2010-12 (Dec2010)

PHOTO OF THE DAY

31 December 2010

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It’s only in Corfu (or maybe all of Greece) that I see Santa Claus working overtime.    The morning of New Year’s eve, he and some friends went from house to house singing Christmas carols. I took this picture from our apartment balcony.

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While driving home from the market at mid-day, I saw even more Santas. Must be hitch hiking after a morning of gift-giving..

30 December 2010

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We went picking some clementines today, courtesy of a friend’s mother-in-law who invited me to her farm and I felt it was one of the happiest days of my life! I just love farms, clelmentines and all the bounty of this land, picked by my own hands!!

29 December 2010

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I am feeling very positive about the coming new year so to lock the positivity up, I bought this lucky pomegrenate which I shall display in a very conspicuous place at home…

28 December 2010

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Three days after Christmas, I saw Santa Claus in Corfu town!

27 December 2010

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Weather has been very good to us in Corfu. A sunny Christmas day and a double-rainbow-laden 27th of December! Seems a very promising new year awaits us all!

26 December 2010

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This is a matchbox cover that I find very cute. This is “Barba-Giorgos” or Uncle George. It is an odd character from the greek countryside. He is bigger and stronger than anybody, and the turks fear him. He is good hearted and rich and owns a lot of property and ships. On the other hand he is very stingy.

25 December 2010

After eating our Christmas lunch at home, we went to Corfu town to do some people-watching as we are sure everybody would like to do a lot of walking after a Christmas eve of feasting:

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“..I’m dreaming of a White Christmas..”

24 December 2010

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I always walk past this plant of a neighbour’s front garden and noticed the leaves similar that of a gladiola and wondered how could this bulb be growing in this European winter, but of course, we are in Corfu where the climate is very mild. This morning, I noticed that the flowers have shot up and it is so beautiful…..such perfect symmetry!

23 December 2010

A visit to Sissy’s Palace, Corfu

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We were the only visitors in the museum so the security stafff has nothing much to except smoke his cigarette in-between nibbling the cake that the kitchen staff gives him from time to time

22 December 2010

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It’s normal in Corfu to see vehicles plying the road without number plates! Some reason we found is, they can’t or won’t pay the tax for changing plates, especially if the car is non-Greece registered.

21 December 2010

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Not all water faucets around Corfu are safe source of drinking water so check the noticeboards!

20 December 2010

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The Lemon Triplet of Nymphes, Corfu

You might also like: Weird Eats!

19 December 2010

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Tonight we held our Anglo-Greco-Philippine Christmas Party at home and what a blast we had – playing foolish (and childish) games that brought the apartment down!! After some calm and quiet, H entertained everyone with his mandolin repertoire. The party was a big success! how do I know? because everyone was still bursting in laughter till the next day!

18 December 2010

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Everytime we drive through this corner of Corfu town, this boutique always catches my attention because of the cute little Barbies amongst the mannekins.  Can you spot them?

17 December 2010

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The orange season is still very much around. I must have photographed hundreds of orange trees because of their delectable fruit. This one is like yellow grapes!

16 December 2010

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I love Corfiot bread! very very tasty and perfect as accompaniment to Greek salad. For 1-euro per piece, it could last you 2/3 days if you are a dainty eater.

 

15 December 2010

We were on our way to our favorite taverna when we came across the Jewish church of Corfu and noticed the little plastic tube fixed on the right side of the main door. My sister-in-law who was with us said that it is the Mezuzah and it contains some chapters of the Torah (similar to bible for Christians). Naturally, I googled the whole thing and here is what I found:

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The Requirement of Mezuzah: Any Jew, man or woman, who lives in an apartment or house is required to place Mezuzos on the doorposts of his or her home. It is not the obligation of the landlord or landlady. It is the obligation of the person living there.

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On the doorposts of every Observant-Jewish home, you will find a little rectangular case. Inside that case is a Mezuzah. It’s there because the Torah commands us to affix a Mezuzah on each doorpost in our homes.

What is a Mezuzah? In brief, a Mezuzah is two chapters from the Torah written (in Hebrew, of course) on a piece of parchment. The parchment is then rolled into a scroll, wrapped in paper or plastic, usually inserted into a hard-plastic or metal case, and affixed to the doorpost.
Excerpts from: Being Jewish

The essence of the mitzvah of Mezuzah is the concept of the Oneness of G-d. The very first verse written on the Mezuzah is the Shema: “Hear oh Israel, the L-rd is our G-d, the L-rd is One.” When we pass a doorpost, we touch the Mezuzah and remember that G-d is One: a Oneness that is perfect and unique, a Oneness that is not one of many, nor one of a species. G-d is One without parts, partners, copies, or any divisions whatsoever.

