I've long considered this to be an annoying chore, those constant trips to the store to pick up another item I forgot to complete my meal - battling the inevitable whacky wheel on the cart - standing bored in a long line at the register.
Although grocery shopping here is more difficult in many ways, it's always an experience. The Laiki (li-KEE) opens in a different neighborhood in Athens each day. When Fridays come around, I grab my little 2 wheeled cart and walk about a quarter mile up steep uneven cobblestone sidewalks to the street where it's set up. The fish is fresh,
with loads of variety that I have very little idea of what to do with.
The fruit and vegetables are fresh and delicious. Grecians eat in season and they eat locally grown produce. Eggs are not refrigerated because they're so very fresh. The shells aren't washed so the natural barrier stays intact, keeping bacteria from entering the egg. Eating an egg here is amazing. The yolks are so dark that your scrambled eggs are orange rather than yellow. I normally buy lentils for my pot
and surely the world's richest, most delicious honey for my tea: Shopping at the laiki is not something done quickly. It's not at all convenient. I don't understand the language enough to make proper change, so I resort to an outstretched palm full of coins, from which the smiling, indulgent merchants pick out what I owe. We smile and nod our heads at each other alot. They sometimes try to practice their English. We laugh at our shared ineptitude. Shopping at the Laiki - it's become a one of my most favorite local things to do.