Wednesday, May 31


Today, I decided "bikini-figure-be-damned" - I'm going to have an ice-cream!" So I stopped at the periptero to pick up the yummy frozen goods on my way home.
Hovering over the ice-cream fridge was a couple. By the looks of it they were in their mid-twenties. But judging by how they were acting they could have been 5 or six.
The two of them were prancing in front of the freezer, blocking access to it from all angles, while squealing delightedly and trying to decide which ice-cream flavour to get.
Now, I'm all for acting like a kid sometimes, so I smiled on them benevolently while trying to edge past and grab my tub of "Scandal Extra Gooey Caramel Nut" or whatever it's called. But as soon as I tried to dodge in to the right, there'd be an oblivious, happily shrieking body between my hand and the ice-cream. Try from the other side, same result. I felt like I was trying to get a ball into the net past the offense or something.
Finally, with great agility and perseverance, I managed to reach in and snatch my prize from behind the human wall, and went to pay. Behind me, the couple continued making a spectacle of themselves - but OK. I had my ice-cream, I was happy. I reached into my bag, pulled out some money, and went to hand it to the periptero lady.
If this was a movie, the next scene would be shot in slo-mo: my hand extending towards hers, hers towards mine, frozen in a Michelangelian pose. Then, just as she was about to grasp the dough, the couple appeared at my side and the girl proceeded to SHOVE ME out of the way, and thrust HER OWN money in the periptero lady's face, all the while screaming "Se parakalo! Emena prota! Emena! Ella, Ella, Se Parakalo!" (Please, me first! ME! Come on Please!)
The periptero lady and I stared at each other a moment, stunned, then the amazingly unphaseable woman shrugged, rolled her eyes, and gestured to ask if she could let them go first - since apparently there was no saying no to them. I shrugged back, and gestured in turn expansively in their direction (all this gesturing was necessary because making oneself heard over the girl's screeches would have been impossible).
While the obnoxious brat - ahem, sorry - girl, got her change, I just stared open-mouthed at the guy, silently asking him what the hell planet they were from. He kept right on giggling - though to give him credit his giggles did start to get a bit uncomfortable, and was I imagining that he looked a bit shame-faced?
The best part of all this was that they were in no kind of rush: after they had paid, the girl continued to look over stuff in the drinks fridge while I continued to exchange disbelieving glances with the periptero lady. (What the heck do you call the periptero people anyway? You can't call them shop assistants, cause they're not in a shop, right? Any ideas?)

Now I know a lot of you are going to be saying I should have said something to them BUT:
a) either they were on drugs (though it didn't look that way) or so ridiculously unaware and self-centered that nothing I could have said in my not-so-sophisticated Greek would have gotten through to them, and
b) doing so and getting into an argument would just have raised my blood pressure and put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day... I chose to laugh it off instead.

But REALLY!!!! I'm still speechless!


Flubberwinkle said...

I think 'kiosk owners/cashier' might be a good term for periptero lady/guy.

Barbie-doll will come across an even ruder person than herself, sooner or later, and get slapped back into reality like someone's bitch in prison... I'm just saying.
Hope you enjoyed your tub of ice-cream.

kassandra said...

Hmmm... yeah, close but they aren't necessarily the owners, and they don't use cash registers either so... not quite there... I thought of 'clerk' but that implies a store as well. What are they called in Greek? περιπτεριτζης? Booth operator?

Ahh, I did enjoy my ice-cream, but my enjoyment was dampened by the knowledge that you cannot at the moment enjoy such delights... :P Patience! The time will come when you will taste its frosty yumminess again!

Flubberwinkle said...

Oh, you meant the greek term? Oops.
PeripterAS (for a guy), peripterOU (for a gal).
p.s. I have rediscovered popsicles!

Anonymous said...

I call my periptero guys Gianni and Giorgo, mainly because that is their names! LOL