A Greek tragedy

Octopus, Credit-thehairpin.com

Octopus, Credit-thehairpin.com

I was enjoying a short break in Halkidiki, Greece. Halkidiki is set on a peninsula amongst glorious scenery and beautiful beaches. We were enjoying a well earned break, eating at our favourite place – one which we had began to frequent every other evening during our stay, partly due to the entertaining owner and partly due to the superb food and good drink offered there.

We had established a good relationship with Paris, the owner and withstood quite a bit of banter as we had, shall we say, different taste in most things from music to TV characters, from artists to writers. Evenings became a real ‘add-on’ to our break.

One warm evening I was eating at Paris’ with several others when we noticed one of the waiters getting flustered at a table of English people near us. He eventually caught my eye and came over.

‘ Excuse me but what is this in English?’ he asked, pointing to some Greek writing on the menu in the seafood section  and then proceeded to do a manic dance, flailing his arms around and making biting motions with his mouth. I was baffled as I don’t read Greek and then I got it. Putting the dance and the menu together;

‘ Octopus – it is octopus!’ I said, pleased with myself for putting things together.

‘ Oc-to-pus’ came the measured reply.’

‘Also known as 8 legged cat – Octo-puss!!’ my friend chimed in ( he had imbibed several very large Ouzos).

I laughed  and the waiter ambled over to his table, smiling now.

We had a brilliant evening. Paris was on form, the meal and drinks were superb and we stayed well into the small hours. As we eventually left I saw the same waiter as before serving some new arrivals. They were looking through the menu with him and asking him about dishes.

I am certain, as I left I heard the words

‘ In English, this is 8 legged cat!’

Location: Halkidiki, Greece

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