One thing that any visitor to Crete will notice is the sheer friendliness of it's people. Admittedly some of the waiters tourists will encounter in the area of Chania harbour can be a bit over-zealous, you might say even a bit intimidating sometimes in their attempts to get you to eat in their taverna and not a competitors. But the normal, healthy average everyday Cretan out and about will almost always respond helpfully and more often than not with a smile if you approach them about almost anything. But please, don't be an old - English Colonel Blimp!! I once heard a fully adult male tourist (obviously desperate) ask a young female shop assistant in the most emphasized desperately slow English I have ever heard if she could tell him "WHERE - IS -THE - NE-AR-EST - TOI-L-ET?" She replied in fluent English that it was directly opposite, had a figure of a man on it and was labeled "Toilet" in English!! He said, dashing off "THANK - YOU".
Speak slowly and loudly - archaic advice to Brits abroad. Can you imagine a Greek asking the same question in the UK, speaking Greek slowly and loudly?!! Here, even where there is a language problem someone will invariably help and showing a little interest in others can take you a long way on Crete.
Getting out and about here we meet many people, not always Cretan, not always even Greek, but many who help make this part of the island what it is, an outstandingly enjoyable experience. On this page I am hoping that you will find some of the people we meet as interesting and enjoyable as we do.
|An OCTOBER 2001 Invitation to meet....
Standing with your back to the front entrance to Chania Central Market, across the road on the corner of Hatzimihli-Gianari and Apokronou stands the Marks clothing store. Its polished plate glass display window full of headless female mannequins modeling female clothing. In the summer tourist season - outside the store, you will invariably find the superbly outgoing personality of Vasilis Kazanidakis.
With his trays of circular bread rings - 'Kośloura' - balanced on empty wooden boxes, his impossible to miss sales cries tempting passers-by to purchase his wares. In the case of visitors he probably draws more attention, clad in Bretton style shirt and blue jeans, to the Marks store than their own display window. Kośloura are however popular with the local people. Vasilis certainly doesn't seem to lack trade.
Just how long street-traders like Vasilis have plied their wares I have yet to discover. He is by no means unique - another Koślouria seller often sits on the traffic island opposite the National Bank only a few hundred yards away, and yet another outside the general post office only a few hundred yards further up Odos Tzanakaki. Dodging the pedestrians arriving and departing the nearby crossing has to rank as an occupational hazard.... The cigarette I think Vasilis saw as a prop for the pictures - he certainly didn't light it!!
|Previous Invitations and coming next.....