay or the beach facing the open sea. The old man at the next table who has been chasing the chickens away from our table with a stick tells me that there are fish everywhere but if we want octopus, the bay is best. I look at the water and as beautiful as it appears on the surface, I can tell that underneath it will be littered with plastic debris and disgarded fishing nets. We choose the beach which turns out to be the right decision as far as underwater sightseeing, but there are very few fish big enough to catch, and those that are, carefully keep their distance from me. I rejoin Andrea and Amarandi on the beach after exploring the coast.

There are several large old stone buildings facing the sea. They look like fortification but we are told later that they were built in the 1700's for drying acorns that were used for tanning leather.

When we leave we have two choices. We can continue along the rocky coastal road to the ruins of Ancient Antissa and then to the valley of Campo Antissa where the famous grilled sardine restaurant is, or we can go back and stop in Skalahori to visit Andrea's cousins and check out the town. I leave it up to Andrea and she chooses Skalahori. By the time we get there Amarandi is asleep in the back seat. While I explore the ruins of a Turkish mosque and it's minaret, Andrea disappears into the village. I'm told by a cafeneon owner that she has gone to find her cousin and that I should wait for her. His wife fixes a Turkish coffee for me and we start a conversation which inevitably leads to Clinton and his love of the Turks. Rather then repeat my dialogue with Anthymos, I submit to his opinion and nod my head in agreement. Surprisingly I am understanding much of what he is saying. He talks about tomorrows elections. The Gallop poll has picked Pasok with 43% to ND with 39% but my own private poll has shown 100% unde cided, including him. He talks about American history. He asks how many black people live in my town. "They took them like animals from Africa and make them work like donkeys. But now they wake up", he tells me.

We are joined by a one-eyed man who has returned from helping Andrea find the house of her cousin in the labarynth of streets in the village. In a few minutes she appears with her cousin Stella. I offer to pay for my coffee but the cafe owner refuses my money. "You are my guest", he tells me. We put Amarandi still asleep in the stroller and walk to the main platia where there is another cafeneon. Beneath a giant platanos tree there are tables and chairs filled with old men. There is a giant net strung across the square to protect it from the falling leaves and dead branches of the tree. We are joined by Stella's husband Andoni who asks us if we would like an ouzo. I hesitate for a moment because I have to drive, but only for a moment. With a bottle of ouzo mini we are served a salad and a plate of lamb and eggplant stew. I drink mine with water in the hopes that I will drink less, but before I know it we are on our second bottle and behaving like old pals. Amarandi wakes up but is behaving again like she is p ossessed, communicating with grunts and barks and pulling away from Stella everytime she affectionately reaches towards her. Stella and Adonis are childless which is a shame because she quicky wins over Amarandi. The two of them walk across the street to the small provision shop and return with it's entire supply of chocolate milk. Amarandi is still not speaking but she is clearly happy as is Stella who is as eager to hold Amarandi as Amarandi is to be held. Adonis tells us about Skalahori. A shepard had been recently digging a well near ancient Antissa when he discovered a tomb, full of gold. Now they archeologist have invaded to protect it. Campo Antissa is actually a part of Skalohori and not the modern town of Antissa, which was only named that recently, he informs us. There used to be three thousand people in Skalahori. Now there are fifteen hundred. Still, compared to Vatoussa and Xidera, it's a happening place. The main street is alive with people and full of shops, open for business. By our third bott le, Stella's brother Christos has joined us. He tells us about his son Yannis who is so tall, they begged him to come to Athens to play basketball. He refused because he wanted to be a shephard. He has a hundred sheep in the hills above Skalahori. I ask about the dogs that watch the sheep. Are there wolves here?

"Not wolves but wild dogs that were brought over from England and escaped. Now they roam the mountains and kill the sheep." Adonis tells us.

There is a beautiful old cafeneon on the opposite side of the square, deserted. I ask about it.

"The owner became old and retired and nobody has come to express an interest in reopening it," Adonis says. I tell him I want to move to Skalahori and have my own cafeneon. He encourages me to do it.

As the sun sets behind the mountain we get up to go. I feel capable of driving but I would rather do it while there is still light. I stop at the fourno and buy a loaf of hot bread for Aglaia's because the Xidera bread is of such poor quality. We kiss everybody goodbye and promising to return we drive up the narrow main street that leads to the top of the village where it connects to the road to Vatoussa.

At the first opportunity we stop because everyone has to go to the bathroom. I pull onto a dirt road where we are greeted with a dramatic sunset over the mountains to the west. The sky is streaked with different shades of red and purple and when we get back into the car I am more intoxicated then before. I barely manage to keep the car on the winding roads while engaging Amarandi in a philosophical discussion of death. She asks me if we will all die and I tell her yes, and no.

"Amarandi will die, and Dada Matt will die but then we do something else." I try to explain. "Something special."

"But who will I be?" she asks me.

"You will be who you already are but don't remember. You only think you are Amarandi and I only think I am Dada Matt" I tell her.

"But what is my real name?" she asks.

"You know, but you have forgotten, but someday you can ask God, and then you will remember." Somehow she accepts this explanation and as we turn the bend I point out the lights of Xidera on the next mountain.

There is one parking place in the platia. We have been chanting for one since we were within a quarter mile of the village and have been rewarded, only we should have asked for a bigger one. It takes several minutes before I can squeeze through the narrow space the next car allows my door to open. I don't even bother going back to the depressing house. Instead I go to the two cafeneons where I give Mitsos and Thanasis the exotic pepper seeds I have been carrying around with me for the last two weeks. Young Stavros is butchering a lamb. I miss the cutting of the throat. He has just cut a small incision in the back leg and is blowing air into it, blowing the sheep up like a baloon and separating the skin from the flesh. He chops off the horns and the front feet below the knees, then slits the muscle around the Achilles tendon so he can hand it upside-down from a hook. He removes the skin as if he is removing a sweater from a woman he has seduced, until he gets to the head and he has to use his knife. The sheep looks like a naked human body as he makes a long incision in the belly. Out fall the intestines and an enormous full stomach. He carefully pulls out the large intestine as if he is winding a garden hose. He cuts out the stomach and the spleen. "Usually we eat these or save them for Patsa", he tells me. "But the guy who wants the lamb doesn't care so I'm not going to bother with it." He cuts into the chest and pierces the heart releasing a small gush of blood. The floor is crimson already from the sheeps throat. "Now we are done". He washes his hands. Apparently the sheep belongs to one of the cafeneons in the square who are having a big party tonight. Many people have come back to the village form Athens and Mytilini town to vote. If you live within five-hundred kilometers from your home village you must vote there. The government pays for half your fare so many people who live more then that distance take advantage of the law and come home to visit friends and relatives.

There are two uniformed soldiers eating dinner at Aglaia's. They are here to guard the polling place. Pam, Andrea and Amarandi arrive and we sit down for dinner. Andrea can't handle anymore ouzo so I drink hers and several more. Stavros comes in and hands his mother something wrapped in plastic. Is it sardelles pastes? No it's kolios pastes, and not fresh but canned, though it will do for now. By the time dinner is over I feel like hell after an afternoon of eating and drinking. We go home to bed but I wake up at two in the morning and sit outside. I can hear music comming from the platia and I am tempted to join the party. But even the thought of roasted lamb is not enough to stir my appetite after today and the possibility, or probability of another round of ouzo frightens me enough so that I go back to bed.