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Girl not in Czechland: My Big Fat Greek Holiday

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Votsalakia beach, Samos

Hello. Or should I say ‘Kalimera’. That means ‘Good morning’ by the way. As for the rest of the language, it’s all Greek to me.*

So I’m back after an extended break some of which I spent abroad. On a foreign holiday! How very spoilt and western! Or perhaps not, as today’s Dnes informs me that 600,000 Czechs now visit Italy every year. Gone are the days when buying all your kids an ice-cream anywhere beyond the borders of Czechland would mean having to spend the rest of the year eating stale rohlíky.

Even on a Greek island, it’s not unusual to find a taverna menu in Cesky these days. Don’t believe me? As usual, I’ve documented the evidence.

No, this menu isn't sitting outside a restaurant in Prague but the Greek island of Samos...

It did take some arm-twisting to get to agree to head for foreign shores but when I told him that it was simply his duty to help prevent the impending Greek economic collapse by spending his disposable cash in their fine country, he relented.

I’m joking, of course. He agreed because it was cheap. I’m not complaining: mustn’t go spending all that tax rebate at once.

I loved Samos.

We had a great time. The beaches were beautiful – if a little windswept – but we didn’t spend all our time lying on the sand. The Czechs are an active bunch so of course I was made to pack hiking boots as well as flipflops. I was not exactly delighted to be woken up at 5.30am to set off up a mountain before the sun became too scorchingly hot but I was glad I’d made the effort when we arrived at the town of Marathokampos. There was something magical about having the chance to explore the chaotic winding streets with only the local population of cats for company.  Here’s the view I was rewarded with:

Marathokampos, Samos

We didn’t spend all our time off the beaten track: what package holiday would be complete withoutgoing on at least one excursion?

The first stop of the coach tour of the island we’d opted for was at a pottery studio. There a bearded Greek chap showed off his skill with wet clay for the amusement of the assembled crowd of tourists. So far, so predicable. Czechman, however, was entranced. I had to practically drag him out of the souvenir shop where I caught him eyeing up vases costing 50 euro (ouch!) but not before he made one purchase.

We are now the proud owners of not one, but two, Cups of Pythagoras.

What, you may ask, is the difference between an ordinary cup and the Cup of Pythagoras you see here below? Apparently, the Greek mathematician invented this object to teach his students the spirit of fairness – or alternatively, to stop them getting too drunk in his lectures. How does this remarkable drinking vessel achieve these lofty goals? Fill it beyond a certain point and the entire contents pour out of a hole in the bottom.

Czechman's favourite souvenir

Now call me stupid but a cup with a hole in the bottom seems to be about as much use as a one-legged man in an arse-kicking competition. However, it was so cute to watch the normally super-sensible Czechman be keen to buy tourist tacky souvenirs that I happily let him hand over the euros.  What the hell.  Now that we’ve bought a flat, who knows when we’ll get to go on a foreign holiday again?

Yes that’s right: Czechman and I are taking our first tentative steps on the property ladder. Expect to hear more about that soon. And although I won’t be jetting off anywhere soon, I do have something ‘jet’ related in the pipeline.  Watch this space…

Fresh figs, apricots and thick greek yogurt - the perfect holiday breakfast...

A donkey. They have quite a lot of these on Samos.

(*This is a simply hilarious joke which relies on you knowing the English idiom ‘It’s all Greek to me’ which means ‘I don’t understand this at all.’ Apparently the Czech equivalent is something about Spanish villages.)

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