in Greece 2015

The catastrophe is nigh, as is the souvlaki

 Various dishes I’ve enjoyed on Crete. IT IS ALL DELICIOUS. YOU MUST EAT. 

σουβλάκι (souv-LAHK-ee) – n.: lit. “little skewer”; meat, usually pork but often chicken or lamb, grilled on a stick and served either in a pita or on a plate with potatoes or other side dishes

CHANIA, July 13 – Both I and my Greek teacher were checking our phones all morning for news from the marathon Sunday meeting that was still going on on Monday. What would it be, Scylla or Charybdis?

The white smoke came up near the end of my lesson, and the papam they had habemused was a giant tidal pool of undertow. A nearly complete victory for Merkel, Germany and the other hardline countries. Tsipras, never having had a mandate to leave the Euro in the first place, had a shitty final hand and did not play it well; the agreement he was all but forced to join makes Greece into a client-state indefinitely. As the details came out and were 50% worse than the deal voted down resoundingly in the δημοψήφισμα, it was just incredible. 

I’ve been insulated from the problems here. I’m definitely in the tourist section of Chania. But I started noticing the stores that didn’t open today, the occasional pointing out to me of a store here or a factory there that closed down a few months ago, the restaurants that only seem to have half the items on their menu available. 

Speaking of which, at least there is still plenty of food available, and as you’d expect, it’s delicious. The best meal I’ve had so far was at Mihali’s house (bottom panel above). You see the bowl on the left? That’s not falafel; that’s bifteki (think “beefsteak”). It is so not like hamburger. Those balls of beef have vegetables in them, and the right spices, and I’ve never tasted a smoother burger. Hell, I haven’t eaten beef more than once a quarter in 30 years, and I almost stole the plate. But everywhere I’ve eaten well. Time to go to a ψαροταβέρνα…

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