2 Oct – A notable young man of Thessaloniki 

When Pat an I were here a week ago we found a fascinating flee market. Full of odd things for sale and interesting people watching opportunities. We had a delicious meal at a little place – I told you about the free beer for the “inconvenience” of waiting for him to open. Several times over the past week we recalled that young man. He seemed so enterprising and hard working. It wasn’t just the free beer – it was his industry. And the meal was the best we’ve had to date in Greece.

Yesterday – after a long walk along the sea front which included dodging a large number of other tourists disgorged off a cruise ship! They didn’t go too far from the safety of their vessel mind you so it wasn’t long before the board walk consisted of us, joggers, and numerous Thessalonians enjoying a beautiful Saturday. 

After our 12 k tour of the water front we had a bit of a hunger on. From yesterday we realized eating within two blocks of the water front means poor food at exorbitant prices. Euro 9.00 for two small cups of coffee for instance. Mind you we received three bite sized cookies with these coffees. Now think this through for a moment. If a person ordered one cup of coffee – would they receive one and a half cookies?  Where does three come from? We didn’t leave a tip.

Anyway I digress. Our hunger. We found our way back to the flee market. It was a bit of a mission. We’d stumbled on the place previously -how to find it again? Gypsy of course raised her little antenna and led the way.

We found “our” restaurant. The young man was pleased to see us again. As often happens we got to talking and it turns out he has two jobs. This one being a waiter and another. His other job is being an assistant logistician at one of seven refugee camps surrounding this city. He does this working for the Norwegian Refugee Council, one of the NGOs here helping with the refugee crisis. Additionally he is also a political science undergrad at university here. He speaks five languages and is working on his sixth – Russian. Our lunch was equally delicious as on our first visit.  And this time too there was a complementary beer. We left armed with his email – Pat is “recruiting” him for MSF. They’d love this guy! He is pretty humble though and said he needed more experience first. His name – Charilaos Nitsakos.

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