Now, a half might not seem like much to some people, but to a Greek, as long as you have a drop of Greek blood in you, you’re practically family. Almost like the mafia, or even a cultural obsession, once you get it, it’s yours forever and it takes over all that you do. I know that every family is different I’ve compiled a list of things I’ve come to know and love about the Greeks that I think only other Greeks will understand:
1. You know someone who knows someone who knows someone who used to live on the same road as your Yiayia
2. You’re always asking non-Greeks to repeat themselves because they
clearly don’t speak as loud as your family does. When you ask you ma why she talks so loudly – her answer is always because she was “brought up near a railway”
3. You refer to anyone who’s not Greek as a non-Greek
4. When you’re in the supermarket by the fridge section, you walk straight past the cheddar and camembert, and head straight for the feta cheese and halloumi
5. Only Greeks approach someone in a busy place to ask where they’re from in Greece or Cyprus because they heard them talking Greek
6. Your Yiayia smuggles halloumi in your suitcase just before you get to the airport like she’s smuggling a bag of cocaine
7. You get tired of people asking if you’re Turkish
8. You instantly warm to anyone that has a strange looking nose, or has a surname ending in some sort of ‘…popolopodous’. All you need to do is make eye contact and utter the word ‘Yiayia’…and you’re instantly family. You won’t talk about the business meeting you’re supposed to be having, instead you’ll spend an hour debating different recipes of koupepia and pastitsio that your Yiayia’s make. Every Greek believes their Yiayia is the better cook.
9. You love your Yiayia’s cooking so much that when you leave hers, you take with you enough food for a week in a tupperware box, and your pockets full of roast potatoes. And this isn’t even with her having cooked more. This is the usual amount. All you have to do is ask her, and she’ll happily make you roast potatoes for breakfast
10. You find that your name isn’t original – even if it sounds like a vampire’s name to a non-Greek. At least your Yiayia, three cousins, two aunties and distant relatives all share the same name. And it only counts if it’s a Saint’s name.
11. There is no set measuring system in Greek cooking. It’s a handful of this or a cup of that. They love using cups.
13. You are never without guilt. Or superstition. And you thought the Catholics had it bad. All you have to do is utter a swearword and you have the little group of Yiayia’s nearby all doing the sign of the cross
14. Your Yiayia will try to set you up with “handsome Greek boys” from the local church, supermarket, bank and even their friend’s grandsons
15. As you get older, you get Greeker and Greeker. Soon enough, you’ll have turned into your Yiayia. If you don’t believe me, watch how my sister eats!
Day 6 of #BEDN and #NaBloPoMo