Wednesday, 1 October 2014

A Greek Island Conversation

The following conversation was in Greek of course, but I give it here in English translation. I don’t think I’ll be offending my interlocutor; she’s unlikely to see this blog and besides I don’t think she knows more than a few words of English.

Needing some firewood for the winter, I went down to the builder’s yard where a chap called Nikos works; one of his specialities is bringing good quality firewood, ready cut for the stove, from the mainland. There was no-one about in the yard except the lady who sits behind the computer and cash register in the little office at the entrance, so I spoke to her:

Good morning. Is Nikos about?

Who’s Nikos?

You know: works here.

No, don’t know any Nikos.

Yes, yes; drives the fork-lift truck.

Er… No, don’t know him. D’you mean Panayiotis?

No, I know Panayiotis; it’s Nikos I’m looking for.

No, don’t know him.

But you must do. He works on the caïque too.

(That’s what we call the cargo boat that comes once a week. It’s not actually a caïque but for traditional historical reasons we call it one.)

No, no idea who you mean.

Oh. Oh well, never mind: the point is, I wanted to order some firewood.

Oh, then you’ll be wanting Nikos.


This is a proper fishing caïque,
of the sort which our cargo boat is not.

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