Madeline Blount
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October 15, 2009 @ 5:51 AM | Permalink

 I have been trying to pull together a street theatre performance in the last few weeks, which has not been going as smoothly as planned -- it's been hard to gather a large enough cast, mainly, who have free evenings for jumping around the square at Phaneromeni (see previous post).  

I've not given up yet, but I've found myself turning my attention to other characters.  It's my last month or so in Cyprus, and I have that infusing pre-nostalgia, where I want to run around impossibly absorbing every inch of my favorite streets, touching stones on buildings, smiling inanely at people walking by, savoring even a mediocre pita sandwich, anticipating the experiences I will miss.  

Maybe first on that list is Nicosia's market.  I go twice a week to get all of my groceries from stalls set up in a parking lot, manned by old men and women, so ancient-seeming as to be of another species: short, weathered, wise.  And hilarious.  They yell prices at you (2 EUROS A KILO), and when I ask for only one cucumber instead of one kilo, they look at me sadly (what Cyprus woman would buy food for one), and give it to me for free.  They also indulge when I don't know what a fruit or vegetable is: I've had free tastes of Cyprus quince, prickly pear, and a mesphilo, which is kind of like a cross between a tangerine, a grape, and a nectarine.  

Going twice a week, I've made some eye-contact friends; we recognize each other with a nod.  One of these friends is Potato Lady.  While some stalls empty out their entire farms, Potato Lady only brings her best Cyprus potatoes.  She sells them on her own, with a quiet, almost smug pride, for 60 euro cents a kilo.  When you're not cooking for a neighborhood and you only need one kilo, that's quite a deal.  I'd say that her potatoes are the best, but I really wouldn't know, because after I met her months ago I can't bring myself to buy potatoes from anybody else.

Here's to you, Potato Lady.  



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Loved the ending on this. Related: I find that sometimes I remember a meeting or moment but can't recall what country it happened in. I also find that if I ...

Saleem Reshamwala on Upon Waking, and Placelessness 2009-03-23

Thanks Saleem -- I've also experienced that tonguetied delirium from speaking multiple languages in the same conversation. . . interesting to think of meaning separate from words, does meaning require ...

Madeline Blount on Upon Waking, and Placelessness 2009-03-26

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