Greek honey and South African tea
STOP platzing about the filly and get round to loving the neighbourhood.
That’s the advice from a friend in Grahamstown, South Africa.
Yes, good idea.
You’ve always been able to rely on her for pertinent advice.
She and her partner of many decades, the Pharmacist, are stalwart friends from 19 voetsek.
They always care! For you! Oh, the enduring love!
Then, the Newspaperman writes too, from Johannesburg.
He says the business paper where he works has a rather dishy young intern (dishy in a nerdish kind of way), called Perry.
He overheard him talking on the telephone.
I think it was Greek, he writes. He must be a Pericles. So we have them in Jhb too. (Gorgeous Greeks, that is.)
LoL! The main man of Athenian society (b 495 BC) reincarnated in the newsroom!
It’s good to get responses like this, to your blog.
It reinforces connections with heart and home, for that is what Johannesburg is.
You taste it when you make tea for Madame X, whose twisted herself into a pretzel on a chair in your sitting room.
Buchu and Rooibos, with traditional Greek honey.
Delicious. It is a delightful combination.
She wants you to pay E3 for the free range eggs she’s brought from the old man, Adonis.
But your money is klaar.
There’s no ATM or bank in Eressos.
You call a cab to take you to Skala Eressos, 4km down the road.
Babsi, one of the cab drivers — yes, he’s worked in Africa, in transport, he says — is fishing somewhere.
But he will call another driver, he says.
You like Babsi. He speaks English, and helps you with your painful Greek.
He’s got wild oregano and a type of spinach in a packet on the floor when he drives you from the Kouitou Hotel to your house in Eressos, last week.
He sommer chucks your bicycle in the boot, fills the back seat with all your stuff, and off you go.
Last night, after you’ve collected your cash (it’s painful, this exchange rate), you eat at a beachfront taverna.
You’re looking at the display of fish when a server walks over, and starts talking Greek to you.
Somewhere among the words you hear mama’s, and you sit down in the corner, with a view of the sea and the evening sky.
Oh, these long evenings … twilight is romantic, even on your own.
The Aegean has assumed its summer mood, and gently laps the shore.
After the May full moon, everything changes. It’s The Season, and things are as they must be.
You meet the Norwegians again, this time at Parasol.
The Sappho Spring Festival is under way, and there is a function there.
As far as you know it’s organised by an outfit called Travel Woman (www.travelwomen.nl)
There’s a blonde-haired Dutchwoman singing her heart out, accompanying herself on guitar.
The 82-year-old lesbian from Holland is here again too.
She’s single. She’s been single and 82 for God knows how long!
Aha, there’s the Turkish Delight (looking utterly gorgeous this year — she calls you by name. What, she remembers?).
Then there’s the Editor who published your work in Blikk (thank you, and now you’ve finally met, in person).
The Manager of the Flamingo bar leans forward.
You kiss cheeks. Kiss kiss. Left right. You even brush your lips across some hands that land in yours.
One of the women gasps! Note to self: this can be a game changer, clearly!
The Norwegians want to eat at Vento, again.
The food is good there, says the Kaftan One.
She and Miss Muscles are scoffing a most appetising meal, when a dog saunters over, and puts its head in your lap.
It’s a stray dog, of which there a many in the Eressosses — dogs and cats.
Today alone you’ve seen about six kittens, and that’s just in Eressos Square.
They’re even jumping around on the roof of the taverna where the walruses sit.
Your view of the square is lovely today: you’re at Sam’s Cafe because Alexandra (the Great) is opening about two hours later than usual, according to the woman at the supermarket.
Never mind. Sam serves a great cappuccino. You add your own what is it? Cinnamon?
You sit under the oak trees, among the flowers.
Vento is curled up next to you.
Vento? Yes. You name the stray Vento, after Vicky and Lena’s restaurant.
It means wind, in Greek.
A ginger cat is also making overtures, at your house.
Ginger, you call her, as she twirls around your legs.