“Travels to a Different Time” :July 1970: The Wedding at Menetis, The Gross Hacking Cough and Goat Stew!

We returned from Orthos and found a hotel room in Pigadia. While we were in Orthos we received an invitation to a wedding being held in nearby Menetis a very famous church in Karpathos. We took the bus there and the wedding was at a church sitting on top of a mountain. The groom marched with a procession to the bride’s house and then a large crowd marched to the church for the ceremony. After being in Father Gabriel’s church on Panormitis I was at ease in a Greek Orthodox church with the chanting and incense. I love the icons and decoration as they make an Anglican church so sparse and unwelcoming. The ceremony was long and I thought the bride and groom circling the altar was strange but part of a colourful and joyous ceremony. It seemed everybody in Orthos had been invited to the wedding. This included strangers like us who were the only tourists at this wedding. Why these adventures just keep on coming! It seems once you leave North America for something different everything changes. As one hippy on deck class said when you are in Greece you are living in the moment as your mind is far from where it usually is. I am not sure what that means? What I can say is that the air is different. The sounds are new. The food is so much better as you are taking the time to enjoy it. I am not watching the adventure here in Greece I am living it. Perhaps that is what the hippy meant by saying you are living in the moment? It is almost as if there is no past and nothing else to think about except what you are doing now?

After the ceremony we went to a reception at the church. There was feta cheese, olives and bread to start and then some old ladies were cooking goat stew and rice in huge black cauldrons over an open fire. So we lined up and were served the most delicious stew. Goat meat makes a very good stew! How many people in Montreal have eaten goat? I also have eaten squid, octopus and stuffed vegetables. I love Greek food except for the starvation like breakfasts but even those I am getting used to and if you are eating bread and jam you soon get to appreciate quality bread! These new foods are delicious. It is almost as you are paying attention to each bite as you have never eaten these foods before.

There were huge jugs of wine that were poured into pitchers for serving. Before our meal there was a toast to the bride and groom. One glass was handed full of wine that passed to everyone at the table for a sip. My poor mother! Next to us was an old fellow with a very hacking cough and he then passed the glass to Mom who just about turned green but closed her eyes and took a sip. She looked at me and whispered that she hoped the poor fellow didn’t have tuberculosis. I have never seen anyone with that disease but my Mom was a nurse before she married and she has seen TB ! At midnight we headed home but the bus we took up to the church was no longer running. Were we to walk down the mountain in the middle of the night? Luckily we managed to get a lift back to Pigadia! What a night. What more adventures await us. I am a 12-year-old boy but I must say I feel like I am growing up very quickly seeing a whole new world every day! I find it hard to make decisions about what may be good or bad about my adventures as they are so strange I only have time to live them and not judge them.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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