14 December, 2009

Lunch at Faros, Coffee at Senses

Yesterday afternoon, lunch at a psarotaverna near our flat.


I ate for the first time deep-fried mussels. They were quite nice with condensed flavour.

And then we paid our first visit to a new cafeteria called Senses which has an excellent view to the Saronikos Bay.

A double Greek coffee and a single espresso both cost 3 euros. For this view, we will be back!

12 December, 2009

Restaurant Reviews

I am trying to reorganise Gate to Greece to add restaurant review section for Athens and Piraeus.



Some pages have already been there, some have been published in this blog, and some I wrote before but have never published. I had a similar project for Birmingham when I lived there and it was quite successful. I hope to do something similar also for Athens and Piraeus, although I cannot aim at any completeness for Athens.

The first new pages I added are for

Gia Mas (Γεια Μας) in Piraeus



Koukouvagia (Κουκουβάγια) in Gazi/Keramikos

The content is still small, but will increase over time. Hope it will be some of use.

11 December, 2009

Where Did the Smoking Ban Go?

Yesterday evening we went to Gazi for dinner.

Frankly we were put off by many restaurants because they looked like Nazi Gas Chambers from outside.

Let's remember. In Greece smoking in closed public space has been banned since July this year.

Back then the change was not immadiately felt, as in summer most of the Greeks eat and drink in open space, not inside the buidling. Everyone was saying that we would not know the outcome until the winter.

And here it is!

Greek Government need money. Why don't start by collecting fine from shops allow their customers to smoke inside!

Athens Rubbish Chaos

In Athens the garbage collectors' strike has been on for almost two weeks and now the central Athens is full of garbage and is actually quite stinky. Thank God this was not happening in summer.

We went to Gazi yesterday evening and look how things are!

Athens Rubbish


Athens Garbage

It is not only in Gazi. Even in Syntagma and Ermou Street, the situation is almost the same.

I heard that they will start collecting the garbage from today, but the clearing up won't be immediate. I understand that the garbage people have the right to strike, but leaving things as they are is irresponsible. The workers will say that it is government's responsibility. I don't buy that 100%. If you get the pay to do something, it is ALSO their responsibility.

On the other hand, the recycling finally came to Piraeus.

Checked the container if the people are behaving well.

I did not see any kitchen garbage or anything, but someone already thrown his/her recycling-bag which we are supposed to be keep on using. Don't know what to say.

06 December, 2009

Thinking About "Unfriend"

About a week ago, I learnt that New American Oxford Dictionary selected "unfriend" as the new word of the year. Probably people in America and UK heard about it before me, but, you know, it takes time for news to arrive in Greece! (I am just joking).


It is a verb meaning "removing someone as a ‘friend’ on a social networking site such as Facebook". It is in a sense an antonym of "befriend", but in a limited context, i.e. happens only in the world of Internet.

This word provoked me some thoughts. In person, we make friends, but we usually do not have to "unfriend". We just gradually lose contact. Of course, we do have fight and slit up with friends, but this happens only rarely to normal people, I think. Act of "unfriending" is something more casual.

What I am thinking are these "friends" or rather acquaintances that we don't have much contact/relationship anyway. In social networking sites (SNS), there is no such thing as "acquaintance": people are all either friends or non-existent (or friends of friends). On SNS you can make 'friends' without even exchanged any word. This happened to me recently and caused some stir in my mind, as until now, my 'friends' were either real-life friends or family members/relatives. In real world, you won't label as 'friends' those who you have never spoken with. (those who you exchange(d) views and thoughts with some frequence on Internet without actually meeting them is in a different category; they are like "pen pals" in snail mail age, they are "www pals").

With the coming of Facebook and the like, "making friends" has become ever easier (not slightly because it changed the definition of "friend"), but naturally we humans cannot keep friendship with all these casual "friends". Consequently there is sometimes a need to "unfriend", if you don't want to list as 'friends' those who you have never spoken with or even you don't remember at all (there are people who list more than 1000 people as 'friends' and I am sure that they - if they are not gifted with an exceptional memory - won't be able to identify all of them in 10, or even 3 years later).

I have Facebook only for 2 years. I cannot help but thinking what shall I do with these 'friends' I don't remember who they are in 5 years. Unfriend them? Probably.

04 December, 2009

Baklavas from Themis

A friend brought us a Baklavas.

It was excellent.

Thank you, Friend!

Filippidi 1, Nea Filothei
Tel. 210-6912243
Panormou 11, Athina
Tel. 210-6462832
Panormou 111, Athina
Tel. 210-6910044

Φιλιππίδη, Ν. Φιλοθέη
Tel. 210-6912243
Πανόρμου 11, Αθήνα
Tel. 210-6462832
Πανόρμου 111, Αθήνα
Tel. 210-6910044

03 December, 2009

Flocafé Liquid Tiramisù @ Marina Zea

Sunday late afternoon at Flocafé in Marina Zea, Piraeus.

Coffee in Marina Zea is probably the most expensive in Piraeus, more than in Mikrolimano, but the cafeterias here are always full during the weekends. We would like to avoid them, but most of our friends seem to prefer here - many live in the neighbourhood - and consequently we are constrained to come back.

The tree nearby was wearing Christmas decoration.

There was a new item on the menu.

Tiramisù caldo?

Wanting to try something new, I ordered it.

The left one is Tiramisu caldo. The white floth is mascarpone cream and all the rest is mixed together below.

It was quite unusual. It contained a lot of savoiardi biscuits, enough to soak up all the coffee. It really was tiramisu in liquid form. It is supposed to be hot coffee, but all these stuff, the temperature was lowered to lukewarm. Both the texture and the temperature made me think of baby food. Except that baby should not take in cafein.

On tasting it, Hubby seemed pretty disgusted, but I did not dislike it. Not bad. Just... weird. Maybe it was better to be eaten with a spoon, and not with a strow.

On this day, we had an appointment with someone who was coming from Daphni with a car. She was caught up by a heavy traffic near Karaiskakis Studium, because there was to be a match of Olympiakos and football fans were making a lot of fuss (eventually the match was postponed for some time). Unfortunate situation it was.

02 December, 2009

Syntagma Square at 7 O'clock

Ilektrikó work continues. To make it punctually to my appointment in Syntagma Square, I leave home quite early, at 6 o'clock. By doing so, I arrive too early for my appointment, but in later time, I can never know how is the traffic and I am constraint to do this.

In the other morning, I arrived at 7 o'clock, i.e. 30 min earlier than the appointment. I won't call 7 o'clock really an early morning, but seeing such darkness, I cannot avoid this impression.

Not knowing what to do, I did a bit of sightseeing.

Koulouri man already at work.

Koulouri man

Syntagma Square still deserted.

Handsome Parliament (Voulí) building.

And I attended the Euzones Guard changing ceremony. There was no one else around me.

Now you know see that they don't do this only for the tourists! ^_^

And a cappuccino and a butter croissant at Grigoris. 3 euros, if I remember well.


Later, I went down to the toilets. The Syntagma branch of Grigoris has separate gent's and ladies' toilets. I went into the ladies'. The one cubicle was stained, so I tried the other cubicle, of which the door was half open.

I saw a man pissing!

Taken by surprise, I said "sorry" and close the door.

It did not take much time for me to realise that it is him who was in the wrong section and who was supposed to close the door anyway. I was really pissed off! ha ha ha