Monday, 10 September 2007

Quiet Mousie learns a hard Greek...

“Go on will be fine, just say it nice and loud..” I encouraged Quiet Mousie as we sat at the table following our lunch in Stavros’ Greek taverna. Positioned along the quayside of the harbour and with the most welcoming and charming of owners, one Stavros and his son Nicos, it had soon become our regular lunchtime eatery and welcome respite from the mid day sun each day.

I caught the eye of one of the young waiters that we had befriended over the first five days of our holiday who quickly came across beaming at us. I looked at Quiet Mousie and smiled, giving him eager eyes “Go on then...” The waiter looked on amused.

“To logariasmo, parakalo...”whispered Quiet Mousie. The Greeks face lit up “Ahhh...” he said, and he beckoned to my youngest to follow him. Quiet Mousie is a timid soul at the best of times, so unlike his big brother. He looked a little hesitant. “It will be ok...go with will be fine. I think he must be going to see Nicos and get the bill with you...”I assured him.

Me, Hubby and the eldest sat at the table cooing over him. Bless him. How proud we all were of him. The Greeks love you to make an effort speaking their wonderful language and my boys had delighted them all holiday, practising the language and ordering their food in pidgeon Greek. They always say “Kali Mera” (good morning,) “Kali Spera” (good afternoon) and displayed good manners, “Epheristo” (Thankyou.)

To ask for the bill is a very difficult sentence for a six year old. But Quiet Mousie had done it after five days of enviously listening to his big brother and the responses he got from the locals.

After he had been gone for more than a minute or two, we smiled and thought that the waiter had taken him into the kitchens to choose some ice-cream as they often do.

Two or three minutes passed and we presumed that he must be eating it in the kitchen.

After five minutes we started laughing between ourselves at the table and imagining him chatting away in the kitchen’s to the owners wife whilst eating his ice-cream.

Nearly 10 minutes later and knowing how shy Quiet Mousie is I sent the eldest to look for him. I had visions of him in a kitchen with the owners and not understanding a word they were saying!

Idle Jack came back “I can’t see him anywhere mum...”

About twelve minutes. Panic. Be rational. He’s fine. He’ll just be with Stavros or Nicos.

We waited another couple of minutes. I looked around. No sign of anyone. My heart starting to race a little now. “Where do you think he is?” I asked the hubby. With that the young waiter came back, alone.

“Signomi?” (Excuse me) I attracted his attention.“Poo eene o yos?” (where is my son?)
He looked around the taverna and shrugged.

Real panic now. We all stood up ready to dash through the alleyways looking for him. Maybe he was lost at the rear of the taverna somewhere?

We were just about to throw some money on the table and Nicos the owners son, walked in holding a bereft Quiet Mousie by the hand. He was sobbing and crying and slipped the hand of the Greek and flung himself into my arms, yelling at me and sobbing “Where were you mummy?”
“Oh my god, what happened baby?” I looked at Nicos and the waiter who both shrugged together this time.
Quiet Mousie was unconsolable. He sobbed and clung to me. I asked them to get him some water.
“Where did you get to?” I asked him. And he sobbed the story to me....

“That waiter ...he...he...took me to ...sob....the ...toilet....and he shut the” More tears as the whole story came out of how he stayed in the toilet for nearly fifteen minutes bewildered as to why he had been put in there and the door closed behind him.

Initially I was angry.
Then I realised. The waiter had misheard him. Quiet Mousie had softly asked “To logariasmo, parakalo...”
The waiter had misheard him and thought he ask “To toiletto, parakalo...”

Poor Quiet Mousie.
It took him nearly two hours to calm down. And he continued to fret every time we ate out.
"Please Mummy, please don't make me speak any more Greek this holiday," he begged me.

No hard feelings with Nicos...

So until another day

Bye for now


Hannah Velten said...

Bless him...he must have been terrified, and not much better for you! Let's hope that hasn't put him off trying out languages again...Mootia x

Blossomcottage said...

Poor chap but at least he had a go!
Looks lovely the holiday we are off to Crete on Sunday. Love you photographs.
Love Blossom x

Westerwitch/Headmistress said...

Oh poor little mite - one day he will laugh about it though . . just not quite yet.

I hope he still managed to enjoy his holiday though.

Chris Stovell said...

Oh so that's why I spent fifteen minutes in the loo at the last Welsh course! Tell Quiet Mousie not worry it happens all the time when you are learning a language and he has done very well.

vic said...

The wee soul! You must have panicked too! I think its great they are trying to speak the language. I feel so ashamed I can't speak anything apart from English.

@themill said...

Poor wee Mousie, but well done him for trying. I bet he recovered faster than you did.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

He's such a lovely boy. How brave of him to speak greek in the first place. But I can imagine how panicked you must have been. Poor you too.

Crystal xx

Norma Murray said...

Oh the poor little love. I feel for him. Having just spent a few days in Eastern Germany trying to make myself understood I can really sympathise with him. I didn't get locked in the loo though I had a couple of very strange meals.

Shiloh and Genny's Family said...

What a sweetie he is, and very brave for giving it a try. We meet so many like that at the library, and they don't even have a language issue. Just so shy in a big place. He's adorable. and I am totally jealous of your beautiful vacation! someday I will jump the pond ang get someplace like greece or italy!

elizabethm said...

poor thing, and having been so brave to try! are you up for lunch next friday (see post earlier today)? would be good to see you again and can easily arrange another date if not convenient for you.

Milkmaid said...

aw bless, what a sweetie, must have been really confused, i bet your heart skipped a beat too

Pipany said...

Oh my God, I can only imagine what was going through your mind Angel. Thank goodness it all came right in the end (and what fab pictures!). xx

Fennie said...

Lovely blog. Oh the poor, poor dear. All part of growing up. A story he will remember. Bet in fifteen years time he will be showing off his Greek to his friends and coaching them.

And I hope after that he got an ice cream!

Best wishes


Inthemud said...

Oh dear , poor quiet mousie, how awful!

Greek very hard language, don't know a word myself, so very impressed that he tried!

Forgive me CCA for not popping along to see you for so long, been so very busy but hopefully as autumn progresses things will calm down.
Have missed so many of your wonderful blogs, but will hope to catch up over time.

Warmest wishes

muddyboots said...

oh dear, what a scary moment! a tale that he will no doubt retell as he gets older... do you remember when.......

Woozle1967 said...

I bet your heart was in your mouth! But you are so right about Greece and the Greeks. We went sailing around the Dodecanese a few years ago and we loved the islands you could only get to by sea. Magical.xx

BTW - loved the runner beans tale! And looking forward to seeing you soon.x

Inthemud said...


Just wanted to let you know I have given you an Award for blogging, which you can pick up from my blog

Love Muddie x

annakarenin said...

Poor thing, mind you he looks to be having a great time in the bottom photo.

Marianne said...

It's absolutely terrifying to temporarily lose a child. Thank goodness it was quickly sorted out. How brave of him to speak Greek and how puzzled he must have been by the reaction.

Exmoorjane said...

Oh bless and double bless. Poor sausage. But how totally terrifying for you.... uughhh, doesn't bear thinking about. I have lost most of my Greek now, IS a lovely language for sure, though quite difficult too.