Monday, April 15, 2013
'Persona Non Grata'
Saturday, 6 of April, 2013. I was still on the island of Naxos, Greece, and it was one of those uneventful, semi cloudy days where the low temperature was 70F and the high was 75F. It was late night and I had taken a cab down to the Meltemi restaurant near the St. George Beach area. This is a little 'mom and pop' establishment off the main street......with no ocean view. I was going to drown my 'despair' in a huge Greek salad, as this was going to be my last night on Naxos. And in all probability, this would be my last visit to this splendid isle forever.
Earlier in the day I had been traveling around the island looking at homes to lease. I was planning to stay on the island at least 6 months, and I had found several homes that seemed to 'fill my bill'. So I returned to my room, at the Nissaki Beach Hotel, to give thought as to which house I would choose..... but as I entered the hotel I was surprised by two official looking individuals in the lobby area. It seems that someone had noted my entry to Naxos with 4 dogs, and then complained to the Greek officials that I had presented no permits for bringing dogs on the island (something I had done on several previous visits without any reprimand). In our discussion the officials made it clear that I was to depart the island by noon of the next day or earlier. That because of my being a 'previous patron' of Naxos (the words of the 'man in the suit' not mine), I would be let off without a fine or formal charges brought against me, or my pilots. I was further informed my bill at the hotel had been made up, and that I should pay it in full immediately. They also stated that my pilots had been duly informed of the situation and the departure limit, and were put on notice that failure to take heed of this warning.......would result in jail time for all of us. I was then handed an official paper that in essence said that I was a 'persona non grata' in Greece. And with no further information forthcoming.......the duo 'left the building'. I must say that I was quite surprised. But 'Que Sera, Sera'.
The next morning with a new sun gleaming in the sky, and a temperature that was nearly the same as the day before, my 'entourage', and I, headed to the airport, and checked with customs before boarding and departing. There was no problem at this stage of the trip, but I did notice that there were several official looking individuals in attendance that did not seem to be customs personal. After we had finished the customs check, and before we headed to our waiting craft, one of the official individuals stepped forward and asked me to sign the 'persona non grata' papers, and to date them. Upon doing so, he handed me a copy of the papers and also one un-addressed, blank, envelope of standard size. He nodded his head as he handed me this envelope....... and then turned and walked away. The envelop was thin, and when I opened it....... it contained only one, white, business card. And on this card was written: "My Daughter And I Were Under Fire In Bosnia". And for you readers who do not follow my postings.........this is a quote I use whenever I make mention of Hillary "My daughter and I were under fire in Bosnia" Clinton. I guess it could have been worse. I could have been in Benghazi.
Lord Howard Hurts