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It's all Greek to me.

Byline: Aphrodite

The pronunciation of Greek words can be confusing for English speakers. You see familiar letters, such as p, g and k, but they are all said differently.

A perfect example is the name of the second local TV station. CYBC 1, logically enough is Ena, Greek for one, but when it comes to CYBC 2 there is a logo saying Pik at the top, although this is actually spoken as if it were written Rick!

It would be much more practical if words and signs instead of being spelt with a g such as Agia Napa, were written with y to read Ayia, the way they are pronounced in English.

Driving from Limassol, just before you reach the Airport at Larnaca, which is commonly seen with either c or k, you pass a roundabout known as Gallow, but the sign you would see, reads Kalo Chorio.

About 15 minutes before you get there, there's a place with an extremely difficult title which took me ages to be able to say, despite the fact I am good with languages.

Hero Kitiya is how best to pronounce Choirokoitia, where the real Aphrodite has a charming restaurant.

It's so pleasant to sit there outside on a flowery terrace near to a genuine Neolithic settlement in the warm spring and summer weather. Her lemon chicken is the best I've ever tasted.

I met her the day we arrived on the island, when I was searching for a shop that sold litter trays for our three cats.


Talking of hasty decisions, I am reminded of a true story about shopping with a Greek multi-millionaire in the late 1950s.

A former resident of Bahrain, Leonard Thornhill, started his job as an architectural consultant at the age of 65, when most people would think about retiring.

Known as Tiny, because of his height of almost two metres, or 6ft 5 ins, he had previously worked for Westland Aircraft, selling their helicopters all over the world.

One of his clients was Aristotle Onassis and they had been holding discussions on his desire to run a helicopter service from Athens to Olympia.

Arriving early on a visit whilst in London, Tiny bumped into Onassis coming out of his Bond Street hotel.

Greeting him, the shipping magnate suggested he accompany him to a shop nearby to purchase a bow tie he needed for a function that evening.

Entering the shop, both men were greeted politely, offered seats and two sales assistants came over to serve them.

Listening intently, the female assistant then pulled out lots of enormous drawers containing bow ties, explaining there was the wing type, clip and butterfly style in various colours.

Turning to Tiny, Ari asked him his opinion, to which Tiny replied that he didn't feel qualified to advise him.

So, turning to the salesgirl, Onassis said: "I'll take two of everything you've got."

Precisely the sort of thing you would have expected from such a fabulously wealthy man. No need to make a quick decision, he could decide at his leisure.

How the world has changed since those days, becoming fast, noisy and stressful.

Aphrodite is Janine Paule, a

former Bahrain and UAE resident now living in Cyprus

Copyright [c] 2008 Gulf Daily News

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Apr 30, 2008
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