I couldn’t blog yesterday because I suffered a terrible shock. I was browsing the website of a rental agent in the UK and saw a property that I’d like to view which is so far so good. Written underneath the picture of the house were the words: ‘in a sort after area’. I worried that I would be exposing myself to emails full of ‘would of’ and ‘should of’ and where would it end. Of course this means that this blog post will be littered with grammatical errors so please don’t spare yourselves.
When I first arrived here and it dawned on me that it wasn’t going to be a balmy 28 degrees all year round, that getting an internet connection would take an act of parliament and that no, not everyone spoke English, I used to spend mornings looking at the view from this coffee shop. More truthfully, I looked at the view when I lifted my head from my laptop because I only came for the free internet which allowed me to send whiny emails to my friends.
That there view gives the lookout onto my local butcher, greengrocer and what was my local bakery before they closed down. I had some epic rows in the bakery and whilst it’s sad to see another business go to the wall they should have learned something about customers and service. One morning I went in to buy a substantial amount of baked goods and the bill came to €8.50 and I offered the sales lady a €50 note. This was greeted with derision and she told me to go and get change at the periptero. We had a full and frank exchange of views which I lost so I dumped my spanakopitaon her counter and then walked another mile to buy some more. That showed her. Oh yes.
I’ve learnt most of my kitchen Greek from the butcher and greengrocer. As far as I can tell none of them speak English but they’re infinitely patient with my attempts. When I say ‘patient’ I mean this in a Greek way so there is some shouting and chivvying going on but no actual blood. When I asked the lady in the dry cleaners if she spoke English she laughed at me. The woman in the periptero hates people and communicates purely in grunts. She hates foreigners particularly which is why she chose the career move of selling international newspapers instead of sticking with the Greek press. I have beaten her down with kindess and every single time I buy something there I beam at her and give her a cheery kalimera and it only took about two years but she finally nodded once, slightly.
The cafe itself makes good coffee and even better gelato. It’s a favourite of the previous prime minister’s and I used to see him here from time to time. He was always charming.