cucinanicolina

Checking In

12 April 2007

It’s now been almost three months since my brother left for Greece. After two weeks in Athens studying Greek, he finally landed up on the island of Spetses where he managed to find a job working for a boat builder, an apartment, and some new friends. He claims that I made his initial journey sound too easy when I cavalierly wrote about it, so I am here to tell you that although he was able to secure employment doing what he wanted to do on an incredibly beautiful island, has a cell phone and Internet access, and is even cooking for himself in his own residence, it was, yes, very difficult. And as always, he perservered.

But I digress. The point here is that he is having an amazing experience on the other side of the world, and I am poring over my calendar to see if I, too, may partake in a slice of paradise for about 10 days minus two for travel which would still leave me with eight days of blissful beach time and delicious Greek coffee.

Ah yes, the infamous Greek coffee. Sometimes it may be referred to as “Turkish coffee,” but this is terribly, terribly wrong, as some people will inform you should you make such a grievous mistake. What’s funny is that my brother has always been very uncaffeinated — he never drinks, or drank, soda, and never partook in coffee before setting off for the islands. Now, “I have an average of 10 cups of coffee a week, always one in the morning, and sometimes at night if i go to the cafe,” he writes. When in Greece …

Unfortunately, I haven’t yet gotten a real update about the most important thing: the food. For example, what, exactly, are you eating, dear brother mine, and what does it taste like and is calamari really that good? I ate lots and lots (and lots) of cheese when I was there last, but you are fortunately more inclusive than I am and can sample many more delicacies.

While I’m scouring the Internet for cheap plane tickets to Athens (in August! Good luck!), perhaps I’ll dig out my trusty green bag of coffee and my special Greek coffee pot and brew up a strong, thick, steaming batch of it. I may find myself a bit jittery the rest of the day, but by god it’s good stuff. I take mine with lots of sugar, of course, and a cup accompanied by a plain, dry cookie takes me right back to Halkidiki with every sip.

Next time: Retsina.

[Mt. Athos as seen from the Halkidiki peninsula.]