Monday, 21 January 2013


Early January, a bright and sunny day, but yet, winterish chilly. We were all sitting in the cafe with nothing to do and wondering between us, who will be the first to have an omelet this year.. Who will be the first to do anything this year? For in Greece the first of the year matters a lot, it matters what kind of person steps into your place of business or your house for the first time. If the person who steps in to your house on the first first day of the year is pure hearted and generous, then your whole year goes well. Many shops hide behind the curtain and don't open their doors, others go to more ancient traditions such as going to church to bring an icon home or to the field to bring a new born baby lamb in the house, cause it is just born and pure and innocent. And the house will fill with purity and blessings for the whole year. Enough about traditions and back to our story.
As we were sitting a man road up the road on a bicycle, so it was obvious this man WAS THE FIRST BICYCLER OF 2013 to step foot on Azogires ground. He sat down and ordered an omelet. It was no other then the Famous Dutch Children Story teller Gerard Groenevelt. A man who's passion for story telling brings him cycling into the smallest villages of Crete to learn and compare new and old stories. A man who can tell you with the last detail the origins of a story all the way back to ancient Greece. So rightfully we presented him with the title and the prize of  FIRST CYCLER OF 2013 IN AZOGIRES.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Christmas days in Azogires

It was a Christmas never to be forgotten, the tale of this Christmas could actually be told by the worlds greatest story tellers. Even miss Doubtfire herself. Some would say that Christmas in Crete this year would have been very poor due to the crisis. But here in Azogires we say; What crisis? We don't have. And everybody offers something. The month started with the joyfull Diana3 and Arthur1 (both residents of our village) who started giving their Christmas presents early. As early as the beginning of the month. Every day at 12 o clock Diana3 brought into the cafe a big pot of the most delicious and the warmest soups on Crete. And gave it away like in a homeless shelter, but in this situation not to homeless people, but to residents who needed their heart to be warmed by the Christmas spirit.

The presents continued coming, from Horsts wife Annamaria, she made cookies and applepie and sended to the cafe in the nights with her husband for all the village to enjoy. They were so tasty that the tray never stayed a second day full. Everybody thanked her, we know she did it from the bottom of her heart. But I think that there was more involved to it. It was a way from her to thank us for keeping her husband locked up in the cafe every night, so she could have some peacefull time. Off course? That's just my thought. Cause I like to piss him off, every chance I get. In reality she too was warming Christmasless Azogires hearts.

It all went on with Ioanna returning from Holland just to help decorating the Christmas tree, not only mine! But also my parents. Two Christmas trees that made me remember what Christmas was all about. At the same time Horst and his wife decorated their whole house with Christmas lights, that could been seen all the way from Paleochora road, reminding the passing by people that even though they tell us Santa Claus is no longer around. His spirit is definetely here.

Then came the time for the Christmas table of all Azogirians, like one big family, that they all are, and always will be. Despite their differences they stick together, especially in the holy days. My parents cooked wild goat with potatoes in the oven, fried meat Tsigariasto and pilafi. Even I who have been eating all my life their food admit that this time they exceeded every expectation. Ioanna made beautifull design salads, cooked lovely kalitsounia delicious sfakian cheese pitas with honey, as for me I made my speciality fried hotdogs with red peppers and onion. Old Tassia made delicious Melomakarona, a traditional greek sweet for Christmas. Diana3 made a lovely cake and Annamaria made a HOUSE? Yes, a house, in this situation one you can eat from ginger bread. For the first time of her life she made a greek house. How can you tell the difference? Greek roofs are never straight..everyone fell on it, like ants on a sugarcane. Everyone had a great time. Ioanna brought presents for all and we consumed pardon my language, shit loads of alcohol. As you will see on one of the lower pictures, on the end of the night there were only two drunken sailors left, who almost disappeared in a cloud of smoke. Even though they were not smoking.

Then came Christmas day. Which is the day of Clinton's Birthday. Clinton has been in our family since december 25th of the year 1998. Making him a little bit over 98 years old, yes, he is an old man now. But he is still part of the Azogires family. in case you haven't realised, Clinton is a dog, but not for us in Azogires. He is a part of the family. He was never trained, but he understands everything you say and everything you do. he even opens the door, when he wants to come in. The problem is he never closes it. On the above picture you can see him with all his birthday presents as they were inspected by him.
Then suddenly it was New Years Eve, a quiet evening in the cafe watching Charlie Chaplin. Eating a variety of dishes included Dutch sweets made by Ioanna's parents. The night went quietly and unnoticed. Suddenly we were in 2013, wishing everyone and eachother a prosperous, healthy and happy new year. We cut the traditional cake, the Vasilopita. A traditional greek cake that has its origins all the way back to Casery of Capadokia, when a proud leader and a man of piece that we Greeks call Saint Vasilis had his territory invated by an army of thieves. In order to save his people and avoid the blood shed, he went out and begged for money from everyone. They all gave him gold coins and jewelery in order for him to pay off the raiders to leave his people alone and not killed them. But it was not nesassary cause the raiders lost the battle. So he descided to give all the gold back to his people, since he was not a gready man. But how could he do this? There was no record of who gave what, so he gathered all of his countries bakers and they made small breads each one holding one item inside. A normal coin, a gold one, silver, neckless, rings whatever. And every resident of Capadokia got one bread. An in this manner the wealth got back to the people. Maybe not equal but fair. Since that day Vasilis is the Santa Claus of the Greeks, and on the New years day every greek household cuts a Vasilopita. And one person gets the coin, that is hidden inside, a happy new year to all of you, and we wish you to be able to visit Azogires this year at least once to feel the magic and enjoy nature.