light hearted look at
Survival Guide to Kefalonia
Greek American - D .K!
by Sue Thompson
Kefalonia is a beautiful island, rich in culture, history,
food, scenery and beaches. I am fortunate to have married a beautiful
woman from Kefalonia with an equally beautiful family. It is from them
that I have come to know the island and its people and I share this
guide with you.
Once you visit this island you'll never see life the same, as its
inhabitants have a yearning and a zest for life, a type of life unknown
to you or I.
have no stress - as anything they want to say, they say to your face,
immediately and very loudly. In fact the louder they speak, generally
denotes that they are smarter than the next person and of course -
factually correct, and accurate in everything they say.
must speak very loud at all times no matter where you are - even in
church, and do not let the stares of the priest intimidate you.
you find yourself arguing with someone, the only way to 'discuss' the situation is to shout at them as loud as possible,
just below a scream level is sufficient!
ðWhen shouting into your adversaries face or ear,
you must look at them with a fierce expression. - This is the only way
to truly assert yourself as the 'superior
person' thereby insinuating that they know nothing about the
not necessary, hand gestures can be helpful especially in a close
encounter! If they should attempt to speak once you are finished - cut
them off immediately.
they dare to glance at you or
mutter something under their breath on the way out. Chase them like a
bat out of hell and begin screaming all over again.
all times one must maintain an aura about oneself and tell the world -
or at least in the 'platia' in
Argostoli - that they are
important. Even though you couldn't care less about them. This is known
as total face control. (TFC)
maintain TFC one should never pay to gain admission into a night club,
and should only be seated at a choice table with good panoramic view for
maximum face control 'a
famous person at the table always helps' or 'if your really
desperate someone from the local government might help?'
get up to greet anyone. Rather a casual nod or the
lifting of one's glass to acknowledge them is sufficient.
the owner is silly enough to send
a logariasmo (bill) to the table - stare him straight in the face whilst
tearing it into shreds then fling the pieces in the air. Then wait at
least 2 summers before going back to pay - unless he calls to apologies
- then wait 2 summers anyway just to teach him a lesson. Also, a cell
phone is a must!
you are at a bouzouki club a bottle of the finest champagne should be
purchased and shared with the featured singer. In fear of their safety
they will share the first sip of the bottle with the Kefalonian buyer.
The gent who purchased the bottle must get up and dance with the female
singer for all to see. The dance is very important and must resemble a
male peacock on heat! Slow gyrating movements whilst looking longingly
into the singers eyes informing the whole audience that 'she's
yours at the click of your fingers!!!!!!' When the dance is complete
it is imperative that he struts back to table. Then returns to his
adoring wife who politely smiles at the crowd, whilst the male must
acknowledge the cheers from the crowds! (Did you know - John
Travolta came to Kefalonia when filming Saturday Night Fever just to
learn the Kefalonia strut which made him famous)
ðThis is just simply a way of life and only
secondary to reproduction for any Greek! Eating is essential and not
taken lightly. Breakfast is not considered a meal so it will not be
Lunch is the main fare and usually begins at 1pm
and lasts for approximately 2 hours. Most of Kefalonia is closed from
between 1-5pm for lunch and siesta. The basic rule is to eat as much as
you can without making yourself ill, then follow this with a short nap
or swim. If one does decide to go back to work, it is done leisurely and
at one's own pace.
is taken anywhere from 9pm -midnight and lasts several hours. It may not
be as hearty a meal as lunch but is equally as important. At dinner, one
reflects on the day's events, catches up on local news and especially
the gossip. For most it is the only time spent with one's family. When
dinner is over the wife and children are summoned home to bed and the
men go out for an ouzo or a dance.
ðThe car and house is not the same status symbol as
it is in the States. However, the following criteria does apply for a
house on Kefalonia. A sea view is a must, any house owned or rented 'on
the sea front is a big plus'.
A 32" TV is the only acceptable size. Any
house with a bigger screen and a satellite dish is classified as living
in one of 'the houses'. Air
conditioning is a touchy situation, it can catapult your house into the
stratosphere of houses. But a true Greek feels that an island home needs
only the afternoon breeze to keep one comfortable. Air conditioning
could cause problems as the natural body odour of the Kefalonian man is
surely a natural aphrodisiac to many of the local tourists. Did you know
- 'CK1 cologne really stands for Cephalonica Kefalonia' and not
flash cars are out of most youngsters league so in this case it is not
the car that is important rather the size of the stereo machine. It has
to be big enough to smash the ear drums of not only the occupants but
give a heart-attack to any elderly person they speed past. For their
parents the size of the car is more important than the age. In turn
giving them the power to the right of way and of course parking is never
a problem since one parks wherever one pleases! The flashing of their
lights and the tap of the horn is a hint
to move aside. The headlights on full and continuos use of the horn
followed by the slamming of a bumper is a sure sign you should move
with a designer label is mandatory. Please note that the label must
be worn on the outside. It will be worn everyday, but make sure you
notice it otherwise they will move it as close as possible to your face
in case you miss it!. 'Remember they only have one shot each summer to establish themselves
and be talked about all winter'
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