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, ….
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.
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.
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! )
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
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!
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!!!!”