Statue That Spoke!
I was spending
September 2013 in Chania, Crete staying in the
converted Turkish guest house owned by German
Lena the architect. There were two ways to get
back from the harbour. One, the long way round
past all the shops and restaurants and the other
along the waterfront by the naval museum. I
decided to walk along yet another waterfront way,
along the ancient Venetian walls, towards the
Jewish memorial sculpture of the hand coming out
of the water commemorating the sunken boat bombed
by the Germans during WW2 and drowning the entire
Jewish community on the island of Crete except
Costas who for some reason never got on the
It was a quiet
dark route by the sea and far from the crowds of
tourists strolling around the seafront. It was
almost midnight and I was Cinderella returning to
my Turkish pumpkin.
I could hardly
believe my eyes. There in the dark in the midst
of solitude was a tall fair haired middle aged
Living Statue wearing a tunic robe and gazing out
across the waters of time. Why was he there?
Tourists did not walk that way. He was 'off duty'
so to speak. He didn't look Greek to me but
perhaps from The Balkans, ex Yugoslavia.
I HAD to speak
to this ghost of a man and ask him what the hell
he was doing standing in the dark at the witching
hour. I spoke to him in my basic conversational
you here at midnight?" He ignored my
question and asked me which country I came from.
I told him England. He continued in Greek so I
knew he did not speak English. "Where is
your husband?" He asked straight to the
point. "Dead" I replied
monosyllabically. With that he began to raise his
tunic slowly murmuring "milissoumi"!
I had not come across this Greek word before and
had no time to fumble in my bag for my ever
present notebook and pen and ask what the word
meant. I beat a hasty retreat not knowing what
other garments or worse he was about to reveal up
I kept on
repeating the word eager not to forget it until I
got to the friendly Swedish woman who I knew
closed her colourful fashion boutique at midnight.
There she was, taking down the dress rails and
displays outside her shop. I demanded to know if
Millisoumi meant let's F----. On hearing such a
familiar word, after his own heart, the Greek
opposite with an art gallery came over and joined
in. No, it was not the four letter word but let's
talk. Then came a big debate over the event and
what the Living Statue really meant. By this time
I had got my notebook and pen out wanting to know
more about this world famous F word. What was it
in Greek? How do you say F--- off in Greek?
Well a woman has to know these words, doesn't
she? Then I asked about other intimate parts of
the body for both sexes knowing that sooner or
later I was going to come across them. Be
prepared is my motto. Knowledge is power!!!!
Soon my page
was full of 'useful' vocabulary should I meet
another Living Statue. I later asked other Greek
men about the meaning in context and of course,
as I suspected, the Statue had sex on the brain
and thought he had perhaps encountered an
opportunity with no witnesses.
To this day I
wonder how a living Balkan statue would perform
in the stillness of the dark.....
Did I miss an
interesting experience at midnight?