Tuesday, July 27, 2010
ONE THING I CAN'T RESIST
In the late sfternoon, after several hours spent writing, or just relaxing out of the sun I like to walk into town for my evening meal. There are dozens of cafes serving genuine Cretan cuisine but I like to walk down to Petrak's where the teenage waiter lets me practice my Greek and he practices his English. I sit outside at a table on the sidewalk, there are a few in the actual roadway but the tour buses are still setting arrivals down and picking departures up. From my table I look across the courtyard of the old Venetian headquarters, now a really interesting museum , and I can see the magnificent sweep of Kissamos Bay.
Many of the little shops are still open. The lady at the breadshop on the corner is about the size of my nine year old grand daughter,brown and stooped, but her eyes are still bright, and when I call in to buy bread we manage to converse really well, she in Greek, me in English. As I usually call at the end of the day she will often drop an extra loaf into my bag, and as I have yet to spend more than two euros in the shop I suspect she drops her prices too. Yesterday when I picked out a soft white load covered in sesame seeds she added a small braided loaf which smelt of cinnamon even when I was eating my dinner at Petrakis. For eleven euros I was served an enormous greek salad with feta cheese, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber all soused in herbal olive oil. Plus a huge portion of roasted chicken, with chips, and a glass of cold white wine. I sit there for an hour enjoying the off shore breeze and the little vignettes of local life, like the taxi driver who stopped his car and shouted at a pretty woman walking past with her small daughter, She shouted something back and continued across the square threading a path between cars and mopends.
About half an hour later they returned, the taxi driver walked over and picked up the little girl and the three of them sat down at one of the tables near me, shouting at each other in Greek the whole time.
I walked up the hill, past the Agorra supermarket, past the ruins of the Roman Baths, held my breath as I passed the refuse skips, past the abandonned farm house that will one day be a museum and into my cottage. I had eaten a huge dinner in town, but the smell of that little braided loaf was just too tempting, I broke a piece off. It was sweet and fruity and spicy, a bit like New World's hot cross buns but better. I should not be eating sugary things, but- - -
I ate the last of it for breakfast this morning.