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Fortællinger fra Kreta | 85

Tales from Crete | 85

Now I pass the baton on...

After almost 2 years of weekly stories, I think it is now time to say no to these stories, or at least take a longer break. Now it's not because I don't have more to tell, more anecdotes or other little quirks from Greek and my life in general. But like a visual artist, the art does not lie in just continuing to pour paint on the canvas. The art lies in finding the moment when enough is enough, and the expression is still there, where you include yourself and can recognize yourself in what you do.

I also learned that when I became interested in flower decoration. I was a delivery boy for florist Sten Thomsen on Østerbrogade in Copenhagen and I wasn't old enough for my parents to let me cycle around with bouquets to be delivered. So it happened on foot and I have to promise that I got to trudge through Østerbro and got into every nook and cranny of the Copenhagen district. It was a lousy salary I got, because I spent twice as long on it as everyone else, because I only had to walk around, and usually with several bouquets in my hands. But it was probably very healthy with both the fresh air and many kilometers of walking every afternoon when school was over. However, there was also a small catch to it, because then, just like now, I was very fond of both boiled red and roasted sausages, and in the 60s there were quite a few sausage trucks everywhere. So my hard-earned money as a city delivery boy went to sausages and there isn't the sausage van on Østerbro that I haven't visited even many times. The best was when a little tip was given from the recipients of the flowers, because then it was possible to scrape together a sausage or two more. Therefore, I used all my energy to make a good impression on the recipients of the beautiful bouquets that I delivered, and the charm was turned up completely, with the sinister ulterior motive that it would probably give a little extra tip. Back then you could buy a kradser, i.e. a sausage bread with ketchup and mustard, for 20 øre, I think it was, and most often you got 50 øre as a tip, so it didn't take many deliveries until you had both sausage and bread. But occasionally you came across some old ladies who felt that they were oh so nice because they lived in Østerbro, or almost in Hellerup. Here you came and delivered a nice big bouquet from a relative, behaved nicely and politely, bowed and, of course, made sure your hair was combed before ringing the doorbell, and then what happened? - The lady accepted the bouquet, asked someone to wait a bit, went in and got her purse, looked down in it and with two fingers took out a 10-euro note, held it for a while before handing the strap with the words: "Værs'go min boy – here's something for your education or maybe a trip to the cinema" - The 10 øre was not much of an education and it couldn't be a cinema ticket either. You couldn't even get a scratcher for that money. But you could get 10 Pinochio balls in bulk, but I didn't care. Then I thought it was much more fun to throw 10 Euros in through the letter slot with a note that I wouldn't accept the lady's last pennies or whatever I could think of.

It was a bit boring walking around with flowers, but the good Sten Thomsen now also thought that I had other skills that he could use in his flower shop. So I was promoted to work in the basement under the shop in the months leading up to Christmas. Here I had to help make Christmas decorations and tie cemetery wreaths. I liked that, apart from Sten Thomsen's big smelly cigar stub that he always had in his mouth, but I learned to live with that. "It's not a matter of just getting more and more of such a decoration, but it's an art to know when to stop. That's also where the money lies," he said.

With those words, I would like to wish you a very good summer, which, however, cannot be held in the familiar Greek surroundings before 1/9-20 at the earliest.

If there are some who get pronounced withdrawal from not coming to Greece or hearing a little from Crete, then come by our store in Hem, where there is always Greek music, atmosphere and a lot of all the delicious Greek products.

Sincerely, and thank you for now.
Michael Hall

Tales from Crete | Elena's - The taste of Greece

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Svend Erik Jørgensen - August 4, 2020

Fin lille historie.

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