13 November 2013

The Road to Damaskinos

Stage two in Aleko D's tutorials in  'Effective Greek'.

Day 1 ~ Guy Fawkes Day, November 5. I ignore the implication and arrive in time. All the bright faces - it is like 'Glittering Prizes - and the dullards have gone. Some people will never learn but Aleko is too polite to put it to them, and it is their money.

The lessons now come as a link from Real Corfu and starting the next week, there will be a password to keep out spongers.

I start work on the exercise as soon as it comes through and thrilled to see that AD has packed it with useful daily exercises for the shops and time telling. I work every day and look forward to scoring top marks.

Day 2 - All sorts of old faces swelling our ranks - so old in some cases it had never occurred to me that they might think themselves capable of learning the language. Excellent acoustics.

J and T signal to sit next to me but I affect not to understand so's to have the pleasure of staring across the semi-circle at their baffled expressions at what is going on. A takes the lessons from a respected well-honed course but one has to have a modicum of feel for a language or it's just a series of foreign sounds.

Three newbies capping each other to answer Aleko's questions and probably wondering why the rest of us are so slow  (psst, dont tell but they are such basic questions we can't be bothered)

When we come to telling time I almost fall off my stool with delight at the puzzlement from the grockle corner over 1, 3 and 4. Aleko makes them suffer awhile before announcing that they can be feminine. Time and again a classical education gives one the edge. 

  • -eio signifies selling something. 
  • Mpouti = thigh. Booty = thigh. Of course it does, we're in Greece.  
  • Galopoula - Xmas coming up, 'turkey' a good word to know 
Wonderful confusion, almost came to blows, when Lorraine was asked to ask in Greek how much something cost and started to use kostizei only to be corrected to poso kanei ... oh poh poh, a right wild bunch we have here and it'll be interesting to see who reappears next week once the dust is settled.

Penny - only the skilled observer will remember Penny's sharp comments from the UK that enlightened the Grapevine discussions. Sage words from the Smoke, pearls among us ignorant expat swine.  Then suddenly pouf! she's moving over here:

  • A few well timed drinks parties
  • Mingle tingle mwah mwah
  • Heard so much about you, luhve your comments
Then the waters close over and we go back to our duties. Here she is today looking puffier-faced than her profile pic and cracking jokes to paper over her struggles with the lingo. I don't smile because my new favourite fellow pupil doesnt smile, except that when she does the sun bursteth forth and the whole of Sally's illuminates.

Password -  a lot of argy-bargy at the end of the class and I need to make tracks. I gripe about are we going to be told the password to get into the next week's work. Έλληνες.

I talk that night to my elder daughter who observes that the password should be announced in Greek by way of a simple riddle 'beware of these bearing gifts'  Να είστε προσεκτικοί. Αυτοί οι άνθρωποι φέρνουν δώρα (or something like that). 

"That way, if they can't even understand the riddle, they're clearly not making enough progress to stay the course." Rather clever in a way. 

Lesson Three - Efficiently thru Real Corfu in pdf.
First glance: 

  • Now I know what 'If' is
  • Ah ha - so 'yesterday' is Htes and not Hthes - altho it sounds spoken like hythes
  • Dont confuse cheap with exactly

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