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A light hearted look at

The Survival Guide to Kefalonia

by Greek American - D .K!

'Edited' 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.

Speaking

Kefalonians 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.

 

You 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.

If 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!

When 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 conversation.

Hand Gestures

Whilst 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.

If 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.

 

 

Face Control

At 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)

To 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?'

Never get up to greet anyone. Rather a casual nod or the lifting of one's glass to acknowledge them is sufficient.

If 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!

If 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)

Eating

This 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 discussed.

 

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.

Dinner 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.

 

Accouterments

The 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 Calvin Klein!

Big 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 over.

Dress

Anything 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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