June 20th, 2009


The Man from Messagros

Myth and mystery of the house at Messagros was a Click Opera entry I posted back in April, prompted by a film by Olaf Nicolai shown at the first Athens Biennial. Yesterday, chugging up and down the hills of Aegina on a rented Yamaha Neo's with Hisae clinging pillion, I found the house and saw it with my own eyes. Well, eye.

It wasn't easy. The house is a ruin, located in a rather remote inner area of the island. We only found it because, at Messagros, I approached a young farm labourer and said "Rodakis House?" Luckily the man had heard of it, and signaled us to follow his pick-up truck.

We drove up to a family house, and here the farmer jumped onto a motorbike and again told us to follow him. We sped down a side-lane, then took another off it, then zoomed up a hill, and suddenly the derelict shape of the Rodakis house was on our left.

"Archeologos?" quizzed the man as he led us through the thistles, avoiding the bees, assailed by huge and vicious horse-flies. No, I said, just tourists.

The man made to leave us alone with the house. I tried to stuff a €5 note into his hand, but he protested "Ochi, ochi!" and said, as if in explanation: "I am from Messagros!"