Friday, May 18, 2007

Monsoon Athens

Sitting on the balcony last night, I couldn't deny that summer is well and truly here. The child next door, who was a toddler when I first came to Athens, is now a full-blown anthropaki (little person) who you can have a conversation with while he munches on his icecream. The myna bird which I thought was dead is back out on the balcony opposite us. As you know, myna birds are great at mimicking sounds. This one has perfected the art of squealing like an excited child, since it lives in a house with an excited child. Every evening the street is perpetually filled with squeals of delight. Such a happy neighbourhood I live in!

The weather is about to change though. In a tribute to the Homeland, things are going to get stormy for the next few days. So don your best sari and flit about between trees as the one you love chases after you. Bring on the bottomless tea and samosas! Rain in the part of the Homeland where I grew up was so rare that my mother had a special menu she would prepare when it did rain. Sadly, 10 years in Britain changes my relationship with rain, but maybe living in Athens will take me back to the good old days when rain was a treat rather than a depressing event.

To refresh anyone who is moving to Athens, you can find a lot of useful info about learning Greek etc. at a previous post of mine: Advice from a Good Samaritan.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Eat sushi, not Men

On Monday it was mine and Sarbel’s birthday so we met up and discussed the finer points of his Eurovision performance on Saturday. Just kidding, though it was both our birthdays on the 14th.

Monday was my first Athens-based birthday ever, and it was great. Mr Zeus showered me with a huge bouquet of flowers and giant chocolate cake and took me downtown for some yummy sushi at Furin Kazan in Syntagma. Good Japanese food at prices that won’t bankrupt you.

I’ve noticed that whenever I go out with Mr Zeus, there are women who blatantly and shamelessly flirt with and make eyes at him. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of light-hearted flirting, we all do it, it makes us smile. But I find it the height of bad manners to act so coquettish and provocative when I am very clearly on a date with the man. They act like I’m not even there and it’s open season on trying to bag a catch.

Mr Zeus was mimicking their flirtatious gestures and tone of voice later on and I asked, “Why do they do that, do they like the challenge or something?”
“They don’t like the challenge. They LOVE the challenge,” he replied.

This has happened plenty of times before, but I guess that it happening on my birthday finally tipped my opinion over from “I don’t care” to “Actually, that’s not very nice”

To the ladies who keep doing that, you may be very pretty and have perfect hair and toenails, but learn some manners and show some respect. The good karma might pay you back one day. (I’m being polite, as you can see, but what I really want to say is; BACK OFF, BITCHES! FIND YOUR OWN!)

Further dampening my summer joy is the news that even though I think I have been making a supreme effort to speak more Greek since I dropped the Hellenic American Union classes, Mr Zeus out of the blue said last night that I’ve stopped trying to speak Greek and that when I do speak my Greek has got worse.

Boohoo! Must try harder.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Summer, sweet summer in Athens

If you live in Athens, look outside the window… wonderful, isn’t it?

The first hint that summer was around the corner came about a month ago when I was standing on the sidewalk waiting to cross the road, looking my usual dressed-in-the-dark self, and within 30 seconds two different men had cat-called me. This, my lovelies, is the phenomenon of the Greek summer.

It makes you half-blind, uninhibited and you do all kinds of things which the rest of the year you would know better than to do. And that’s why we LOVE it!!!

I was downtown this morning stocking up on some hair-removing essentials now that summer is here, braving the terrifying world of the Hondos Centre. I admit I have a childish and irrational anxiety around Greek women. Some of them look at me like I’m a little insect, and being in the heart of their home-turf is truly a test for ones nerves.

But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. If Hercules thought Hydra was a bitch to get rid off, he’s lucky he never met my follicles. 10 years of waxing and they still refuse to give up the ghost. How I laugh when I see that stupid Veet advert on TV in which the girls pretend to wax their smooth as a baby's bottom legs. Should've hired me if you wanted visual impact, Veet.

Now I also have to pay some more attention to my habits if I want to see and be seen with any sense of self-worth. I like to think I’m above it, but I’ve got at least some shred of dignity to question my lifestyle of work-from-home-sitting-infront-of-the-computer-all-day-and-watch-my-thighs-spread.

So I cut out sugar from my diet, except for morning tea with one spoon of pure as a baby’s soul cane sugar from sugarcanes on my uncle’s fields in the Homeland. The rest of the day I supplement my sweet-tooth with apples.
This isn't just a health issue. I'm mostly doing it to try and irradicate a clutch of spots that have taken up residence on my forehead for so long now that they might as well declare themselves an independent state.

It’s one week now and my skin is looking much better but I’m developing an acute hatred of apples. I feel like a drug addict craving a fix. Thank God the laiki this time of year is full of perfectly ripe summer fruit like shiny red cherries and fragrant sweet strawberries.

None of this is of any use or interest to you whatsoever, but the next few weeks will be dedicated to all things Greek summery so you can get clued up. Kalo kalokairi!