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Shirley Valentine Syndrome
By Mike Thiel

Remember the movie about the British housewife who ran away from home to find herself in Greece? Almost every island has a Shirley Valentine who's fallen in love with the mystique . . . or with a Greek. We met American, British, and French ex-pats running restaurants and shops on Santorini and Crete, and made a point to connect with the painter Karolina, whom we had met on our last trip.

We found this reigning queen of Mykonos' art scene holding court in a taverna by the waterfront, and spent an interesting couple of hours at the bar, and then in her studio, catching up on the intervening years. We had first met at Philippi's, where we were dining with friends and she was selling her distinctive paintings. Our mutual ties to Massachusetts—she was a native of Lincoln, and the Hideaways office was then located in nearby Littleton—led to an evening of chat and years of friendship.

We were anxious to hear what Karolina had to say about the changes—both big and small—that we had noticed. Her response was reassuring. Growth and change are inevitable, she said, but the character of Mykonos will endure. Coming from someone who reveres the simplicity of the Greek life that she captures so magically in her paintings, that indeed was good news.

Click here to see Hideaways recommendations of Greek lodgings.

Spring/Summer 2001

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