Aegina Home & Living - Living in Aegina

 

 

 


LIVING IN AEGINA

What is it REALLY like to live in Aegina?

 

                                                           LIVING
 

LIVING                                                        AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011

 

THE CULTURE OF COLOUR

One day, on entering Carrefour supermarket ( during the good old days, when it was Dia), a friend’s mother approached me and in a grave, lowered voice, asked me if I’d had a death in the family.” No, why? “I asked.” Because you are wearing black”. “Oh I love wearing black”, I exclaimed, “so no, I haven’t lost anyone close to me, I am just wearing a colour that I enjoy”.

Some weeks ago, whilst shopping with my daughter, I bought a very nice simple black T-shirt with chiffon bat-wing sleeves, perfect for covering bat-wing arms during an evening out. Little did I know that I would end up wearing it to my mother-in-law’s funeral. I realised then that one simply doesn’t have enough black clothes to be respectfully kitted for 40 days and it isn’t at all fun wearing black clothes for mourning, plus laughter feels obscene.

Last Sunday, we attended a christening and I agonized the night before over what I should wear to conform to the occasion. White and bright colours are suitable for christenings but my sun dresses were too casual and my cream linen was nowhere to be found. My bedroom at 10.30 am resembled a post frantic shopping frenzy and all I could come up was a brown silk peasant skirt with matching jeweled sandals and my loyal but versatile black T-shirt with the chiffon bat wings. I tried to dress it up with amethysts but to me purple is too funereal and doesn’t go well with brown. I opted for my string of crystal beads that sparkle in the sunlight but alas, they were too tangled and eventually, I decided to don my pearls. A stroke of brilliant pink lipstick and lids caked in gold eye shadow, I hoped that somehow I might look gay enough ( to all you teenagers, ‘gay’ actually means bright and happy) “Will I be ok in these colours?” I asked Mr. L. “Well you are supposed to look happy and light but given that my mother recently died, you will be respected for wearing dark colours.”

I counted three other women at the christening wearing black dresses and each of them had selected pearls as complimentary jewellery. I suddenly felt common and wished I had been able to un-ravel my crystals. Anyway, I busied myself with opening the card I had hastily bought the night before and prepared to write a message to accompany the money I was going to slip into it. :Why is the word ‘dyplo’ written inside?”I asked Mr. L.”You must have bought a card for twins.” he retorted impatiently. I had. There were 2 prams on the front but I had chosen it because I liked the colours and the lack of soppy words. “Never mind”, he said.” We can buy another in Agia Marina town on the way to the restaurant”. Easier said than done when you are a pale coloured foreigner dressed in dark silk and pearls.

I frantically scanned all the souvenir shops for cards but could only see postcards. Mr. L meanwhile, had settled himself down at a table to chat with friends and enjoy a glass of cold white wine.

Finally, having exhausted almost all the shops in Agia Marina, a woman who owns a jewellery shop claimed in lowered tones (perhaps because I was wearing black?)to come next door; she could help me. She pulled from a cupboard a dusty shoe box, inside of which were several aged greetings cards, from another era perhaps as they were yellowed along the edges despite being enclosed in polythene packaging. There was only one suitable for a baby boy but the quality was far inferior to the one I had originally bought. It was a basic, mono coloured orange card with a picture of a large yellow duck on the front but at least its message was succinct and un-soppy.

“How much?” I asked.  “Four Euros “she replied. “Four Euros?’ I asked incredulously. I could feel my face becoming red with defensive fury. “But I only paid 2 euro for a card in Aegina which was 10 times better than the one you are selling me. “You are a very lucky woman”. I explained in acceptable Greek.” I would NEVER pay 4 euro for a card like this but I desperately need one”. She didn’t back down and I hurried back to the restaurant to find Mr. L and our friends. On showing the card and explaining the price, Mr. L and friends scornfully laughed but then angrily complained how foreigners, even those who actually live in Aegina are too frequently cheated for the sake of cheating.  Mr. L, whose mood is always black in the mornings took the opportunity to return to the shop I’d bought the card from and then insisted the owner justify why her old, dusty card was worth 4 Euros. She turned slightly white, the colour of shock and insisted that I was not obliged to buy anything. I retorted that I realized this, however, she had obviously taken a look at me and decided she’d exploit me for being foreign. I took the proffered 4 euro back from the shopkeeper who at least had the dignity to blush slightly…pink, the international colour of humiliation.

Finally, a kindly shopkeeper selling postcards gave us a bright yellow tiny envelope in which we placed the money. Yellow, the colour of cowards but a colour that has been my lucky one since childhood.. May it bring the baby a happy and lucky life..


Alison Lorentzos                                                               copyright 2011



 

JULY/AUGUST 2011

CLICK HERE

JUNE/JULY 2011

CLICK HERE

MAY/JUNE 2011

CLICK HERE

APRIL 2011

CLICK HERE

MARCH 2011

CLICK HERE

FEBRUARY 2011

CLICK HERE

JANUARY 2011

CLICK HERE

DECEMBER 2010

CLICK HERE

NOVEMBER 2010

CLICK HERE

OCTOBER 2010

CLICK HERE

SEPTEMBER 2010

CLICK HERE

AUGUST 2010

CLICK HERE

JUNE/JULY 2010

CLICK HERE

MAY / JUNE 2010

CLICK HERE

APRIL 2010

CLICK HERE

FEBRUARY 2010

CLICK HERE

JANUARY 2010 ISSUE

CLICK HERE

NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2009 ISSUE

CLICK HERE

OCTOBER 2009 ISSUE

CLICK HERE

AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2009 ISSUE

CLICK HERE

JULY 2009 ISSUE

CLICK HERE

JUNE 2009 ISSUE

CLICK HERE

MAY 2009 ISSUE

CLICK HERE

APRIL 2009 ISSUE

CLICK HERE

MARCH 2009 ISSUE

CLICK HERE

FEBRUARY 2009 ISSUE

CLICK HERE

JANUARY 2009 ISSUE

CLICK HERE

DECEMBER ISSUE

CLICK HERE

NOVEMBER ISSUE

CLICK HERE

OCTOBER ISSUE

CLICK HERE

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER ISSUE

CLICK HERE

JULY ISSUE

CLICK HERE

JUNE ISSUE

CLICK HERE

MAY ISSUE

CLICK HERE

APRIL ISSUE

CLICK HERE

MARCH ISSUE

CLICK HERE

FEBRUARY ISSUE

CLICK HERE

JANUARY ISSUE

CLICK HERE

DECEMBER ISSUE

CLICK HERE

NOVEMBER ISSUE

CLICK HERE

OCTOBER ISSUE

CLICK HERE

SEPTEMBER ISSUE

CLICK HERE

AUGUST ISSUE

CLICK HERE

JULY ISSUE

CLICK HERE

JUNE ISSUE

CLICK HERE

APRIL/MAY ISSUE

CLICK HERE

FEBUARY/MARCH ISSUE

CLICK HERE