I feel lucky to be living in Athens (Greece, not Georgia USA) and thought I’d try to explain why I love it so much. To begin with it’s lively and something is always happening, although friends say that if there isn’t I rectify that!
Above is a photograph of one of my favourite fish tavernas in Athens. It’s on a hill above Ilioupolis where I am living at the moment. The fish and seafood are fresh and it’s a very relaxed place to be. The waiter, Soulis, makes the place, but he doesn’t speak English. When we were there recently someone had asked for “red” as in wine, and we had to explain in Greek. Later he came back and asked what the English was for aspro – white.
Although they do serve wine, which is what I usually drink, when I am there I drink ouzo with plenty of ice and not so much water. The wine isn’t of the best quality unfortunately! If you have never tried it, it’s an aniseed-flavoured drink that should be treated with respect. If you have an ouzo hangover and drink water, you will rapidly find yourself in the same state as you were the night before.
The photo on the right was taken at the end of the meal. We never think to take photos of the food we are about to eat – we’re concentrating on eating it! The ouzo looks as though it needed topping up! How remiss of me!
There’s a rather large male tabby cat that hangs out close to the taverna. It lurks behind the bushes at the front of the place and appears, as if by magic when the first dishes of prawns and red mullet (barbounia) arrive. However, last time we were there, it very sensibly appeared when we were almost finished eating. Still, there were plenty of scraps to give it as you can see. It is a useful way of disposing of the heads of the prawns!
I have to say that the picture above is me having had a few ouzos. The flash wasn’t working on the camera, of course, because of the taverna’s lights, which are what I was pointing out when the photo was taken! I drank more than usual that evening for some reason! It helps when I have a stomach problem – that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!
You can sit inside the taverna or out, but I usually sit outside – even in winter! It’s wonderful to be able to do that on a winter’s (not wintery) evening, I think. Imagine sitting outside a restaurant in Britain in the winter!!
Another reason that I like Athens, its climate! It rarely snows, and if it does, it doesn’t stick. It doesn’t rain very much either, although when it does it can be torrential. The roads become rivers because cars are parked over drains, and a lot of these are clogged, so there are localised flash floods.
Clearly autumn is here in Athens, as it rained yesterday evening, which means that it’s much cooler today. I’m currently looking forward to this evening as I’m going to my local taverna where I can sit outside and be protected from the Meltemi wind by plastic sheeting.