The number of coffee shops lining the waterfront in our little town in Epirus appears to mulitply weekly and my fear is that the few remaining traditional kafenia frequented by the fishermen and tavli playing public servents will be squeezed out by brash music bars.
Every time someone sugggests meeting for coffee in one of the trendy new outlets I try to make an excuse, but when that fails I invariably find myself skulking past my usual corner spot at Gorgi0s kafenion and insisting on a discrete table at the new venue just incase my disloyalty is spotted.
Last Sunday morning I joined a friend and her husband for coffee and a catch up at the latest addition to the waterfront scene, Nightlife. As I sunk down into the squidgy leather sofa and scanned the other customers on the terrace I was mortified to see Giorgos coming out of the bar and heading my way. Too late to duck . . . he’d spotted me. “Katarina!” he shouted. “What do you think of the business?” Before I could think of an excuse for my betrayal, he went on to explain that the new bar belonged to his teenage cousin.
So that made it OK. By sampling a new venue I was still donating my euros to the family bank account. Problem solved – I had forgotten how small a Greek town is!