Market day on Minoos

My daily FIX..... is this the world's BEST beer?
Woken up this morning, after the first night at our Xania house, by the church bells ringing….. What the….! it’s only 7am and as dark as the inside of a black cow in our bedroom. I then realise that YM had closed all the shutters on the windows and doors the night before, and so get up and throw them open to check on the weather. Wow, almost blinded by the sunlight streaming into the room…… It looks like it’s gonna be a fantastic day.
The view from the bedroom.....
We spend the morning shopping for all our fresh food needs, at the ‘Laiki Agora’, a street market which on Saturday’s takes place in Minoos Street alongside the historic Venetian Eastern Wall. It’s a Farmers Market, but also with a section in the carpark selling clothes and kitchen ware etc. It is quite crowded, the sun is out and it is a comparatively warm morning. The atmosphere though is great…. stallholders shouting out and spruiking their wares….. people jostling, talking and stopping to chat with each other, this is the way that shopping should be like…..a million miles away from Coles and Woolies! All the produce sold from the stalls is freshly picked, dug-up, caught or made….. fruit, vegetables, eggs, chooks (dead or alive) goats and rabbits (dead or alive also), cheeses, honey, stalls cooking souvlaki on charcoal grills….. and all at incredibly low prices in comparison to those in Australia.
YM tucks-in to breakfast...
Our first stop, even though we’ve not long had breakfast, is at one of the small ‘Souvla’ grills, to purchase some Chicken Souvlaki sticks, with a bit of toasted bread on the side….. it’s the aroma of them that gets your taste buds working overtime, they are both irresistable as well as delicious….. and just 1 Euro each….and to wash them down you can also by beer or wine from the guy, but it’s a bit early even for us! Can you imagine the furor if a street stallholder in Perth started selling beer from his stand…..the authorities would send in the Swat Squad to deal with him ! ( are there even any street stalls in Perth? I dont think so.)
Tasty Souvlakia

Good job we came prepared with the two bags we’d been given in Athens by out Taxi driver, as well as the Samsonite pull-along. I think we may have got a bit carried away with all the delicious fruit and veg on display……. We loaded up with our purchases of Cauliflower, Cabbage, Lettuce, Mushrooms,Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Leeks, Onions,Potatoes, Garlic, Aklidia ( small pears) Apples, Strawberries, Bananas, Aktividio (kiwifruit), Eggs, ….

some of our oranges...at just 25cents a kilo

The eggs are supposedly fresh and free range, why they even have chickenshit smeared on them! I wonder how ‘authentic’ this is, as we have been warned that some stallholders have resorted to buying old eggs from the supermarket and then rub them in the poo to fool people….. probably dumb Xenos, foreigners, like us. Our final purchase is a huge bag of oranges,10 kilos for just 2.50 euros! who can resist? Luckily we have a electric juicer back at the house, so it’ll be freshly squeezed orange juice each morning.

Conversing with a Gypsy girl.

Ι’ve had enough of shopping and all that dragging and pulling our shopping along ….. Not only that, we seem to have bought enough food to feed a family of vegans for a month. My suggestion, warmly received, is to take a break for a much needed pick-me-up…. or a pick-us-up…., stop for a drink or two at the Minoos Taverna, conveniently situated in the middle of the market.

shopping Xania style.... with a 'pull-a-long'

To say it has an ‘eclectic’ clientle would be somewhat of an understatement …… We find a table in the sun, and sit down…… The proprietor, Yiorgo, introduces himself to us, as does Georgia, the ‘attractive’ young waitress, and I order a megalo… large….glass of draught FIX and half a kilo of ‘Levko Krassi’… white wine. I still love that in the tavernas here you buy the house wine by a ‘tetarto’, a ‘miso’ or a ‘kilo’…. which comes in a 250 ml, 500ml or a litre ( Kilo) carafe/jug…. how civilised. Mostly ( mostly?) it is quite drinkable, but occasionally….. well let’s be polite and say it needs more time…. ( a lot more time probably! )

at Minoos taverna

Loud Greek syrtaki music spills out of the taverna into the street, and Yianni’s brother and his very (very) young niece Elleni are busy with cooking pork souvlakia on a portable bbq outside…. again just 1 euro with slice of toasted bread, and again the smell is all the avertising needed to hook you into buying one or two….. which we do

The lovely Giorgia...

 

By the way, I’d just read on the net, that the authorities in Perth have prosecuted a young girl’s Mum for allowing her 12 year-old daughter to help out in her shop….child labour laws were broken apparently. Well they would have an apoplectic fit here, those enforcement-nazis, because Ellini is only about 9 years old…. and already learning stuff that can’t be taught in school…. ( unless it’s the Schoool of Hard Knocks) like how to make a living by being useful!

Elleni the young waitress.... Her tee-shirt reads don't grow old, it's a trick ....

YM is fascinated by the cast of characters that make up the customers of Minoos Taverna, mainly working class men….. Farmer, stallholders, fisherman, scruffy bogans and the occasional smartly dressed matron…and I can’t help but notice that some of the ‘Ladies’ who are sitting nearby look a bit like, well ok, remind me of ageing, and aged……drag queens. One of the ‘ladies’, heavily made up and quite tall, seems to know everyone who passes by, and is very sociable….she strikes up a conversation with us….. where are we from, how long are we here etc, where is she from, does she live near here….and I say to her that everyone seems to know her. On overhearing this, Yianni the bar owner bursts out laughing and tells me that yes, everyone certainly does know her, not only in Chania but in Piraeus too! When she and her friend get up to leave, she presents YM with a couple of Avocados she had bought in the market…. “for you” she said….. how sweet of her….. and so we reciprocated the gesture with a couple of our oranges…….When I related this story to my friend Dimitri a few days later, he told me that Minoos street was notorious a few years ago as the red light district, with, or so he said, hundreds of brothels. Today though, again quoting Dimitri, only a few remain, and they are mainly ‘staffed’ by Transvestites. “And their customers?” I ask. “Ella re” says Dimitri…. “there are 5000 US serviceman stationed nearby in Souda Bay….. when they come to town, they get drunk and wouldn’t know the difference!!!!”

Walking home with some of the oranges

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Market day on Minoos

  1. Hi Tom,

    I’m loving your blogs, thanks for sharing your travels.

    And it’s good to know that you choose a place that in the 60s and 70s was full of brothels, you need to use Tripadvisor and you will be more up to date, you can’t rely on those old diaries from your ship days ; )

    Cheers Pete

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    1. Thanks for the advice Pete, but I’m not relying on my diaries, but rather Captain Vassili’s personal recomendations. Pleased to hear you enjoy the read, ’tis overdue for another trip together.
      TT

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  2. Oooh – love your blog! Just a bit jelly of the beautiful produce you and PB are buying and eating!!!! – enough to feed a family of vegans for a month! love it. Is the seafood abundant and delicious as well – can just imagine some squid – grilled, filled, fried – my fave! All is well here – have just returned from Rottnest – freshly caught and cooked crayfish with Rottnest bread, lemon juice, salt and pepper was on the menu each day! Stayed in Marjorie Bay – could have been in the Greek Isles but sadly wasn’t otherwise we would have paid you a visit! Stay well and safe…………love RB and Twirl xxxxxx

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  3. You two are hilarious. Thank you for the updates – keep them coming and hope to see you sooon!!! Safe travels. Gweneth B

    Take Care n B Happy

    >

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