The “Liquid Gold” in Santorini Isn’t Wine; It’s Cactus Juice

The “Liquid Gold” in Santorini Isn’t Wine; It’s Cactus Juice

posted in: Food, Greece | 3

The Burnetts have joined the throngs of American, British, and Chinese tourists here on Santorini.  We were able to secure a spot in the packed marina in Vlychada and are rafted up against the breakwater with some jolly Romanians on a charter Lagoon, watching the tourist catamarans file in one by one after sunset.  You don’t have to be in Oia to have a spectacular sunset here.  It’s everywhere!

Having had a guest recently has given us a lot of Tourist Inertia, which Mel defines as: the tendency that once one gets into tourist mode, one remains in tourist mode unless acted on by an external force.  In the last few days we visited three wineries in caves, the Akrotiri Minoan archaeological site, The Prehistoric Museum in Fira, a cool wine museum, a tomato paste factory/art gallery (you read that right), and the cute town of Pyrgos.  We played mini golf and had a great time solving puzzles in the Kamari Escape Room.  We even had the first Mexican food we’ve had in months, and it was AWESOME, at the appropriately-named Senor Zorba’s.  Do you want enchiladas or moussaka with your margarita?  Hell, just get both!

One night, we went to the La Ponta Venetian tower and saw an enthusiastic Greek demonstrate the connections between the Greek language, mythology, science, and music by playing ancient Greek instruments, including the bagpipes.  It was as if we were getting a lesson on nature from Plato himself.  Yannis wants to promote peace by distributing inexpensive, 3D-printed lyres to the schools.  He has a point — America probably needs a little…Apollo…these days!

Of course, here’s the way to bring your Tourist Inertia to an abrupt halt.  Stop at a cute café overlooking the caldera, have some ice cream, cake, and cactus juice, and get a 100 Euro bill.  Wow!  Should have checked the menu!  Yep, time to turn in the car!

There is a chill in the air at night.  Winter is coming.  Like migratory birds, we need to start heading south.  So we will reluctantly leave Amorgos, Naxos, Paros, Mikonos, and the other Cycladic islands for another time.  Tomorrow, we head to Crete.  We just decided that yesterday.  “Where should we go next?  I don’t know, how about Crete?  Okay.”   Isn’t that cool?

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3 Responses

  1. Rosalyn
    | Reply

    I so agree with you. But when you return there will be an even bigger mess.

    I have gone to Capital Hill as part of the AAN. It was a moving sea of lobbyists. My voice was not heard.

    While you are away please come up with a way for us to return to the simpler time when treating patients was the norm and reading about new illnesses, medications and procedures gave us a sense that we were learning more and more so that we could truly improve the lives of those we treat.
    Currently, Most of us can never come up for air enough to even think about thinking about these problems.

    As far as the EMR, look at the YOUTUBE video “Let Doctors Be Doctors”. We are NOT alone in our concerns about the EMR.

    As far as TIME is concerned, I regret not having taken that sabbatical. Vacation time is NOT enough. We are still expected to answer patient emails while on vacation. So vacation does not truly exist.

    To this day I do not remember going to recitals, PTO meetings, plays…etc for my three children. I remember getting home when they were in bed, leaving the next morning before they arose, and on weekends that I was not on cAll ….I was in bed.

    Doximity just did an article on physician’ salaries. We make about as much as a high school teacher over our lifetime if you consider our financial outlay for training.

    Unfortunately, we are our worst enemies. Like crabs in a barrel we scratch and claw for what is thrown to us. We cannot form unions but we can unite.

    I am a Locums tenens neurologist. I work: 2 hard weeks on and 2 weeks off each month. During the off weeks I am a caretaker for a very sick 87 year old ( my most wonderful Mom). I am blessed to have her. I stick like glue when I home. If all physicians worked Locums tenens then we would have bargaining power. Some of us need to go to the senate and congress to get this stuff changed. We need to be elected to these offices.

    We talk. We alll talk yet we, as physicians, are good at complaining and then allowing the status quo. There had to be SOMETHING that we can do to bring the joy of giving our time and service back into the patient-doctor equation. Let me know your thoughts

    • Mel
      | Reply

      Rosalyn, So well put! My thoughts exactly! I too thought about the AAN lobby approach, but I was pessimistic. Neurologists are too small a constituency. My gut tells me that nothing will happen without both nurses and patients behind us, but I really don’t know yet how to make that happen. I think we do need to be proactive, since changes made at the government level take 10 years to take full effect and rarely have an effective feedback loop built in to rapidly destroy any bad ideas. I mean, how did ICD-10 even happen?? This whole “pay for value” trend needs to have massive physician input as it develops, or we could have an even worse physician morale/paperwork disaster on our hands…it reads like insurance companies and the government got together in a room without any docs in it. Anyway, I have no answers, but I think it’s important we all keep thinking!

      • Rosalyn
        | Reply

        We cannot unionize but we CAN organize. The method is the question. I will keep thinking too.
        You and your family enjoy all that the trip has to offer. On my way to Dublin and London in June. A vacation believe it or not… with my grown children. Unfortunately they are not paying my way. Oh well…. ?

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