I will go to Greece again because I have been enjoying all these deportations. And next time I have to talk about Buddha – because I have talked only about Zorba, and I never leave anything incomplete. And already, the minister of interior in Greece has invited me: “We will make arrangements, you come.”
I said, “I will come but, at least for three weeks, don’t deport me” – because no country seems to be able to have me for more than three weeks. A few countries are so stupid that they cannot even have me for thirty-six hours.
England proved to be the worst. They would not allow me six hours to sleep at the airport – not even entering England, but just the airport lounge. They wouldn’t allow me to sleep there for six hours.
I said, “What reasons have you got?”
And the airport officer said, “We have no reasons. This is the file, the information from the prime minister is that this man is dangerous and should not be allowed in.”
But I said, “I am not entering England, and from the lounge there is no way to enter into England. And you have checked me well – I am not carrying any bombs or anything. And sleeping six hours in the airport, what danger can I cause? Just think…”
He said, “Don’t put me in trouble, because tomorrow it is going to be in parliament and then I will be answerable – ‘Why did you allow him?’”
So I had to go to jail for six hours. They said, “The only place we can allow you to remain is in jail.”
And the next day in parliament the question was there, and I am always surprised that the question is asked and the same answer is given, that the man is very dangerous. But nobody in the parliament has the intelligence to ask, “What danger could he have been just sleeping in the lounge at the airport? He may be dangerous, but what danger could he have been?” Nobody in the parliament asked.
So I have informed the minister in Greece that I will go. I have to go. I was really thinking to stay longer, and I had fifteen more days on the visa to stay, but the archbishop of Greece threatened the government that if they didn’t deport me immediately then they were going to burn down the house where I was staying – burn me alive and all the people who were staying with me, – dynamite the house. And the government was threatened, and they thought, “Some problem may arise, it is better to send this man away immediately.”
I was asleep when I was arrested. You don’t arrest people when they are asleep. And they had no reason, because I had not gone out of the house for fifteen days. I said, “You have to show some reason why you are deporting me.”
They said, “We don’t have any reason, just orders from above.” And all the orders were based on the threat of the archbishop. It is the same archbishop who expelled Kazantzakis.