Thursday, 11 May 2017

Going Out and Coming In (or maybe the other way around)

Saw this on Facebook last night. Some of you might have already seen it, but perhaps didn't understand the Greek, so I thought I'd shove it on the blog because it's sooo real!

It's a conversation, a brief one, where a young girl, still living at home, is going out. She opens the front door and calls out to her mother, who's not in her line of sight, perhaps in the kitchen or something...

"Mum, I'm off out!"

Here are the likely replies in various countries...

USA - "See you!"
UK - "Bye, then!"
France - "Au revoir!"
Spain - "Adios!"

Greece - "What? Where are you going? Who with? Why? Who's taking you? Who's going to be there? When are you coming home? Every day you go out. This house is a hotel! How much money will you waste this time? Aaach! You never have any time for your poor parents! Only going out matters to you. Aach, when I die - then you'll understand!"

Now, if you don't know much about Greeks then you might think that's an exaggeration, But it doesn't stop even when someone gets married. More often than not the newlyweds live above or below one or other set of parents. I have some close friends who even moved islands so that the young daughter-in-law didn't have to undergo this grilling every time she and her husband got in the car. Her pethera [mother-in-law] would lean out of her kitchen window and say the above virtually word for word, perhaps adding:

"What do want to go there for? You won't like it, you'll spend too much, My son won't thank you for taking him to that place. Not his scene. What are you wearing that for? You'll catch your death! Do you really need all that makeup?"  - and more besides.

Now, the above photo was taken when we were staying in Barry, South Wales, last month. What's it doing here? Well, I was showing the holiday snaps on my iPad to a friend, a Greek girl who's never been to the UK. Never been outside of Greece as it happens. She's not, like, a child or anything, she's almost 30 years old and has a couple of small children.

I wanted her to see where we came from, plus to demonstrate the fact that in the UK we do now and then see some sunshine. I found myself saying...

"We walked across that beach, which you can only do when the tide's out. When it's in that harbour wall to the right is sticking out into the sea and boats can sail in and out."

Her expression was one of puzzlement. She looked at the photo, then at me and without a word told me that she didn't quite 'get' what I was on about. After a few seconds she said:

"What? What is a tide?"

I'm being straight up here, honest. I replied:

"Don't tell me you've never heard of the tide? You know, 'high tide' and 'low tide.' The distance between where the sea is when it's out and where it is when it's in, every twelve hours or so. That tide."

"The sea moves?"

"Of course. All that sand you see there is under water every twelve hours or so, when the tide is in. That photo was taken when it was out, which was why we could walk across the harbour entrance."

I could tell that she was that far away from saying, "You're having a laugh, aren't you. How can the sea move?"

I could tell, because that's what she then proceeded to say. It was then that it struck me. She's only ever seen the Mediterranean, she's never seen the Atlantic or any other ocean. Here in her home country, give or take a couple of feet or so, the sea's always in the same place. All I could do was try and give her an explanation of how the moon affects the sea levels and why it doesn't happen in the Med. Straights of Gibraltar and all that stuff.

I dunno what they learn in Geography, or even physics, in Greek schools. Maybe she just didn't pay attention, too busy thinking up replies to her mother's rants when she went out I suspect. But the old expression that my mum used to say sprang to mind...

"There's nowt sah queer as folk."

My mum wasn't Yorkshire, but her father, my grandfather, was. He was probably 'on Ilkley Moor bar tat' as often as not, thah naws.

Google it.

No comments:

Post a Comment