Nikitas, my first ever Greek friend, is nicknamed--by me--Nikitamaus. I don't remember why. I think it's because he used to call me Jenny Bear ("J-bear") and I was looking for an animal equivalent for him.
Obviously, bear > mouse, but that's beside the point.
THE POINT: I went to NYC today to visit Nik for the weekend. My bus was an hour and a half delayed because of traffic. I got nauseous due to motion sickness, and had to stop reading a book (a really good one! Anyone read The Lace Reader?) and my only request was Greek food.
Well, the best Greek restaurant in Manhattan, as of 9:45pm, still had an hour and a half wait for two people, so we had to go with a back up plan.
We found an Italian spot, and let me tell you: having not eaten since this morning (some yogurt with honey and an apple), that blessed moment of finally sitting down with Nikitas to Yia mas together and share a meal was THE BEST. At the end of the meal (two apps, two entrees), we ordered two desserts...and ended up ordering a third. It was that kind of night.
We closed the restaurant down with conversations about free will, and then went to a bar and talked about whether or not humanity is getting better or worse.
It was THE BEST.
Plus, I got to learn a Greek expression: φάγαμε το γάιδαρο και έμεινε η ουρά του. It means we've done the hard part, it's all downhill from here, but literally translated it means, "We ate the donkey, and all that's left is the tail."
He taught me that because the current Prime Minister of Greece used that expression, but translated it directly into English...only even worse than its literal translation. FYI the word for "tail" can also mean "queue." He said, "We've eaten the camel, and all that's left is the queue."
Nikitas: "We don't even have camels in Greece!"
This makes me laugh even as I'm writing it, six hours later.