For us mediterraneans, fasting is usually a celebration but most of the time it’s a bad idea, as bad as my partner asking me to detox for a week. This time I’m exaggerating, this wasn’t one of those Old City Ramadan occasions, where the smell of fresh bread and pickled stuff and stuffed pickles assaults you from one corner to another throughout Bab-huta. In Greece, these few “fasting days” were by the sea, on one iconic island, surrounded by amazing people. By default you can eat and drink all you want just don’t fuck with any of the sheep / lamb things.
One of my best friends Katia Stefanatou, invited us to her world to spend Easter with her family who come from that island (Kefalonia), generation after generation. Her sweet loving golden father, Agamemnon, who, after trying out his own homemade wine and switching unknowingly to vinegar, we called “Agi”. It wasn’t my fault by the way, I took a bullet for that mix (wine/vinegar), not knowing that everything he produces is stored in the exact same plastic bottle.
Usual me, craving meat even though I probably should have embraced vegetarianism a few moons ago, not that I care more than you about the planet but since I never feel the same after eating it (prosciutto doesn’t count). For 2 days I lived spotting chickens, sheep and more strolling around me but we had to wait – and to be honest that night when lent was over, it was epic! The things we share culturally, (Greeks and Palestinians) delicious and disgusting ,was all there, from the stomach of the sheep kind of soup to the family vibes and occasional vulgarity.
That night with our stomachs filled to the top of our necks, mumbling greek like a bouzouki star with all ages of Katia’s family “we are talking between 20 to 100”, we went out for the Easter parade, I thought it would be similar to what I lived in the Old City of Jerusalem, silly me, it was magical even with all the kids placed like pawns and the gold wearing grumpy priests, it was fun, dark, and we will do it again if we can.
The next day, fighting a hangover and indigestion, we headed to a huge property the family owns, where the lamb was rolling with the times since morning and overwhelming amounts of rosemary were burning, the smell was just perfect.
I leave you with some photos taken during that visit and I would like to dedicate this to two amazing ladies – Aggeliki Stefanatou and Amalia Kyraggelou – best friends who have shared a lifetime together. The latter of whom passed away shortly after our visit at the ripe age of 94. Smoking her last cigarette, having lived a fully and happy life. If we could all be so lucky…