In my belly dance class on Tuesday, as I was revealing my life story and how I ended up in Athens, a lady asked me why I chose Greece, because "Life here is hard."
So far I haven't experienced anything too crumby to make me feel that way. I guess having spent your formative years in a third world country makes you immune to the crap-factor of anywhere with a flushing toilet.
I found another reason last night why I think I've made the right choice to land here in Athens. Being somewhat of a nature lover, I like seeing things looking the way nature intended. That doesn't apply to me, of course, thank heavens for my Venus razor.
Ten years in Britain almost made me forget that tomatoes are not meant to look like freakishly perfect round orbs, that cucumbers don't always grow poker-straight and potatoes come in all kinds of bumpy shapes and sizes. I was in a vegetable shop yesterday evening revelling in how beautifully natural everything was. There were curly courgettes and cucumbers, speckled tomatoes of various sizes but all a delicious sun-ripened red. Pity the fools in Britain who think orange is the colour of a tomato, had I not known otherwise even I'd have thought that.
There was lettuce that was at the end of the season. Yes, stuff is available here in seasons which I don't think is inconvenient at all. It adds to your culinary creativity to make do without when the stuff isn't around and means that when it is aubergine season, the aubergines you eat will be full of flavour. I'm looking forward to eating an aubergine to remember how they're supposed to taste. I've actually forgotten, because I used to hate them and by the time I started liking them I was living in Britain and consuming I-don't-know-what from I-don't-know-where.
There was a box of tomatoes being sold cut-price because they were hovering between rotten and crispy salad fare. Still okay to eat and fine for making red sauces, I was informed. Imagine that!