Monday, 31 July 2006

The fall of Anatoli

Once upon a time there were two sisters who came from Molyvos. When they got old they moved to Athens. Two or three months a year they went back to their birthplace, where they had a house in Eftalou. They rebuilt the old house into a brand new white villa where they could hide for the summer, never opening the shutters. When the house was finished they did their garden. All the trees and the beautiful reed beds were destroyed. The result was an empty garden and they kept it like that.

Maybe they now had a better view of the sea, but also a better view of their neighbours who suddenly seemed very close. One neighbour was a woman with some studios besides the main building. It seems that this lady illegally built a new kitchen, which became an eyesore in the eyes of the sisters, even though you barely saw the difference between the old and the new building. And think that maybe that widow (the neighbour) is making some money from tourism.

However, the other neighbours were worse. For 20 years they had one of the two restaurants in Eftalou, the terrace by the sea was roofed 15 years ago. This was no problem and this neighbour was always there to give the sisters a helping hand with any problems. They even phoned him in the middle of the night because two youngsters were trying to make love on their doorstep.

But still this neighbour was not good enough. His business probably did too well. He built a mini golf and beautified his terrace. The sisters did not like these things, so they started complaining, first about the smoke coming their way when the neighbour was cooking tasty dishes for his clients. Then suddenly there was a Greek night for children. The sisters had to endure 3 hours of Greek live-music until nine oclock at night. They also imagined that the mini golf course was operating 24 hours a day. Those sisters who come here for only two months a year have no idea how really quiet it can be in Eftalou. I can assure you that after the donkey safaris make their way home between 9 and 10 PM and the weekly Greek night turns off the live-music at 9 oclock, you only hear the crickets sing.

The sisters were thinking the neighbour had to go. They complained to the authorities and they could only say that indeed the building for the inside restaurant was illegal, and had been for 15 years. It is a beautiful spot where you enjoy the sea view during dinner all year round. But in Molyvos it is not allowed to build so close to the sea. And that is what the sisters thought: law is law.

These sisters who shut themselves in for two months in their house on the Eftalou Boulevard and only go out for a swim, managed to close down one of the two restaurants in Eftalou. Anatoli, also known by the name Angelos, who is the owner and cook of the restaurant, has to go, because these two ladies want peace in Eftalou.

They do not mind that Eftalou is quiet enough, except for the months they are staying there. They have no appreciation of the fact that in winter also one can eat at the seaside. They do not know how many people in the off season like to hike up to Molyvos and have lunch in Anatoli, one of the very few restaurants in the north open in the winter. The two sisters do not care for Eftalou, this beautiful green area next to Molyvos which is a peaceful place for everybody. These sisters, who made a desert of their garden and in doing so, made a hole in the line of greenery bordering the Eftalou Boulevard, maybe want to go back 50 years in time.

But the sisters have the law on their side. The Anatoli restaurant is an illegal building, where nearly everybody enjoyed a good meal and never complained. Now the sisters got irritated. Their boring house without any flowers or other welcoming ornament is how they are thinking: the neighbours restaurant has to go and the other neighbour will very much regret that she built an illegal kitchen.

They didnt leave the Molyvos authorities alone until they got what they wanted: Anatoli and its hard working chef had to close down and the other neighbour has to pay a lot of money. So the two sisters not only destroy a familys life, but also close down a restaurant where you could have a lovely time the whole year round, not only islanders, but tourists as well.

The municipality seems to do nothing. They do not see the importance of a livable and attractive Eftalou. They only keep themselves busy with the elections for a new mayor in October. No candidate sees any votes in it. The same fate is to befall Anatoli as the Hotel Arion, which after only one year was already doomed to become a Greek ruin. Everybody complains that there is nothing to do here in the winter. Well, no wonder... Sisters only staying here two months a year can pull the strings. And nobody is going to stick his neck out.

Is there no clause in this law that after 15 years, theres no way anymore to complain? It is sad to know that this famous restaurant has to close its doors at the end of August because these two sisters suddenly have complaints about a building where nobody has complained for 15 years. Everybody works for a good image so that lots of tourists will visit Molyvos and its surroundings. Nobody realizes that Anatoli is also one of the attractions in the region, not only for tourists but for all the people of Lesvos and for all year round. Please, give these sisters, who only stick their noses out of their garden for a swim and probably make no contribution at all to the welfare of Eftalou, what they deserve. It is typical Greek politics to complain about not enough tourists, but have no view at all how they can change that.

So if you agree with me and if you want Anatoli to stay open, please send me a mail so that I can forward this mail to the municipality, together with our petition. Those sisters should be ashamed. We are for a livable Eftalou!

Copyright © Smitaki 2006

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