Monday, 8 August 2005

New supply for the 'How to say it in Greek'

Although the temperatures last week were sometimes a little too high, we have nothing to complain about this summer. Ine zesto (it is hot), we say in Greece when it is hot, as in the past few weeks. Poli vrochi (a lot of rain), we say when it is raining cats and dogs like last Saturday when heavy rain finally put an end to the 3 weeks of heat wave. When you were frightened to death by a big thunderclap that made you sit right up in your bed like people in Molyvos did on Sunday morning at 6 o'clock local time you say: poli boom boom (a lot of boom boom), which is not entirely Greek because the Greek verb for thundering is boomboonizo, but that is a little similar to boom boom, so all the Greeks will understand you.

When your name is Ella you are not supposed to look around when a Greek is calling ella. That word means 'come here' or 'listen' and it is one of the words most used in the Greek language.

On ti kanis (how are you) you should answer kala e si (good, and how are you?), even if your room is not cleaned, your hotel overbooked so that you are banished to the other end of the island, even if you by accident have a room next to the local disco or even when your bathroom runs full of water every time you flush your toilet.

Asto diablo (go to the devil) you shout when Greeks from the big city in a full restaurant are loudly making problems in order to have the exclusive attention of the waitress. They make her run ten times for new water, they send a tomato back because it is wrongly cut, they will not accept the aubergine when there is cheese on top, they do not want a Greek salad with onions in it or they demand the bread poli grigora (very fast) because they think they are the only ones who are hungry.

Etsi ine y zoï (that's life) you say when you want to take the ferry from Athens to Lesvos, but the boat is having problems and does not sail so that you have to wait 24 hours on the quays of Pireaus for a ticket for another overbooked boat and you are getting sunstroke.

Ti na kanoume (what can we do) is your complaint when it is that busy that in the whole of Molyvos all cars and motorcycles are rented out so that there is nothing for it but to spend your holiday at the pool of your hotel or in danger of being roasted daring to take a walk to the village.

Yalia mou ine sti thalassa (my glasses are in the sea) you say when you forgot all about the fast ferry Kenderis that races past the island on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons and which causes a small tsunami half an hour later that makes many towels, mobiles or sunglasses disappear into the sea. Make sure you do pronounce this correctly because when you say "Yaya mou ine sti thalassa" the coastguard will rush out to look for your grandmother who vanished into the waves.

Katze is said when the Greeks want you to sit down. Many times this means an invitation for a drink or something to eat. "Katze" says a bus driver who only speaks Greek to a tourist rep on his bus full of tourists who does not understand any Greek. She keeps on walking through the bus without knowing that the driver prefers driving when everybody is seated. "Katze!" says the driver again when it happens that the rep thinks she understood a word of German and starts looking for a cat in the bus causing more walking. "Ella, Katze!!" the driver will then shout and the rep will take the intercom in order to ask all passengers for help to look for the cat in the bus. Which makes it even busier in the aisles. They will never find 'Der Katze' but for sure katze is the first Greek word this rep ever learned.

Yamas (cheers) you say when you finally reach your balcony to drink an ouzo, after you have managed to make your complaints to an overcooked rep and after you finally explained to your car renter that you just had to avoid a cat when you bumped into a wall with his car. Yaamaas you say when you drink your second glass of ouzo to celebrate that you discovered your wallet on the pedestal cupboard, after you had been looking the whole night for the police station because you thought you lost your wallet in the tsunami wave. Yaamaar you say at your third glass of ouzo because you had to walk all the way back to your hotel after waiting for an hour at the cab-stand without seeing one taxi appearing. Yammie you say drinking your fourth glass of ouzo because you feel so well sitting on your balcony deep in the night in the cool breeze. Yaya you say over your fifth glass of ouzo because you think you saw a falling star. You whisper ya at your sixth glass because there is nothing else to say. You should say Kali nichta (good night) pouring out your seventh glass but then I think you already nearly fell off your balcony.

Copyright © Smitaki 2005

No comments:

Post a Comment