Saturday, 14 March 2015

The Greek Husbands Club

Dropped in to see our old friend Gilma yesterday morning. We hadn't seen him in a while. As usual he was pottering about in his rather large parcel of land, this time very near to the house. Also as usual he was alone, his wife and grown-up son (someone big in the mechanic-ing section of the Rhodes Bus company) being, as they always are, up at their house in Kritika. 

During our conversation he let on about how his wife is always nagging him to spend more time up there with her. He replies that she ought to spend more time down here with him. The son's needs win out, of course, which is ever the case in a Greek household when such things reach the "push-come-to-shove" stage. Something he said which we found ourselves agreeing with heartily, though, was the fact that he'd read somewhere recently that many consider that Rhodes has not only the best weather in the Mediteranean, but even in the whole world. Not that we'd be biased about such a thing, of course. but it does have some merit.

I mean, there are those who'll champion the cause of the West Indies. Never gets below 25ºC any time of the year. During certain months, though, you can expect to see your car blown away along with the roof of your house in a hurricane. It would be just my luck to be sitting on the loo at the time... Then there's the fact that you never get those long summer evenings 'cos it always gets dark at around six pm. Uh oh.

Then there's the Far East. Hmm, typhoons and all that ridiculously high humidity spring to mind. I have a friend who lived in Calcutta for many years. He told me they can't use toilet paper, it would simply shred to moist pieces in seconds. Eeeeuuaah. You have to wash your bits after going to the loo and then don't bother with a towel 'cos you'd be instantly soaking wet again as soon as you'd finished with it. 

All the tropical areas would freak me out for another reason too, 'cos the insects are the size of your average London bus aren't they (shivers running along spine as I type)? What about further North - nah, too cold in winter.

See, you get the picture. OK, so Rhodes can be a bit too hot in July and August, but at least you can plan outdoor activities safe in the knowledge that you'll be able to actually do them. Yup, we get rain during the winter, but the winters are short ...and I'm often wearing mine in the garden during January too.

I did mention to Gilma that we do get the occasional earthquake though. Well, let's face it, nowhere's perfect after all.

He did tell us though, that he simply has to spend as much time as possible down here in the far south (he lives a lot further south than we do), because when he's at their house in Kritika his main passtime is watching the traffic go past the window. My wife asked him, "What about going down to the kafeneion, isn't that what Greek men are supposed to do?" To which he replied, "Kafeneion? Where all they do is argue about politics and football and play Backgammon while they wait to die?" Not for him it seems. Waving an arm around him to refer our attention to the beauty around us he went on, "How does a Kafeneion compare to this, eh?" He was planting new rose bushes at the time.

He does have a point. So, he is a fully paid-up member of the Greek Husbands Club, which doesn't actually exist, but ought to. 

What does really exist however, is The Greek Wives Club and it's run by the very witty [not to mention easy on the eye - she'd kill me for saying that. Mind you, doesn't matter, 'cos when you're old enough to be someone's father you can get away with that kind of stuff more easily] and erudite Ekaterina Botziou, a Greek girl living in the London area (UK) with her Greek Cypriot hubby and almost-born (only days to go apparently) first child. This girl is sickeningly talented. She writes books, acts, keeps this very entertaining website, a Facebook page for same and a bunch of other stuff, like being a capable Greek wife for starters. Check out her profile shot on the "About" page and you get an idea as to what kind of spirit the girl has. 

The website is a great place to mooch around in if you love all things Greek. As you'll probably know, I recently started a Facebook Group myself, an action borne of my own desire to have a single easy source of Greek-themed reading material. It's called "A Good Greek Read" and that's how I first got wind of Ekaterina. She's a member, I'm quite proud to say, as are a number of other successul authors of Greek fiction and factual books. If you'd like a handy reference point for authors of Greek-themed books, on the "A Good Greek Read" FB page there is a downloadable list, along with easy links to each author's work. You have to join to access it, of course, but I'm the one who has to approve your application, so it's not likely you'll be refused entry, now is it?

Returning to Ekaterina and The Greek Wives Club. if you want to know a bit more about Ekaterina herself, this link will help no end. The girl's got talent, she'd even a Law Graduate. Told you, she makes me sick! I really can't recommend her writing enough, and indeed her website, for absolutely anyone who's a serious Grecophile. She stresses that you don't have to actually be a Greek wife to join the Facebook page, so I scraped in by being a Greek husband. 

Our old friend Gilma wouldn't know one end of a computer from the other, which is quite sad really, because he'd definitely qualify, with senior citizen's discount too!

1 comment:

  1. Incidentally, Ekaterina contacted me privately to admit that she's only half-Greek. What's the problem? My wife is also half-Greek, but every Greek knows that this would be the better of the two halves, hence the predominant bit, right? Her dad was always playing Greek music at earsplitting level at home, which was the case with my late mother-in-law too as it happens, so the girl's brain (as is my wife's) is firmly wired in à la Grèce mode.