When you first enter a country you notice the unique aspects of the country but after a week or so they become just part of the landscape. So what are my first impressions on this visit?
Cats lots of them
At least one per garbage bin. Asking locals about them and you are told that they keep mice and rats down. You even learn an urban legend, which like all urban legends has some truth to it: they have cats because they were not subject to the Roman Catholic Pope Gregory IX instruction to get rid of them, and this saved Greece from the Black Death. Researching this gem, I find the Black Death was introduced from China by returning crusaders who came back through Italy, France and England. But killing most of the cats, like disturbing any ecological balance, was not a smart move! The resulting(?) plague did however shake up society and start the enlightenment. Even Isaac Newton did his most important work hiding from a later outbreak of the plague.
Fish and meat are eaten here. In small cafes, ignore the menu; they do not have most of what is on it. You are best to order a salad before, if you want a balanced meal. Dessert is not on the menu nor is it available. We have followed the good technique of going into a restaurant and asking the proprietor what he recommends. Last night this resulted in a large plate of various raw fish being bought to our table for inspection. Freshly caught that day in the bay we were assured. Each type was discussed. I ended up with eight pan fried fish on my plate, and Margo the same number of big fat prawns. Tonight this resulted in us being taken to see a baby pig on a spit, and then being served a kilo of meat off the poor thing. The strange thing about the establishments is the other patrons are mainly not eating; it seems restaurants are the local men’s social club.
Yes they have them here.