Monday, June 5, 2017

Priced Well

At the fish, meat, fruit and nuts market, Tony and I ask the seller for two lemons. He carefully chooses, then hands us a bag.

"Twenty cents," he requests.  I revert into mild shock. Tony and I look at each other, because he too is mildly shocked. The price is too low.

"I pay a dollar for a lemon at home," I tell him.

This morning while Tony cuts the other half of a melon, the first half which has already melted in our mouths, he mentions, "This was only 70 cents." The fruit carts we find in the streets and in the squares sell a kilo of cherries for €2 and less. I've been in cherry heaven.

Each day, lunch for two has only cost between eleven and fourteen dollars. Dinner the same, and only once did it cost €25 because we were tired and hungry and convinced by an overbearing man to eat at his restaurant where we paid for tap water and the usual-complimentary bread placed on our table. A big Greek salad averages €5, stuffed eggplant the same. An appetizer of tapenade was €1. We've suffered from sticker shock, only in the reverse.

We've found the same prices for accommodations, and I even bought a pair of pants for only € 5.

Tourism is down because of economic woes, but it appears to be a great time to visit Greece. We are informed its crime rate is low and  though terrorists have been traced to coming through Greece, they don't stay. "We are too unimportant to make waves. No one cares about Greece."

However, If you come to Greece, you will care.

In the words of travel guru Rick Steves:

What's the biggest impact of the crisis on visitors? It's the satisfaction you'll get from contributing to the economy of a nation dealing with tough times — and the joy that comes from a tourist industry that really appreciates your presence. Sharing a beer or a coffee with a talkative native can provide you with a lesson in contemporary Greece that's every bit as fascinating as the Classical stuff.
Greece has, it seems, more than its share of troubles right now. Still, Greeks are optimistic by nature. Most believe that they'll get through these tough economic times. They're quick to point out that, regardless of the economy, the olives remain just as tasty, the water just as blue, and the sun — like the Greek people — just as warm.

The only thing that could make a Greek salad yummier than it is, is a Greek salad priced well...

and there are plenty in Greece.

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