Saturday, 3 March 2018

End of the month

Around the end of every month I go down into the town to pay all our bills and do a big grocery shop to stock up the pantry.  On most of these little outings I will end up at T Cafe for coffee and maybe later a glass of wine.  This is the cafe opposite the little water taxis, the cafe with the multi-coloured chairs which feature in my waterfront photographs.  

This 26th of February was a beautiful day and the bank was not full.  That doesn't often happen at this time of the month.  On pension pay day there is usually a queue of 20 elderly islanders waiting for the bank to open.  No pushing or shoving.  There are emergency doors into the bank and the pensioners can only go through two by two.  Inside there is a machine which pops out a piece of paper with a number.   Waiting patiently is not a greek trait but on a small island like this there is sure to be a cluster of friends and relatives to pass the time with.  I play a crossword on my tablet and listen to the conversation of others (eavesdrop, see below).  Amazing what can be learnt in half an hour.  Much handier than a local newspaper

The daily 3 island cruise boat had already docked when I emerged.  The streets were full of winter tourists from China, America and Russia and the shops open and ready for business

One day, 3 islands, a thousand memories.  The boat leaves Piraeus (Athens harbour city) early in the morning and has short visits on the Saronic Gulf islands of Aegina, Poros and Hydra.  They only spend about an hour on Poros.  Time enough for some shopping and window gazing in our limited number of  businesses.
 An ice-cream from the shop with the big ice-cream sign and the ice-cream-man who comes out on the pavement wringing his hands in glee and telling them what wonderful ices he will give them, what a variety of colours, sweetness, what happiness he will sell them in a cone.  The icecream is just your normal run-of -the-mill chemically flavoured milk-infused cold stuff. 

Most wander along the waterfront taking photos of the picturesque houses and the belltower above.

The tourist kiosk that never was.  This little kiosk beside the taxi stand was supposed to provide newly arrived visitors with information on the island, where to stay, what to see and how to get to the beaches.  It did operate for a while I seem to remember, with a human inside to answer questions.  Now it is a refuge for taxi drivers on cold and wet days.

The usual line of taxi boats waiting their turn to take you across to the small farm village of Galatas for one euro

Our 'neighbours' at the cafe.  Two of the men are playing tavli (backgammon) and three others are there watching, advising, judging the moves, whistling at a throw of double sixes and gossiping.  It whiles away an hour or two

A greek coffee with an inch of muddy grounds at the bottom of the cup.   The pattern the grounds leave can be 'read' though the cup should be twirled around and turned upside down first.  It looks as though  everything is going  up in smoke.  On the left is a winged warrior coming to the rescue, SuperFly, or an invasion of bothering bugs

It was just coffee this month.  Coffee and gossip, most of it learned by eavesdropping on the table next to us, a daily company of three who seem to know everyone and every goings-on on the island

I had to look up the word 'eavesdropping' to make sure I had got it right.  What do eaves and dropping have in common.  I was bewildered for a second, thinking it must be 'ear-dropping'.  Old age!

Eavesdropping - secretly listening to the conversation of others without their consent.  Commonly believed to be unethical

Eaves drop - the water dripping from the eaves of the house
Eavesdropper - someone standing under the eaves (from which the water drops)  listening to the conversation of those within

Thank you Wikipedia


  1. I'm still reeling from the shock of that coffee cup, my brain immediately flashed a message that it was something entirely different.
    Eavesdropping is fun, though it does have its dangers. I heard 'on the grapevine' that my younger son and his wife (MingMing) had been seen in a supermarket buying a trolley-full of frozen pizzas, much to the disapproval of the story teller. I happen to know they bought one, as a treat!

    1. How often that happens! Stretching the truth I mean. You cannot rely on gossip. Some people seem to get pleasure by going to extremes.
      You intrigue me by the shock of the coffee cup. I do not believe in the readings but my daughter does them and her imagination, or whatever, is often correct. I will ask her what she sees!

  2. The secret life of the islanders that the tourists will never know about them:)

    1. You're exactly right Yael. They THINK they know but really they know nothing

    2. Was that a famous Greek philosophers statement!. All i know is that i know nothing.

    3. Socrates. He spent his life asking, searching and learnng

  3. I think Greeks are like talians, who are always keen to give direction to tourists, so probably that's why the information kiosk is quite unnecessary there.
    Ice cream, whether artiginally made, natural or chemical flavour, always tastes good when one is on holiday.
    I find men gossip more than woman, especially pensioners; they have more time on their hands :)
    Greetings Maria x

    1. This video cream is terrible, really does taste artificial. Two other shops have their own recipes. So much better.
      Men do gossip more than women, especially down in the cafes. They have something to say about everyone who passes

    2. Video cream....ICE-CREAM!!!

  4. A dirty bog but I phased out before the end. So I don't know why it is there.

  5. Is that your coffee cup. I see a long road. A journey perhaps.
    Maybe your coming back down under to visit
    One day. Three islands. Nope. Not nearly enough time to take it all in. Like you. I love to sit and people watch and yes listen to all that is said.

    1. It's Ks cup. I rarely drink Greek coffee. If he's going downunder he will not be going alone lol!