Excerpts from:  Being Jewish

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We had our lunch in our favorite taverna in town and since it was only 12:30pm (the Greeks take their lunch starting at 2pm) it was still too early for our favorite moussaka or stuffed tomatoes, but they have this fish cooked in the traditional Greek tomato sauce and we simply adore it! So far, we love all the Greek cuisine we’ve have had!

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Just when we are running away from the snow, it seems to be catching up on us! I think it is time to move downwards even more…to Turkey perhaps? Oh well, we will be in the Middle East in January, not too long now.

Here is the snow-capped mountains of Albania as seen from our apartment window. Driving into Corfu town, you will see a longer range of these mountains covered in snow…it’s like Switzerland!

14 December 2010

It’s eleven days to Christmas and this is a good time to go people- and decor-watching in Corfu town:

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A family that shops together stays together..

You might also like: A Sunday Walk in Corfu Town

13 December 2010
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It’s always a great delight walking around Corfu town. The mixed influence of Italy, Britain and France – all had their hands in invading the island – had created a wonderful fusion of architecture that makes it the most beautiful island of Greece….

12 December 2010
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Today, Sunday, is the feast of St Spiridion, the patron saint of Corfu so the church was packed with people, queueing up to the altar to get a glimpse of the corpse of the Saint which is displayed to his devotees 3 times a year: in August, April (Easter) and December. And since Saint Spridion takes the name “Spiros”, all Greek boys with that name celebrate their Name Day today and their families and relatives gather around for some feast like it’s a real birthday celebration!

11 December 2010
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“Ambrosia” in Greek means “food for the gods”. On the photo is Baklava, a famous Greek patisserie, and I must say, the word Ambrosia is a fitting word for it! For 2-euros, the divine taste is truly ambrosiac!

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We went to Paleokastritsa today, the most visited spot in the island after Corfu town. Even in December, the clear blue sky creates the most striking turqoise-blue colour of the sea!

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10 December 2010
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I believe this succulent has sharp edges that could stab anyone trying to uproot it much less lift it into the boot of a car. This is the beauty of taking my camera anywhere I go, surprises arise just about from everywhere! (Corfu town)

09 December 2010
Here’s a weather-proof car that is green (uses electricity) and thin (practical in driving through the narrow alleys of Corfu town).  The only thing is, it is exclusive for the physically disabled.

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08 December 2010

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“Gymnasio” in Greek, means School (for Lower Secondary students).
This is the school where I attend free Greek language class three times a week, totalling to 9 hours per week. It is sponsored by the EU and is offered to any non-speaking Greek. I found too that more language and activity classes are offered in the same school, so as soon as I become fluent, I might give a try on Italian and African Dance!

7 December 2010

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Driving to Corfu town is quite a mess but when the scenery is like this, you start to forget your cursing and pick your camera instead. This is the old fortress built by the Venetians in the 15th century.

6 December 2010

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The monastery of Pantokrator and the Mouse Island, a famous postcard scene in Corfu

5 December 2010

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This is not just any ordinary conference room. It belongs to the Catholic church in Corfu town and is the venue for the Sunday Greek language course offered by them, for free, supposedly for non-Greek residents only but they are not that strict as they allow almost anyone who just wants to learn the language. The religious paintings make you feel you are in a museum somewhere in Italy..

4 December 2010

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The beautiful (and fiery) Corfu sunset

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The most delicious marmalade I have ever tasted is cooked out of clementine courtesy of our very generous and amiable neighbour, Amelia, a Greek mother of 25 whose pastime is cooking (as seen in her voluptuous anatomy) and doing the laundry (you know she is there when her terrace is all-covered with her nice-smelling newly-washed clothes) in between going home to her village (uprooted only when she got married). It was the season of clementine a couple of weeks ago and you can buy them for as cheap as 50 centimes a kilo.

03 December 2010

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The junction that splits into the left (Corfu town) and into the right (Palaiokastritsta). “Kerkyra” is Corfu in Greek.

02 December 2010

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Corfu town
While the upper part of mainland Europe are going through heavy snowfall, we, in Greece, particularly in Corfu, are enjoying the mild weather. Thank heavens! That’s the reason why are here, to escape the freezing winter as usual!

01 December 2010

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What makes Corfu very different from the rest of the Greek islands is the Venetian influence, or the very Italianesque architecture. They have been under Venetian rule for more than 4 centuries!

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