I am spending my final weekend in Crete with my mom and her sisters. I brought my mom for the holidays and have used Athens as my base and have made periodic trips down to the island for the holidays and to spend time with my mom. I spent most of my childhood summers here growing up and have some special memories.
I spent time talking with my aunts, uncles and mom– really a priceless excercise and one I will cherish for a long time. With iPhone in hand, I was also able to record stories from yesteryear which are still fresh in their minds.
My mom’s sisters each have their own character and charm… Voula was always the stern one who disciplined us; Maria was the unmarried one who was always one of the gang and loved to chat and Katina, who moved to Australia was the young at heart one who loved dancing and celebrating.
Maria remains the most “Cretan” of my aunts, with her somewhat heavy dialect and “ch” instead of “k” and so on. She is also the funniest and most persistent of the sisters… These conversations really happened, all in a single weekend.
Typical conversation #1 with my aunt
Aunt: you hungry?
Me: Nope. I’m full.
Aunt: Great. How many do you want?
Me: How many what?
Me: None. I said I’m full and can’t eat anymore.
Aunt: Ok, here’s 6 then.
Typical conversation #2 with my aunt… As I lay down for my mesimeri nap…
Me: Thea, I’m laying down for a nap.
Aunt: get a blanket, it’s cold.
Me: I’m not cold, it’s 65 degrees out.
Aunt: but it’s winter.
Me: but I’m not cold
Aunt: (covering me with a blanket) but it’s winter. And I’m turning on the air-heater.
Me: but I’m not cold.
Aunt: don’t let the heater run for a long time because it burns a lot of electricity.
Typical conversation #3 with my aunt
Aunt: put some more vinegar on your salad
Me: I don’t like vinegar
Aunt: Put cheese on your yiouvetsi
Me: I don’t like cheese on meat
Aunt: The food needs salt. Here, put some on it.
Me: I don’t like salt on my food. It’s not good for you.
Aunt: You don’t know how to eat.