Did it ever happen to you to wake up in the morning, still lying there in your bed, covered in sheets, and... laughing your ass off? Do you get the picture? Your partner (wife, mistress, girlfriend, sex-doll, for Japanese that is, whoever...) stares at you in half sleepy eyes and wonders "...what the heck is wrong with him, again?", anxious to find out the reason and maybe have some laughs too. Well, do you remember this happening to you, ever?
Well folks, it happened to me this morning. Reason was simple. As I was waking up lazy and slow, a Greek proverb came to mind. Something modern Greek men use to show contempt to representatives of the opposite sex. But, how do you wake up with a proverb in your mind? That's really simple. Read further on...
A few days ago, a friend of mine here in Brussels, responding to a situation that was turning more complex than it deserved because of some 'political' manipulations by a woman, told me: "... think about what your cousin Mike used to tell us all the time..."
Gosh, my cousin Mike... el Greco loco as the... Germans would say. The most lovable character you can come across if you are looking for great company, a John Clease à-la-Greque! Tall, with still great looks in his mid fifties, with lots of 'success' among young hospital nurses to the dismay of his spouse (he's a doctor you see, radiologist, in a well-known hospital in Piraeus), loves to tennis and to diet, but still over hundred kgs... got the picture?
Mike has always been great fun for his simplicity and sense of humor. We grew together as kids in our hometown Alexandroupolis in the North East of Greece, but then lost contact as we went to college... he was attending the medical school in Thessaloniki whereas I was in Athens... I left the country in mid seventies and only returned 20 years later. We met again then, mature men in our forties, both married with children. I used to travel back to Greece for business during the mid nineties and I looked for contact with him and his older brother, both of them first degree cousins via my father's side.
I am really glad I did that, having realised how much I missed contact with folks from my own family. During my short trips to Athens Mike and his brother Kostas displayed an extreme level of hospitality only Greeks and Eskimos are capable of. Despite their numerous defaults, Greeks take care of you if you give them the chance... it's a matter of honor to them. That dates back to more than 3000 years, trust me. It's woven in their genome. Add to this their surprising sense of humor and you got the ideal chemistry of friends for life.
How about proverbs then? Well many seem to resemble the sayings we have in other tongues but the Greeks have often a terribly funny way of saying these things. To the point that if it happens to have one of those sayings come to mind while still lying in bed, you may end up waking up your neigborhood with your laughing screams... they might even think you are in the middle of getting... lucky (wink wink). Only your partner knows better, of course...
One such proverb I only heard recently for the first time from a colleague... It goes like: "Don't encourage too much a peasant because you risk having him taking ownership of your... bed"... It might sound unusual to the 'English listening' ear and might even cause some smiles, but I can tell you, in Greek it's hilarious... the use of verbs, forms, nouns selected... once you hear the proverb you see the picture opening up in front of your eyes... that's what I mean!
And finally, Mike's wisdom that my Greek pal brought back to memory a few days back... remember, it's about women interfering and with machinations of all sorts make a mess of it (that's one of the reasons Greeks and everybody else east of Greece - check-up your geography - want their women to stay in the kitchen and raise the kids rather than interfere with manly business).
It goes like this (PG recommended) : If it happens to you to come across some boat on top of a mountain, be sure my friend... it's a vagina who brought it there...