Published on July 13th, 2014 | by Ann Rickard3
Sun Beds or Banana Lounges?
Just exactly what does a banana have to do with a sun lounge anyway? Now there’s a question I bet you’ve never asked yourself. And just as well it doesn’t require an answer ‘cos neither of us could probably come up with one.
I’ve been thinking a lot about banana lounges lately…sorry…sun beds.
You see sun beds are the major star on this lovely Psarou Beach on Mykonos where I am lounging at this very moment. Well, the main stars are really the many fabulous bodies (and a few not so fabulous, especially when the chubbers (me) waddle about spoiling things.)
The sun beds are many. Hundreds of them lined up like soldiers all over the lovely beach.
They belong to the restaurant Nammos, next door to Soula Rooms where I stay with the Man Geoffrey, and where I plead with you to stay next time you’re in the mood for a Greek Island getaway.
So, this Nammos restaurant, perhaps one of the vibeyest in the world (I know vibeyest isn’t a word, but you get what I mean) owns these sun beds and every day hundreds of beautiful people flock to pay a lot of money to sit on them and watch other beautiful people flock to pay a lot of money to sit on them.
The Man Geoffrey and I (that’s him in the photo above, and yes, he is one of the beautiful people) sit on them from 10.30 each morning until approximately 7 each evening and I tell you, it’s better than watching a Broadway show.
It’s the arranging and rearranging and organising of the sun beds, you see. (By the way, these beds have no resemblance whatsoever to a banana lounge with strappy plastic bits in gaudy colours; they are thick padded beauties with head rests and fluffy towels and protecting umbrellas above them.)
This beach is so desirable to the beautiful people, it even has paparazzi with cameras hidden beneath beach towels patrolling the water’s edge snapping photos which will later appear in Hello magazine. Really, it’s that trendy.
Anchored out in the little bay are sleek yachts, most of them belonging to Saudi billionaires who like to come ashore to this trendy beach and claim sun beds for themselves and the 75 people of their entourage it takes to look after them.
Yes, I’m there with the Saudi billionaires, the beautiful people and the paparazzi (who haven’t yet taken my photo despite me ripping the towel from their hidden cameras and dancing handstands in front of them.)
So, back to the sun beds. At first when you see so many of them crowded cheek by jowl (do beautiful people have jowls?) your first thought is: “I’m not sitting so close to so many people, I need my space…but after a while you love it. Truly. Even though Australians are used to acres of vast beach space and have about one acre of it all to ourselves and here you get about 10 centimetres, you really do get to love this closeness because it is so perfectly, beyond wonderful, for people watching.
There is a team of strapping young men, mostly from Macedonia and other far flung countries we don’t know much about, who move the sun beds according to who wants (demands) to sit where. The closer to the front of the restaurant is the most desirable spot, that’s First Class. We of Soula Rooms are down towards the end of the beach, Business Class.
The man in charge of the team of strapping sun bed movers is Yanis (I think that’s how you spell it, or it could be Yanni…or even Yany.) Like President Obama’s security men, he has a tiny microphone attached to his T-shirt collar which he speaks mysteriously into, organising secret sun bed moving arrangements.
As the day evolves and more and more beautiful people arrive at the beach in blingy floaty kaftans over teeny bikinis holding their Louis Vuitton beach bags, so the sun bed moving ramps up. Yanis, Yanni or Yany, now talks frantically into the little microphone on his T-shirt and starts to look stressed. If a Saudi billionaire and his 75 entourage don’t get a prime spot and therefore spend 10,000 euros on vintage Dom Perignon at the restaurant’s bar there could be repercussions you and I don’t even want to think about.
Can you see now why I so love watching all this?
It’s like a well orchestrated ballet where every little detail must be precise for it to work.
I, who have claimed sun beds for the Man Geoffrey and I at 10.30am when the beach is almost empty (beautiful people never arrive before midday) love to watch the day progress, especially when all the sun beds have beautiful bodies sprawled on them, and a fresh lot of beautiful bodies arrive and stand taking in the crowded scene with looks of pure terror on their faces because there could be a chance they will NOT GET A SUN BED.
This puts Yanis, Yanni or Yany in a state of extreme agitation and there is much shouting into the little microphone on the collar and the summoning of strapping young men to move sun beds and generally juggle things to keep everyone happy.
We are privy to all this beach theatre every day and yes, frankly, we feel smug. It is because Soula, our dearest and most precious friend in the world (we are seriously thinking leaving our Noosa Waters home to her, sorry my children) has a deal with Nammos next door and we get heavily…really heavily…discounted sun beds.
Wish you were here. Honestly.