Greek summer in Athens is all about taverns with a courtyard, mulberry trees and aromatic herbs in old-fashioned metal pots, mouth-watering bread dips in Greek salad, souvlaki at the neighbourhood square, oven-baked mixed vegetables (called briam in Greek), stuffed tomatoes and peppers, beef stew in tomato sauce with thick macaroni pasta, flavours that travel us back to our childhood. Mingling with the tourists and pretending to be on vacation.
Going around sleeveless during the heatwave, searching for fig ice cream and knowing that there is a food container with your mom's Imam Bayildi in the fridge. Enjoying sushi and bao bans as a takeaway and eating them outside the Odeon of Herodes Atticus theatre, while eavesdropping on a concert, and enjoying the smell of popcorn in the open-air cinemas while drinking frozen margarita. Summer in Athens is all about organizing holidays while drinking cold raki and eating meatballs, falafel and sausages, looking for Airbnb in the islands, and listening to live concerts, having forgotten that tomorrow you still have to go to work. Deconstructing creativity and readjusting it to the relaxed vibes of summer.
Feeling the hot asphalt road under your feet and escaping in the shade of plane trees, sitting on a bench with a sandwich or a shortcrust pastry cheese pie in your hand, drinking freddo cappuccino and having a club sandwich on the sunbed, enjoying juicy grilled calamari, fresh fried potatoes and roasted prawns. It’s the white tablecloth with the map of Greece in blue, the enticing smell of ouzo, a glass of aromatic, cold white wine, grilled octopus and tope shark with garlic dip (called galeos skordalia in Greek) next to the sea.