Vasillis and our Greek Life.
The Story So Far.
I met Vasillis the usual way, he was running a bar. Many nights we
would talk through the night and slowly we realised that our friendship
was becoming something other than just holiday friends.
Just over a week later, cheap fares and accomodation we were back.
The people we had seen before were so pleased to see us. Even the
ones we had never talked to. The gardener Spiros summed it up. He
said "People say they come back but not like you". Strangely enough in
September 2003 we met his granddaughter at Panorama. A lovely girl.
I said to Vasillis once that all the Greek people we had met were so nice.
He said no they were not, they were no different to English people. He was
right of course. I have to learn 'The Greek Way' I was told. I understand now.
I still do not understand much of the Greek language but I have learned to
wave my arms around a lot and mumble rude Greek words loudly.
Seems to work. Please don't use the 'M' word, it's not very nice.
Vasillis seems to understand people very well. He said to me years ago
that his philosophy was this :-
Tourists save up all year to spend one or two weeks here and enjoy their
holiday. It is a lot of money and they have worked many hours to get it. We
must do the best we can to make it something special. Then they will come
back next year. Sounds fair enough to me, and yes - they do come back.
I hope he won't mind if I say he seems very, very English at times.
Vasillis was brought up by his grandparents. They are wonderful. I speak
very little Greek and they speak very little English. Grandma has learned
to say 'hello'. Grandad just crushes me to death. I have never known a
man so fit for his age. Everywhere we go Grandad is there. One day we
stopped the scooter to say hello. He took a apricot from his pocket and
broke it in half for my wife and I ( he had just been digging up potatoes ).
That's The Greek Way. One of the best parts of it. Not all are.
Each year we have been there Vasillis has tried to find a Greek dish I will not
eat. I have eaten lambs noolies, goats noolies, sparrows, and 4 lambs brains
complete with the rest of the heads, everything. Bit different to the brains on
toast my mother cooked. If he eats it I will eat it. Mind you chewing the meat
off a jawbone complete with teeth does make one think of becoming a
vegetarian. Actually I managed to miss the eyes but don't tell him -
Vasillis would not eat black pudding. What a wimp. What's wrong with a nice
slice or two of fried blood and offal. Strange people the Greeks.
Vasillis is no longer a barman but has gone back to his old trade -
Many of the places you see around Sidari, Melitsa and Peroulades are his
handiwork. He is still known as Vasillis the cement mixer although he sold
it years ago. Large lorries of the stuff now. He also has a
rather unique method of parking.
Now we stay at his home with Agneta his wife and their children Maria
and Zoe. It's nice to be around youngsters again.
I have written this web site and others soley as a way of saying thank you.
Unfortunately the Greeks have a way of getting their own back. Like putting
on half a stone every time we go there.
The latest news is that Vasillis is now President of Peroulades. When we
first went to Corfu his politcal party was 'in'. A few years later it was 'out'.
There was certainly a difference. I believe they had an 'expences problem'.
Now where have I heard that before. Needless to say they lost the election
and the good side is in once again.