The family I have started to know so well is having a taverna. They run their taverna six months a year, so you could think how nice, that could mean that after they have six months holiday? Not quite. They have their own sheeps and goats to look after. They have chickens. They make their own honey. They have their own wine and since you have your own grapes, naturally you make your own raki too. They have their own garden - with herbs, salads and vegetables. In December they start to collect their olives and will get their own oil. After the olives are collected, you need to look after the trees and do the cutting. Few nights ago the father left 3 am with his two sons to collect herbs from the mountain. Not forgetting that they collect their own sea salt and I am sure I don´t even know everything they do. The kids are helping in all this, though now they have summer holiday from school, well, not a holiday as the kids in back home, these kids are working the whole summer with the family. Feels almost that the easiest thing is having the taverna.
I spend also much time with them in winter when the taverna is closed, still, I am always most welcome to their home. Also Christmas I was "obligated" to spend with the family.
Birthdays comes even the crise is here. They invited to come to eat with them, it was very late in the evening, since of course, they need to serve the clients at the taverna first. And this time the father and all members of the family took time off from the kitchen, they picked-up gyros, pizzas etc. And like always, they looked after me, I had a tasty vegetarian pizza from the village.
So my question was, what to give for a Greek man? One of his sons, the youngest one saved my ass, he told me that his father collects Kombólois- worry beads, you know those beads that most Greek men turns in their hands. Excellent! Oh boy, I make one!
So this was my first kombóloi, for a Greek man who turned 55. His birthday wish was that we would all be there when he celebrates double of the age he came now. I wish it too.