June 5, 2015

Mrs. B was more than a Greek teacher –– she was a loyal, loving, biriba playing safe harbour to whom my brother and I clung to when times were tough. She taught us to read, write and speak Greek. Plus, anything we know about them gods on Olympus, we learned from her. Her role evolved from once-weekly Greek teacher to live-in nanny, and she worked and travelled with our family on-and-off for more than ten-years. My best memories of Mrs. B take place at Voula’s open air cinemas where we ate roasted pumpkin seeds and watched films under the stars. She also took us to Luna Parks for candy floss and wild rides that children probably shouldn’t be on. We’d pile into her little Renault –– my brother and I, and two or three of our cousins –– and she’d take us on outings to the movies, to the beach or for lunch and a swim at the Astir Palace. She loved us and chided us like we were own, and had no qualms about yanking me out of a room by my earlobe when I was being naughty. She covered our scrapes in Mercurochrome and kisses, pinched our bottoms and sang old Greek folk songs to us. There was a lot of silliness and laughter. She is well into her 80s now, and lives in a small apartment in Pefki. On her mantle she has a few icons and crocheted doilies, and a picture of Alex and I.







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