It is Ochi Day in Greece today. It is "celebrated throughout Greece, Cyprus and the Greek communities around the world on October 28 each year, to commemorate Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas' (in power from August 4, 1936, until January 29, 1941) rejection of the ultimatum made by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on October 28, 1940. (Wikipedia) The events of 1940 are commemorated every year with military and student parades. On every anniversary, most public buildings and residences are decorated with Greek flags." However, the celebrations were called off in Thessaloniki when the crowds began to pelt politicians with eggs!!! It was a work day for us mostly, but when we went to a dinner invitation to lunch by the Branch President, there was much less traffic, lots of flags and evidence of some celebrating - so I guess not all was cancelled.
Lunch was great. President and Sis. Dimitris Karampoulas are wonderful folk - so enthusiastic and loving. The main dish was Pastitsio - it reminded me of Lasagna as it was layers of a special kind of noodle, meat in a sauce with special spices and bechamel was on top. I had a little serving and it was yummy, but I'm paying the price a little bit now. We also had Spinach pie - looked to me like spinach in phylo pastry - also had a Greek salad, followed by chocolatey dessert - looked like crushed cookies bound together with a chocolate mixture and it was very good. Lastly, Sis.K. cut up lots of fresh fruit while sat and ate it. They have a 9 yr-old named Pablos and he played the piano for us. He speaks fluent English and Greek as they have always had him in English schools.
We had to accompany the elders (assistants to the President) while they went to the airport to pick up a sister coming from Cyprus. That was fun - meeting her - enjoying the ride - and seeing lots of new things. Athens seems to be a city of totally built up areas and little streets with cars parked everywhere - it's so hard to find a parking spot anywhere. We feel that Athenians must own two cars each because there are so many cars!! and they're all little. Lots of Smart cars around!