I was standing in this large area with my briefcase at my feet enjoying a cup of coffee when this very attractive brunette lady wearing a very low cut black décolleté dress a few sizes too short approached me and started talking in Greek.
I couldn't understand a word she said. It was all Greek to me, as they say. I knew she spoke in Greek because a distant aunt of mine (she lives 300 miles away) is Greek and I could make out the language even though I could not understand what this young lady was saying.
I regretted not having my dictionary with me at the time. Not that it would have helped. It's an Italian dictionary. I like to carry it with me to impress the waiters in restaurants when I order a meal. I once ordered a whole meal in Italian and the waiter did not understand a word. It was a Chinese restaurant. But I digress.
Anyway, this young lady was enthusiastic about something or other and she talked fast in her native Greek and smiled a lot.
My mind went back to the many times I visited my aunt and I tried to remember some of the Greek words I had heard in her household. Words like youvarlakia, avgolemono, dolmades and baklava.
But I could hardly spout them out incoherently just because they were in Greek. Besides, they mean meat balls, chicken and lemon soup, stuffed vine leaves and a pastry sweet with syrup. Can you imagine a woman speaking to me in Greek and I reply "meatballs!" She'd think I was insulting her and not believing a word she is saying.
Try as I might to look blankly at her and saying politely, "Yo no hablo español !!!" she still continued smiling and speaking in Greek without as much as taking a breath.
I then remembered the famous Voltaire quote and said, "I may not understand a word you are saying, but I will defend to the death your right to confuse me!"
She stopped for a while, perhaps wondering why I replied in English, then continued speaking to me in Greek as if nothing had happened.
It was then I remembered another phrase which my dear aunt used to say, time and again, to her daughter. I repeated it silently in my head once or twice to get the intonation and the pronunciation right and then, taking a deep breath, I said, "I foústa sas eínai polý mikrí ..."
The woman stopped abruptly and then slapped me in the face. She then turned round and walked away and vanished in the crowd of people in the conference room.
I just about managed to hold on to my cup of coffee and save it from crashing to the floor. I tried to compose myself and look as if nothing had happened, hoping that no one noticed me.
It was then that a man approached me and asked me, "Why did you tell her 'Your skirt is too short?' "
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