I arrive on the Greek isle of Rhodes.
RHODES, Greece- My real first day in Rhodes I arrived on a flight, picked up a rental car, checked into an Airbnb, and then set to work putting together a presentation that I was to give during a webinar that I was doing that evening.
The webinar was for a company called Red Points and it was about counterfeit products being sold on Amazon. This is one of the stories that I’ve been covering in-depth on Forbes, and the webinar is an example of the spin off opportunities that writing can generate. Companies, governments, etc require “experts” and there are only so many ways that such authority can be demonstrated.
I put the presentation together throughout the day and did the webinar that night. It was fun. $500 in my pocket.
I like talking about the stuff that I research. Giving talks and making media appearances and doing webinars are to the writer what playing shows are to a band.
But, without getting hung up on technicalities, I can’t consider this to be my “first day” in Rhodes.
The sun was shining, and this changed everything.
The day before was gloomy, grey, and raining. We feared that our long-honed strategy of going to places in the tourist off-season may have backfired this time. Yes, we’re paying an extremely low price for our house; yes, there were no crowds, but if the weather is a little too shit this is all for not.
We woke to blue skies this morning — which proved that, yes, this can happen here at this time of year. So we piled into the rental car and drove for 10 minutes to the city of Rhodes.
We went for a walk down by the water — a beautiful port with fisherman sitting on benches that were so well-placed that they could actually fish from them. There were giant old municipal buildings; a marina filled with yachts. Everything was tinted blue by sea and sky. There was a crisp breeze coming in that perfected the scene, but froze my two girls, who deemed it necessary to ruin the moment by whining incessantly about being cold.
So we walked into the commercial area and I bought them coats. Petra got a blue puffy one and Rivka got a hoodie with a big furry polar bear head over the front pockets.
Our house here is a two story bungalow — whatever that is — that has a front yard and a porch that is ringed with fruit trees. We pick the oranges and eat them; we pick the lemons and bake lemon tarts; the girls dig up the front yard with shovels pretending to be archaeologists.
Rhodes is stripped bare this time of year. All of the accessories of tourism have been plucked away and stored for the off season, and what is left is the place in the raw. The weather is a perfect 60 degrees: cold enough to keep the tourists away, warm enough to be pleasant.