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friday, april 20, 2018 3:13 pm zst

Blessed are the Bewildered

hyperlinkopotamus

kritika left a comment at 9:22 am 04/20
Norman left a comment at 8:40 am 04/20
Football is also here
kritika left a comment at 9:21 am 04/19
ylq left a comment at 5:20 am 04/19
kritika is also here

'What do you want, habibti?'

In my Salonica neighbourhood, the green grocer knows what meal each family will cook that day and so does the butcher. The baker knows how many loaves of bread to hold for Mrs Nikolaou and that Fotis, the little boy that lives on the 6th floor of the building above the hairdresser's, will be in every morning before school to get a koulouri, a ring of crispy bread with sesame seeds. The shoe repairman's voice gets hoarse by mid-day from yelling "good morning" to the passerby who yell "kalimera Yanni!" as they hurriedly walk by and the plumber, Nikos, blares rembetika from the radio as he stands at his basement shop door to wish good luck to Mrs Theodora, whose granddaughter is waiting for her university exam results.

The little dog who rushes down the sidewalk and pees in front of the dry cleaner's before rushing back home belongs to the divorcée who lives in the penthouse, in the corner building. If he dares to go past the dry cleaner's, the jeweler, three doors down, will yell out "Jack! Go home!" and the dog runs home but not before he gets petted by several children on their way home from school who yell out "Jack! Here, Jack!"

We know to get the strawberries from Dimitri's shop but to get the tomatoes from Harry because his uncle has a farm in Yannitsa; we don't tell Dimitri of course, and he pretends not to notice as we walk by with some other grocer's tomatoes in a bag.

That's my neighbourhood, these people I've known all my life, and they know me too. They tattled to my mom when they saw me kissing a boy in junior high and when my brother ran in the middle of the main thoroughfare to catch his football. Both of us still remember that one and my mom's slipper on our butts.

I would like my child to grow up in a neighbourhood like that. I would like her to be able to go the ice-cream shop by herself, like I did, and be asked, like I was, "ti theleis, poulaki mou?"

Posted by zorkmidden on Jul 17, 2005 10:00 am

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