Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My Greek Hair-itage

If you follow La Belette Rouge's blog, you'll have read yesterday about her Greek friend Nicky, who made her feel inferior because, and let me quote here,

I was mesmerized by her "otherness" as she seemed to be everything I was not. Where I was painfully pale and could not lay out for more than five minutes without risking red hot pain and burning blisters, Helios seemed to worship Nicky by amplifying her already bronzed beauty with an Aphrodite like glow. I had strawberry red hair that was cut into a short and snappy 80's hair do that accented my collection of colourful earrings---while Nicky had extremely long black hair that was longer, blacker and thicker than any hair I have ever seen. Her shiny eyes flashed like day-glow Kalamata olives, while mine were light and blue, much like an anemic body of water in the Ionic of which no fisherman fished and no tourists toured.

I wrote a comment to help LBR feel better about her pale skin by telling her the Greek Girl's side of things, which started to get so long winded that I decided to turn it into a post. So, where I may have felt proud of my fast and dark tanning ability, it was only to counteract the hidden torment of my Greek "otherness". In a word...hair. While most of us Greeks have thick, dark shiny hair (and true, it's nice) it doesn't limit itself to the scalp. It seems to think if it's pretty up there, it'll be pretty everywhere.
Let's start with the leg hair. From the age of, oh say three, Greek girls start sprouting long black hair that is longer and blacker than any hair I've ever seen. Ok, so maybe you can't braid it, but you sure can see it from across the classroom if you've not put on ankle length pants and knee high socks! And it's not really acceptable for a 4 year old to start shaving her legs, she's got a few years before she can achieve that milestone. In the meantime, while all the non-olive skinned girls with blonde locks and smoothe hairless arms and legs looked forward to Shorts Day in elementary school, this hairy Greek would have flashbacks of the previous Shorts Day disaster, when her blonde non-Greek mother convinced her no one would notice her hairy legs. She was wrong. Images of 10 year old boys jumping around like apes and making monkey noises still haunt my 5th grade memories.

Which prompted me to secretly start shaving in time for the next Shorts Day. And the results were astounding! I had the smoothest, hairless (and don't forget tannest!) legs in the 6th grade! But my newly bald legs didn't make "happily ever after". There was another problem...arm hair. Now, I had threatened my poor mother with shaving my arms for years. I always got the same shrieking response, "You'll get whiskers on your arms!!!!!" My dad's whiskers were enough to keep me from actually carrying out the act. Being full Greek, he must shave a minimum of twice a day to keep it tame.

And speaking of facial hair, this brings up The Mustache. Should I even delve into this topic? I'll just give you a clue: dumb boys and catty girls. There. 'Nuff said.
Less embarrassing than being envied by pre-pubescant boys, but equally important to tame down, The Unibrow. Do you see where this is all going? A good Greek girl should buy stock in wax. Because, as I told LBR, we Greeks may make you jealous of our tans, but being Greek takes a lot of waxing!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

No Rain in Spain

The weather in the south of France was so bad for so long, we had to flee to Spain. As soon as we crossed the border...

...sunshine! We stayed in Lloret de Mar, not so nice, but our day in Tossa de Mar was fabuloso! (Is that Spanish?) We spent several hours on the beach and then walked up to the castle and village that made it one of the most beautiful beaches I personally have been to.

After the walk, we ate at a restaurant next to the beach. It was a hotel restaurant and we were sure we'd get mediocre food, but we were starving and it looked to be the best option. We started with a mandatory pitcher of homemade sangria.

It was excellent! We had one of the best salads I've ever had, and it was beautiful (no photo) and we also had the seafood paella, which was incredible.

Apparently there was a little old "mommy" in the kitchen who made the paella from scratch, and she was from Valencia. (So said the manager.) It was great, and happily there were two langoustines, so we could each have one. YUM!
(Did I mention that it was almost half the price for food in Spain? The groceries were awesome! I bought a big jug of Sangria that was better than the one we had in the restaurant and it only cost 80 euro cents. Gas was cheaper too, only about $7.00 a gallon when converted. Can you hear my sarcastic tone? So, I will refrain from complaining about paying the $3.79 a gallon yesterday.)

Ahhhhh, Spain. It was so nice. And it was so kind as to give me some sun to bring back to Auriac, which lasted the rest of the trip!