Posted by: tabliope | May 21, 2013

Greece in five acts

After exchanging many emails with the patient owner of the studios in Katigiorgis we finally settled on dates and rooms. I asked her about paying the deposit and she assured me that this wasn’t necessary: ‘You have stayed in my house before, you are nice people. Pay me when you get here.’


Mr T and I go to the taverna for supper and he asks me where I want to sit. The host strolls over, puts his arm around Mr T and tells him that he’s in Greece now. ‘You tell her where you want to sit, my friend.’


In the early morning I walk down to the swimming pool, through the quiet back streets of the northern suburbs and although the orange blossom is now finished there’s a slightly heavier scent that I can’t identify. It’s like jasmine but it’s not; like neroli but it’s not. It’s almost too strong and reminds me of the perfumes that grandmothers and great aunts shook over themselves when I was a child.


A young man swaggers onto the train at KAT station. He is wearing a black t-shirt and a scowl. There are no spare seats so he jabs the young Pakistani man sitting opposite me and does a backward motion with his thumb and then takes his seat. My jaw drops open but I catch the eye of the older woman sitting diagonally to the right and she moves her head quickly. We all sit quietly and refuse to look at each other probably because we’re all too ashamed of what we’ll see.


Sitting in the kafenio  making a decision over what to choose from the so many varieties of coffee: Greek coffee; frappe; freddo; Nes; French and Italian. There’s no rush though because there’s a jug of cold water on the table and no one comes to a coffee shop if they’re in a hurry. I’ll choose when I’m ready and they’ll bring it when they’re good and ready. Sit here all day, use the wifi, watch the dramas unfold with parking, eavesdrop on people speaking English who assume that no one else can understand them. 



  1. Black t-shirted man clearly needs a slap ….

    Lovely evocative vignettes here H!

  2. Can’t help asking myself what I would have done in Act IV. Just like you, I suspect.

  3. Enjoyed.

  4. Me too. LOVE #2, wish I could have seen your face.

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