I was thinking about this week’s Sunday Scribblings prompt ‘Mess’ when my mind suddenly shot back to something that happened when I was taking an autumn holiday in Greece a couple of years ago.
I was sitting under a delightful vine covered trellis at the front of a picturesque tavern on the island of Samos. The floor and the tables were strewn with fallen leaves and the odd grape or two. It was wonderful. I’d ordered a tankard of Mythos beer and a glass of ouzo which was delivered by Stavros along with a dish of local olives. As he placed them on the table he beamed at me and said what I thought was ‘messy’! I commented that I found the debris rather attractive, but the way I which he shrugged his shoulders told me that he’d not understood what I’d said.
Anyway, I got started on my refreshments and plunged my nose into my book. A couple of minutes Stavros re-appeared. He pointed to the table and said something like ‘you messy’! I immediately thought he had a point because it was a bit of a mess. I’d spilt quite a bit of beer on the table and several olive stones had missed the pot. I looked up, grinned back and said ‘Ne’ (that’s one of the Greek words I actually know - it means ‘yes’! The other word I know is ‘birra’!)
A few more minutes passed and back came Stavros who presented me with a platter of little fishes, cheese, tiny sausages and dips galore! He pointed at it, puffed out his chest and said what I thought was ‘messy meester’. I was baffled.
And then I suddenly remembered another Greek word I knew, and realised he'd been asking all along if I wanted a ‘meze’! It is of course the name of the traditional selection of nibbles and treats that go down so well with a drink under the Hellenic sunshine!