Kalimera, paidia! Good morning, pals!
While it may not be morning, Greeks use this phrase up until the early afternoon. Then there isn’t a defined greeting from the afternoon until around six pm. From six til ten, you’d say kalispera (with a soft d or slight rolling r) which translates to good afternoon. Then from ten pm on it’s kalivravi: good evening.
Just last night, Michael ordered dessert for our group dinner at Tim’s apartment, and the bakery told him to pick it up “in the afternoon… at seven”.
So what happens in those hours the sun beats down the hardest? Greeks sleep. They siesta. And, not wanting to be culturally insensitive, most of us have taken up this ritual. There’s essentially an institutionalized nap time in Greece, and it’s lovely. The heat is greatest then, and some days that great heat has meant simply stepping foot outside at three pm brings such discomfort that one is tempted to get a few minutes, or even hours, of slumber.
By the late afternoon the temperature drops ever so slightly and after some good shuteye Greeks are ready to resume the day refreshed. At eight pm, there’s still plenty of sun to take in as we wish pleasant afternoon tidings to one another. Accordingly, Greek dinner is usually at nine or ten, as the sun sets.
So, dear readers, kalimera! And kala evdomada ~ have a good week!