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Fortællinger fra Kreta | 8

Tales from Crete | 8

Today I thought you should have a little story about how my first such real business meeting in Crete went.

For a long time I had been thinking about importing some of the wonderful olive oil produced in Crete and selling it in Denmark, but at the time I wasn't quite sure who I should go to. I was then advised to contact a guy called Manolis, who supposedly had some of the best in olive oil. I then tried to call him a few times, but my Greek was as bad as his English, so it was a bit of an uphill battle. However, we eventually managed to establish a meeting with the help of a mutual acquaintance and we agreed to meet at a Taverna and have a bite of bread together. The meeting was arranged for 20:00.

In my usual Danish way, I showed up a quarter of an hour before, to be sure not to be late. It was getting close to 8pm and the waiter came over and asked what I wanted to drink or eat. I wanted to be clear headed for the meeting and also knew that we would probably have a glass of wine, a couple of Raki or a beer with the meal, so I ordered a soft drink. Around 20:30 was the bottle of the always delicious Gerani Lemon empty, and sat as you do when you get a little restless, and turned the empty glass round and round.

It was 9:00 p.m. and hunger was slowly creeping in. Honestly, he might as well have come by now, I thought, but dismissed it as probably just the traffic that had delayed him. At 21:30 there was still no sign of him, so after the waiter had several skeletons at my table, I chose to order a jug of wine and some food, which by the way tasted excellent. Several times I thought that maybe it was me who had mistaken the taverns, the date or the time, but I was now quite sure that it was both the right place, the right date and the right time.

Well, but I got to eat, drink some of my wine and also had the obligatory little dessert and Raki after the meal and struck up a conversation with some other guests. A little before At 23:00 the waiter came to me and said that Manolis (the person I was supposed to meet with) had just called and said that he couldn't come today anyway, but that we could just meet another day. The only problem was that the next day I had to return to Denmark. A few weeks later we again made an agreement to meet over dinner, but basically the same thing happened again. We were supposed to meet again at 20:00 but Manolis didn't show up until around 23:30 and didn't have time to greet me because there were so many others he knew in the Taverna that he had to greet first. I probably waited a little naively, because I knew he had some of the best oil you can get on Crete, and he had promised to take a sample with me, which I should bring to Denmark and have it analyzed.

Finally he came over and sat down and we got to talking a little loosely. "I'm excited to taste your olive oil and get it to Denmark and have it analyzed," I said. "Well, the olive oil - I forgot about it, but you can just get it another day. But I can guarantee you that it is the best oil there is,” he replied.

Of course, not all Greeks are like this, but when you have dealt with Greeks for over 6 years, as we have in Elenas, you also have to recognize that appointments and times are not what they are most interested in. On the other hand, they really care that you should enjoy life and the present every second, and not be a slave to looking at the clock or the mobile phone constantly, but be present where you once were, with those you are now once is with. Maybe you should think about that the next time you reach into your pocket for your phone, just to see if there are any new notifications on Facebook you've missed since you last looked at your phone 5 minutes ago.  And the olive oil…..Yes it IS absolutely fantastic, so it was worth waiting for then, almost many years ago.

kaló mína / kaló mína / good month

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