Greek Donuts and Glorious Shopping

We have a tradition in our household, donuts every Sunday morning. I wasn’t sure if we’d find a way to recreate it here, but with a little ingenuity, we managed. Liam and I woke up bright and early Saturday and headed out, just him and me, to the donut shop we’d stumbled upon the other night. At 9 AM the square in Halandri is peacefully free from traffic. A lovely (albeit rather cold) morning for a stroll. On the way we stopped by a coffee shop for another attempt at ordering a hot chai. I asked the girl first if she spoke English…”yes” … then if they had chai tea…”yes”…great, I’ll have one with milk…”would you like black tea or green”. Hmm…I want chai. She made me …something…I later surmised it was black tea with milk. Hot Chai lattes must be an American thing. They have Starbucks here. I just need to find one.

As we were waiting for our tea, an old man and his friend who were sitting on some stools behind us motioned to Liam’s legs and said something to me in Greek. I smiled and politely told him I only spoke English. But he was adamant, pointing at Liam’s feet. And then I saw it…Liam had his shoes on the wrong feet! Adorable. We all laughed about it. Children, they’re a universal language!

Back on track we made it to the donut shop. The man behind the counter only spoke Greek, but it wasn’t a problem because there were only three types of donuts that we could see: glazed, chocolate, and chocolate with sprinkles. Easy guess what Liam chose. He asked for two, but these donuts were huge, so I limited him to one. Turns out they were also filled with chocolate cream. Bonus! After paying, a man came in after us and I heard them exchange a familiar greeting, “Kalimera!” Suddenly all the Greek I learned from my app came flooding back, and I sputtered out, “Oh! Kalimera means ‘good morning!'” The man who walked in smiled and told me I was right. In English. I’m not that good. So Liam and I practiced “Kalimera” on a few passersby, and “Parakalo” which means “please”, and the impossible to pronounce, “Ef Charisto” which means “thank you”. I remembered “aftikinito” means “car” — what a funny sounding word!

After breakfast James watched the kids while I went shopping for an outfit suitable for our dinner next week. There were a ton of sales going on, and a very helpful shop girl at a place called Gala put together a lovely ensemble for me. Dress, coat, shoes, purse…I needed the works because most of my clothes are still on a boat traversing the Atlantic. And let’s be honest here, my wardrobe was in dire need of updating anyway. It was so refreshing to wear something that wasn’t maternity or a nursing top! The dress and coat sizes were all S, M, L, but the shoe sizes were a bit mystifying. Shop girl to the rescue! She got me fixed up with my correct European shoe size. Going from a size 8 to a size 37…doesn’t sound very flattering, does it?

We’ve got a sitter all lined up for next week, our first night “out” like real grown ups. We get to ride in a cab. To a dinner. With the ambassador. Whoa.

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