During this afternoon’s walk around Heraklion, there were a few stand-out moments for me.
The first, was the huge Max Perry Handmade Chocolate Factory. Candies, cookies, and cakes everywhere! You could watch the staff making the sweet goodness and the whole thing was a delight to the senses. (Even though I purchased several things, I anticipate a return trip before I leave.)
The second stand-out came while Julia and I were sitting outside of Starbucks, sipping our coffee and taking in the view below, while we waited for a manicure appointment. A woman who was walking by, stopped and came over to us. She said something in Greek and I said “I’m sorry, do you speak English?” In German she says “No, I only learned German.” It’s at this point that Julia realized that she (being from Berlin) could communicate with the woman. Julia told her that she was from Germany and that I was from America. The woman proceeded to tell us (in German) a story about a Greek woman who was born in America and then came to Greece to find her family. She went on and on while we listened (Julia translating bits for me). I kept waiting to eventually find out why she stopped to talk to us in the first place. I never got my answer. I even kept an eagle eye on her in relation to Julia’s wide open purse (but, no problem there). Eventually, she just finished the conversation, touched our shoulders and faces like we were her family, said goodbye and walked on down the street. That was it. She just stopped to talk to us. No agenda. That’s the epitome of Greek people.
Last but not least, now on the list of (strange) things I can say that I have done in my life: “Once in Greece, I stuck my feet in a bath with bunches of little fish, so they could nibble away at my soles.” We knew we were going to a place that did “fish pedicures” (where the little fish literally nibble the dead skin off of your feet), but neither of us were planning to do it. In fact, I was only planning on a manicure. But, while Julia’s services began, I had to wait for my manicurist to arrive (remember, it’s winter, so there isn’t a lot of demand for this apparently popular experience), so curiosity got the better of me. You don’t have to get an official “fish pedicure,” you can just buy segments of time to sit with your feet in there. It’s 10 euros for 10 minutes, so I felt like it was worth it for an interesting way to pass the time. It was weird, weird, weird. Definitely tickled. Sorta hurt, but didn’t hurt. Like little mild, tickley pin pricks. I could only look down long enough to take this photo and then I was entirely too grossed out by the visual of it and had to look at Julia most of the time. About half way through I really wanted to pull my feet out. But, by the end I started thinking of them as “my little fishies.”