Dimitra's Back Yard adventures

October 15, 2020



These were just some of the ‘ah’ moments experienced when holidaying and working remotely in Crete and the island of Cyprus, a Mediterranean island firmly located between the Middle East and Europe.


During these times, however – local uncertainty, closed down businesses and the heart-breaking explosion in Beirut felt across the ocean in Cyprus – we were reminded that among all the benefits of remote working and slowing life down, difficulties and heartache continue.


But where there is difficulty, there is always a friendly neighbour supporting those in need, and more often than not, it starts with the simple ritual of pouring a cup of coffee and the sharing of a local delicacy.






Mediterranean hospitality


Pre 4 August, my free time when not remote-working between Crete and Cyprus was focused on re-connecting with family and friends, always with food and drink at the centre. It was delightful to take note of the exceptional Greek service once again, proving that the glowing reputation of Mediterranean hospitality is not one of myths.


Over the course of the summer, and over the many, many courses of local seafood dishes, food and drink became a symbol of what Greece has to offer the world; authenticity, quality, history and culture, and that the industry will thrive again.


Endless evenings were spent in the Cretan harbour of Chania in renowned local restaurants such as Ta Chalkina specialising in local Cretan cuisine and Tamam where traditional Greek food is cooked with Eastern oriented influences by the Ottoman cuisine and that of the broader Eastern Mediterranean region. As dishes were served and wine was poured, hope started shining again for the region, tourism and hospitality. It was joyful.



Food 2-1



Community spirit


Fast forward to 04 August, 2020. A loud bang was heard across the island of Cyprus I had now travelled to from Crete and with that, the focus of the month re-shifted to helping our neighbours in need.


So, everyone got to work. As donation packages were prepared and money was wired over to friends and loved ones in Beirut, owners of Greek taverns closed shop to visit their Lebanese friends at the local Baklava sweet shop to see how they could help them support their closest one across the ocean.


And so the rituals began, traditional Greek and Lebanese coffee was poured paired with a glass of water and a traditional Znoud el sit pastry and the discussions commenced. Community spirit was alive and well.






What became more evident than ever, is that community spirit will forever be the way nations across the globe will continue to improve, prop themselves back up and eventually thrive once again. And more often than not, food and drink will help move things along.





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