Greek life

A word about housekeeping

Greek women keep a very fastidious home.  They cook every day and when they aren’t cooking, they are going to the markets — butcher, produce, fourno (bakeries), zaxaroplastio (pastry shops). They beat rugs.  They iron clean laundry down to underwear, towels and sheets.  (No clothes dryers, remember?)  And their cleaning should win medals.

My cleaning skills are fine.  Good even, especially when someone important or discerning is visiting. I subscribe to the philosophy that you must have a party at least quarterly because it really makes you clean out and scrub stuff.  (Sadly, I don’t have quarterly parties).  I have toothbrushes for grout, a really good vacuum for floors, swiffers, disinfecting wipes, rags for scrubbing floors on my hands and knees, microfiber dust cloths.  I clean the bathrooms weekly or more.  (There are 4 boys in my house; ‘ nuf said).  I learned from Allison to clean myself into the shower.  But I’m also on the lazy side, so I don’t exactly clean myself into the shower every day.  I triage cleaning. Or I hire it out.

Voula is a breezy place.  The Sirocco winds (hot; from Africa) and the Meltemi winds (cooler, from the north-ish)  make it downright windy.  There is a lot of sand, dirt, Bougainvillea leaves and concrete particles flying around.  Greeks also prefer fresh air to air conditioning, even up to say 39 degrees celsius, so veranda doors are usually open all the way.  Our apartment has four beautiful verandas, views of the sea from all of them, and marble floors.  And with no screen doors (rare), they get dirty fast.  Daily mopping is pretty much mandatory.

I didn’t believe this.  But after washing our feet 4 times a day and crunching on stuff walking through the living room, I realized that my ‘fine’ cleaning skills are woefully inadequate.  I vaccuum & sweep everything, and then I start mopping.  It took me about five days to get a sweep/mop/rinse procedure down.  I think I’ve gotten faster…? And I think we’re washing feet only before bed.  Or maybe they’re just not telling me.  But it sure smells good in here.  I hope I can import the super smelling “Pronto” into the States when we return.

Off to the produce stand …

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