Friday, November 16, 2007

The Kindness of Strangers

Cypriots are warm and friendly folk and very kind. Its the little things that show. As I said yesterday, I walk from the Hotel to the Studios through the narrow streets of the old town and am greeted by the locals sitting outside their homes with a cheerful "Καλημερα" as I pass by. Sometimes the walk takes a little longer than 20 minutes. Well, everthing's on "Greek time" here! The Kalimera greeting sometimes extends to ending up sitting beside them and drinking a kaffe metrio as we watch the world go by.
There are other examples of their kindness, - and trust. I thought I would hire a bicycle and went to a place I'd been recommended to enquire. The price would be Cy£3 per day or Cy£17 for the week. "OK," I thought, "But I'll need to go to the "hole in the wall" for some money.
"No problem," he said, "you take bike and get money tomorrow or maybe next day." So off I went with the bicycle. No names and addresses exchanged, no questions asked. Just take the bike. Mind you, he did know who I was. Needless to say I duly paid up the next day.
On another occaision, I was sitting in my regular cafe having a quiet coffee when one of the waitresses told me she was married in St. Lazaros' Church just across the road, and could I possibly do a sketch of the church for her? No problem. I did a pen and wash drawing and gave it to her. That evening I went there for my evening meal as usual and the proprietor did me a huge vegetarian moussaka with all the trimmings and totally free of charge. He told me, "I make her daughter very happy." It was totally unexpected.
I could go on, there are so many examples.
The kindness of strangers, - unasked.

A street in the Turkish quarter during siesta time
The same street looking the other way.
....wind subsiding, the flowers still fall, bird calls, - the mountain silence deepens.

Fallen blossoms decorate the gutter, no rejection here. Just showing their beauty to all who truly look.


Swearing Mother said...

Hi Norman, even here in Brum we get regular demonstrations of Cypriot generosity and good nature - Yanni, our local chip shop owner (voted Best in Birmingham several times)always puts on Ouzo and Sherry at Christmas in little tiny glasses to serve to the waiting queue of customers (which is very long, given the top quality of his food) and has tin of Quality Street to offer all children. This starts in November! And you can never have "just a small portion" of anything, when you get home and unwrap your fish there's always a little something extra for you, gratis.

A lovely man.

Swearing Mother said...

Norman, hope you don't mind, I've tagged you to do Crazy 8's (you can see what that's all about on my blog).