Saturday, 31 July 2010

A evening in Athens

Everytime I come back from university I fall in love with Athens all over again. You can get lost in all the nooks and crannies of Thisseio, Plaka, Psiri and never come across the same shop, the same art mural, the same cafeteria, there are just endless things to see and do. You can listen to the various buskers playing a jazzy, upbeat song or admire the Acropolis while nibbling on some nuts, bought from an old Greek man off the side of the street.
One thing I love about Greece is the culture of going out for a coffee and sitting there, chatting for hours on end. Greeks love their coffee and especially during the summer, they love their ice-cold frappe. You can go out any time of the day and you will struggle to find a place to sit down and have a drink. It's always at this time that I wonder "don't these people have jobs?", no wonder Greece is feeling the burn of the economic crisis. Walking down the pedestrianized pathway that leads you from the Acropolis area down to Thisseio, the road is paved with cafeterias. Row after row, table after table, cafe after cafe. For a second I was taken aback with the abundance of these coffe shops, but then it hit me, this is what we Greeks do, this is what we are famous for: sitting and lazing around, drinking endless amounts of coffee without a care in the world of what one should really be doing or what time of day it is. But that's what I love about the Greek νοωτροπία (way of thinking), they live a casual, carefree life. Especially in the summer, we wake up late, feast on lovely fresh melon and peaches all day, lounge by the sea and then decide to head off for dinner around 10 in the evening. What a life, eh?

Friday, 30 July 2010


If there is one thing I can't live without it's chocolate.
I have great will power but I struggle to go three days without a tiny hit of cocoa from a shop bought chocolate bar. To hell with all this fancy pants Swiss or French chocolate, I tend to like all dark chocolate. I hate to admit, all foodies should look away now, but I have to say that Somerfields' own brand, dark chocolate is great. At 40 pence a bar (yes, 40 p a bar!) you get all the great taste of rich cocoa and the great crisp sound when you break off a piece( or five) without the bitterness and without the horrible grainyness you get from other cheap chocolates. I even like Cadbury's Bournville dark chocolate and ASDA's own brand-dark chocolate. Maybe my preference for cheap chocolate comes with being a student, but I have tried many chocolates, from Gold & Blacks to Fair Trade and I will always go back to Bournville or good old Sommerfields.
However I will never turn down a bar of "good quality dark chocolate" . When I'm at uni and I want to have a square of chocolate after dinner I go for the cheap stuff . But when I bake with it and make brownies or chocolate chip cookies, I will definetly use a better quality chocolate, or whatever I can find in Asda that is a bit more expensive than 40p bar.