The food in general has been wonderful, because it’s fresh and simple. I have never tasted such an intense honeydew before. Fresh figs are amazing. Grilled tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and peppers with olive oil are simple yet delicious here. And then there are the fresh grilled anchovies, octopus, red snapper, sea bass, red mallet, swordfish, prawns, the egg roe salad, fresh sea urchin, and smoked trout that seems to be popular here. Greek salad with fresh feta cheese and the most flavourful olives. Grilled lamb. Greek yogurt with fig jam. I have a whole new appreciation of Greek food. I’ve always liked it, but everything tastes so much better in Greece.
But that alone is not the appeal of Greece, it’s the people. They are friendly. One night, our 20-something waitress brought us a free round of drinks after dinner, which seems to happen here all the time, but she brought a 5th drink and had the shot with us. Just like that. There is no tipping here, so it’s not as if they are fishing for a bigger tip either. I know the Greek economy is in shambles, but the social system has until recently treated them well, so the career and wages of a waitress are meant to cover their needs.
There is no “Hi, I’m Suzy and I will be your waitress” intro. The waiters and waitresses here are dignified, friendly, unobtrusive. My friend L., who has social perception tentacles all over him in a way I never will, even proposed that the waiters move differently earlier in the evening when they serve large groups of tourists versus later at night when locals are dining. I have no idea how he picks these things up, but I have to trust him, because I don’t notice such tiny nuances of human behaviour. This talent of his is like singing, which I can’t do either but totally admire.