They say you learn something new everyday, but when you move to a foreign country, it’s doubly true. Cultural differences abound, sometimes in very amusing ways. For instance, our housekeeper mentioned she had to clean all of the “yellow dust” off the floors because I kept the windows open. “Oh, you mean pollen?” I asked. She laughed and said, “Yes! That’s right. But the Greeks call it yellow dust. Funny!”
The Greeks have different holidays than we do in America, and Liam’s school lets off for the Greek ones. He has no school next Monday for “Clean Monday,” which I assumed was some sort of cleaning day for the school. Ha! Turns out it’s the Greek Orthodox version of Ash Wednesday. The housekeeper informed me about that one, too. Cleaning, babysitting, keeping me apprised of the local traditions…she’s indispensable!
Back in Kansas someone suggested when in Greece I should try Retsina, a traditional white wine infused with pine nuts. So I went to a posh liquor store in Pompidou and asked for the pine wine. It took a moment for her to translate with her computer, but soon enough she said, “Retsina,” and the name jogged my memory. She said they didn’t sell it, and in fact no Greeks actually drink it. Perhaps they just ferment it for the dumb tourists? Still, I’m intrigued. Wine ala Pinesol. I’ll have to find a tourist trap somewhere so I can try it.