Unfortunately, due to the incredibly cramped space in the fellowship hall and an overly aggressive PA system, we didn't absorb much culture. Well, unless you count being fussed at by a Greek grandma zealously guarding the kourabiedes. Long story short, there was some confusion over whether we were supposed to wait to be served our chosen Greek pastries or take them from the tray ourselves. Grandma set us straight after the fact in none too pleasant heavily accented tones. Not even an apology appeased her. By the time I decided I'd had enough of her bewildering poor petey, she'd given up the ghost and found something else to fuss about.
But we did score some tasty, if overpriced gyros and some baklava for Mr. Man. Pinky in particular, was happy to get her hands on some loukoumades which are apparently honey puffs fried in oil and sprinkled with cinnamon.
Still smarting from our sassing at the hands of someone's renegade grandma, we headed outside to peruse the vendor stalls before heading across the street to tour the Greek Orthodox church. And dude, few people know how to inspire awe of the Almighty quite like the Orthodox. Upon entering, there is a sense of peace and reverence that comes over you, quite unlike any church I've been in before. Sure, it's red velvet, gold icons, and candles but somehow, it isn't gaudy at all.
I was particularly fascinated with the icons. The priest called them visual representations of the Gospel. He explained that there was a process by which they are hand painted. He used another word for that but no matter how many times he said it, I couldn't quite catch the word. Apparently, it involves a strictly observant and talented process interspersed with prayer and the results were quite awe inspiring. The icons seemed to glow, their colors rich, the expressions held your gaze. I'm a little cranky with myself for not bringing my camera and thus having to settle with shots from my crappy phone. But I have a feeling not even a fancy schmancy DSLR would have captured the beauty of the icons.
I could have stayed in there forever. But poor pudding was in need of a nap and so eventually, after p&p finished plaguing the priest for a full explanation of the history of the church, we headed back home.
As we were walking home, pete informed me that his father was right and the eyes of Orthodox Jesus really do follow you around. Thanks, Mr Man, for telling the kid that. Very helpful. I tried to tell pete the fact that he expected such a thing made it much likely that he would see it that way but birdybird wasn't buying it. What ever dad says must be true. I'll remind him of this when he's 16 and thinks his parents are grade A morons.