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?
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.