Monday, 17 June 2013

From Chilli Peppers to Chiding Presenters

People can surprise you. just when you think you may have them Sussed.

Zois sits across the table from me and sucks at his shiny, brushed aluminium (or is it steel?) electronic cigarette. We're sitting companionably together in his taverna on Halki harbour front, putting the world to rights. His T shirt reads "RED HOT CHILLI PEPPERS" in large letters.

I ask if he actually likes the band, to which he replies that "of course" he does indeed. I ask whether he went to Athens to see them live and he replies, rather as expected, "How could I Gianni? I have a taverna to run". His answer also explains why he, as a fan of rock music, hasn't even been to the annual Rhodes Rock extravaganza, taking place in Lindos this very weekend. Seven days a week he's tied to his work during the tourist season.

I find myself fascinated by his electronic cigarette, and thus ask him how it works. He really does want to stop smoking, but is finding it very hard. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that almost everyone around him smokes incessantly, and thus will not give him any encouragement. After he's taken it apart and shown me its workings, then made my eyes water by telling me the price of the thing, I ask him if he's ever seen the new generation Doctor Who. Why do I ask him this apparently strange question, given the circumstances under which we are conducting this conversation? It's because that electronic ciggy so very much reminds me of the Doctor's 'sonic screwdriver'. You know, it's that thing he whips out every time you know he's facing certain death. It'll burn its way through a steel door, open any number of diverse kinds of lock and stun an enemy at ten paces. Probably makes tea with two sugars too.

Zois tells me that he has no knowledge of Doctor Who and thus fails to see my fascination with this gadget, which he occasionally slips between his lips in order to take a puff, emitting a small cloud of vapour. This turns the conversation to what kinds of TV shows he does like to watch. I mention "Downton Abbey", which has been such a huge success in the UK and has also been running (subtitled) on National TV here in Greece quite recently. My wife and I have been gorging ourselves on a succession of its DVDs of late. Had to find out what all the fuss was about.

"Nah, don't really watch that kind of stuff," he responds, "I like those CSI shows, you know, where they solve a grisly crime every week."

I tell him I'm surprised, but I don't know why I should be. What else does he like? He gets very enthusiastic and says, "I like the two women. What are they called now?" Since there's rather a large number of potential TV programmes that may just fit this bill, I ask him to explain a little more. Worried that he may be referring to something a little shady, maybe even questionable, I nevertheless press for a more extensive description of the programme he's referring to.

"You know, they really tell the person off. I can't believe the kinds of homes they go into. Sometime you can't see the kitchen for all the rubbish. Sometimes there is even excrement under all the piles of paper on the carpet in the living room. How can people live like this, Gianni?"

I think I've caught his drift. "Aah, You mean 'How Clean is Your House?' with the formidable Kim and Aggie?" His face immediately registers the fact that I've hit the nail on the head. He responds enthusiastically, 

"Yes that's it, Kyria Kim and Kyria Aggie. I love that show!" In Greece it's called "Αστραφτερά Σπίτια", literally "Sparkling Houses", so the title is obviously referring to how the homes which are featured look after the "Kim and Aggie" treatment. We continue conversing and find ourselves agreeing that we'd both be quite intimidated were we to feel the whip edge of Kim's tongue. Though she usually scolds her victims with a degree of empathy and concern. Or does she?

How about that though? There I am, sitting in a taverna on the harbour front at Halki, and a Greek man turns out to be addicted to a UK TV show about two women cleaning up filthy peoples' homes. I don't know if the show's still airing in the UK, but here it still runs on a channel called Skai. There I was musing over the fact that Zois had an electronic cigarette that reminds me of Doctor Who's "sonic screwdriver", after we'd first discussed the merits of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and I end up discovering that a middle aged Greek bloke loves Kim and Aggie. You learn something new every day.

Wonder if Kim and Aggie would have a use for the mysterious time lord's sonic screwdriver? Might speed things up a bit.

Left: a bloke who rambles on a lot about Rhodes. Right: a Greek who's addicted to two TV cleaning women and hasn't a clue what a sonic screwdriver is. Background: Halki harbour and beach.


  1. Ah yes the people who love music but do not have the time to go an see a band! We were discussing the price of tickets to see bands and my boss mentioned that she paid the grand total of 40p back in 1972 to see David Bowie at the city hall, newcastle upon tyne. Crikey it is a bit different nowadays is it not??!
    I hope that you enjoyed Rhodes Rock.
    Love from
    Annette ps I would love a Sonic Screwdriver

    1. Alas Annette, the good Doctor's not letting on where he got his. Probably not eBay though, eh?

  2. Bring back David Tennant as the Doctor!!