We finalized our arrangements on Theotokopoulou Street back in October, 2012 (and recruited our avatars to make a short video, which is here), and now our stay in Greece is about to end. To complete the circle that our avatars began, we take you back to Theotokopoulou Street, this time in person with Louise as host, to see our neighborhood up close, to try to pronounce “Theotokopoulou,” and to meet some of our friends there:
Right near our street, outside the medieval wall, there is an agricultural fair (photo above) smack in the middle of the dried-up ancient castle moat. I strolled around the other night to take pictures of souvlaki, linens, handicrafts, shoes, honey, raki, and spinach pies.
We don’t have a car here on Crete. We could rent one (or rent a motorcycle, which was our original plan), but after ten minutes of watching Cretan drivers, no one in his right mind would choose to drive himself, especially on a moto. It’s best to take the bus, and there are lots of buses.
Two weeks. That’s how long we’ve been in Chania. We’ve pretty well scoured the city (it’s small: population ~55,000) and are now taking an inventory of all the beaches within a day’s outing. Louise is learning the language (note the absence of the plural “we”), and we’re becoming gourmands, having now visited – oh, I dunno – maybe 500 local restaurants. (Lord, thank you for the food on this island.)
But now, some of the things we’ve learned (and that you won’t read in the guidebooks) about the local culture:
(NOTE: We traveled all night Sunday, slept all day Monday, spent Tuesday and Wednesday wandering around in awe of Chania, and only now has life become quiet enough to allow for a blog entry.)
The residents of Crete are Cretans. Their art is Cretan. They speak a dialect of Greek called Cretan. Cretans are proud of their home and their culture, and even though most of them speak fluent English, few are aware of the word “cretin” (note the difference in spelling) and what it implies in the American vernacular.