This one is for you, Papou. Today you would have been 87. We probably all would have sat around the dining room table for lunch like we did last year … all 20 of us, plus a new little one. It would have been loud and chaotic with the crisscrossing of arms passing food around and debates about Trump and which shade of white you and Yiayia should paint the walls. You would have gazed and smiled and blown kisses at each one of us while we ate and argued. Then you would have quietly slipped away from the table to sink into your armchair and watch Antenna (Greek TV) or whichever code of football was on.
For your birthday, I would have given you a photo of Baby G to place on the wall next to the one of me when I was little, just like you had asked. We would have talked about travelling, one of our favourite topics to discuss at length besides politics, and you would have reminded me of your lifelong dream to travel to Japan and that I hadn’t yet shown you photos of my travels there.
I reckon you would have loved Japan, although you may have struggled with the food …
You hated fish.
Soup had to be accompanied by bread, always.
Your food had to be swimming in either a Napoli-style meat sauce or a lemony sauce, not whatever was going on here.
You weren’t one for food surprises.
Your sweet tooth extended to chocolate cake, and that was about it.
If it didn’t burn your mouth completely, it wasn’t worth eating.
But I think you would have been fascinated by Japan’s technology.
And its game shows.
As well as the cafes.
Not to mention the fauna.
I’ll get to China with Baby G one day, another dream country of yours, and let you know how I go.
Miss you so much, Papou. And yes, I promise to always be careful and watch out for maniacs on the road 🙂 x