Monday, 10 September 2007
Quiet Mousie learns a hard lesson...in Greek...
“Go on darling..you 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 him...you 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 ....door....sob...on...me...” 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