The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #114281 Message #2437194
Posted By: Roger the Skiffler
11-Sep-08 - 07:37 AM
Thread Name: BS: Postcard from Dendros* 2008
Subject: BS: Postcard from Dendros* 2008
A correspondent writes:
Greek phrase books never have what you need. A few years ago a friend found herself at the reception desk of an Athens hotel needing to say: "my husband with all our luggage is stuck in your revolving door".
I was reminded of this by a recent incident.
A group of English visitors are returning to their village in a hire car when they espy the travelling vegetable van near an isolated house. Needing fresh fruit and thinking that by the time he got to their village the best would have gone, they stopped and two made their purchases. At one stage, neither wanting a large bunch of bananas they played "wishbones" with the bunch to divide it between them. The van moved away while the party admired the view. As the van disappeared round the next bend, the car driver realised he did not have the car key. The car, bags and purchases were searched. No key. During the horseplay (monkey play?) with the bananas the key must have dropped among the fruit. Knowing the van would stop in the village they were heading for, it was decided to phone the taverna, less embarrassing than phoning Hervis.** No signal. "Gentle stroll" to a higher point on the winding road, scanning the ground in case the key had dropped. Got a signal. Bad news- stored phone number: "number not recognised". Good news- another member of the party had a business card from said taverna with different number. Phone answered by English speaker. Problem explained. "Has veggie man arrived?" "Yes just heard his horn." Key retrieved, youth dispatched on motor bike, could hardly ride for laughing! Reputation of said group of tourists as crazy established once and for all. Just about to drive off (motor cyclist has now gone), when old lady carrying shopping seen in rear view mirror, surely this is granny of same youth. Car is full but should they offer a lift? Second look. Surely she wouldn't be on foot this far from village, and doesn't she wear black, not grey? Must be another granny from another, nearer village. What is the penalty for kidnapping grannies and depositing them in the wrong village? Better not risk it.
Checked phrase book in case similar episodes recur. Sadly, nowhere does it say:
"Can you ask the travelling veggie-man to check his bananas for the key to a Hervis hire car." Nor "I am sorry, Officer, we have forced the wrong granny into our car and driven her to the wrong village, taking her attempts to refuse for natural diffidence."
Recent improvements include a new road that no-one seems to use yet so ideal respite from those local drivers. New Greek road traffic regulations make it mandatory for all drivers to be on a hand-held mobile phone at all times, even though this only leaves one hand free for gesturing out of the window. If you are hit by a vehicle coming the wrong way down a one way street, it is the tourist who is in the wrong. Mains water is being laid to remote villages, the roadside trees, so lovingly planted a couple of years ago and nurtured since, have in some places been covered in cement from the recent excavations. A hand-written Greek notice on one tree deplores the vandalism. I couldn't translate it all but local sources tell me it said that the people who buried the tree must have been malakas since the cradle and the event would be taken up on television (must have been a slow news week). Other improvements include a doubling of the bus service from twice a day to four times. The fact that a certain regular lady tourist gave the Mayor an ear-bashing on the subject a couple of years ago may be coincidence. The forthcoming election may be nearer the point.
The many and various uses of Duct tape have been recorded on this website. I noticed in the modern and sumptuous Monastery Church of Agias Savvas (no relation) the icon cabinet near the entrance wher devotees light their candles, richly carved, painted and adorned with gold leaf, has its base, curling up in the heat, held down with untidily torn uneven strips of silver duct tape.
[*According to a book by Yiannis Desyporis there are 777 Wonderful Greek Islands, none of them called Dendros. If there is one called Dendros then I apologise to the mayor, Nomarch, car hire companies, travelling veggie men, grannies, taverna owners and all of a sensitive disposition]
**(no such car hire company).