I dropped a watermelon on an old man’s foot this morning when in AB, the local supermarket (pronounced Alpha Vita). By accident you understand.
“Signomi!” I fuss over him (“Excuse me!”)
“Den pirazi” he replies (“Never mind”)
I had a think about this – I have heard this a lot in my time in Greece:
I went to see the brilliant Kevin Spacey in Richard III at Epidauraus (http://leavingcairo.blogspot.com/2011/07/evening-at-epidaurus-with-richard-iii.html ). You will note that when exiting the gorgeous amphitheatre, I stupidly wore platform heals and stumbled, almost toppling a man over. “Signomi!” I fussed that time too – guess the reply as he brushed me down,
“Den pirazi, den pirzi copella” (‘Copella’ = girl)
I wonder: a man discovers his next door neighbour is sleeping with his wife – “Den pirazi” this time??
(Maybe he’s secretly relieved as he won’t have to admit to his own affair with his 20 year old secretary – this is continental Europe after all).
“Den pirazi” has become my favourite Greek vocabulary. It isn’t just a saying, it’s a way of life – a cultural adaptation. Their economy is falling down around them – “Den pirazi…we have our sunshine, our family, our tomatoes and our love for life”
THIS is why I love the Greeks so much – maybe instead of criticising them all the time, we can actually start learning something from these sound, traditional people.
(I must remind myself of the “den pirizi” saying the next time I’m at the unemployment office, or anything else bureaucratic).