Nicho, the Magician of Kambos

Tom Winnifrith Friday 26 September 2014


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Why do I trek down from the Greek Hovel to the Kourounis taverna in Kambos? Cheap and well prepared food? Cheap booze or diet coke of café frappes? The folks here? It’s a combination of all three. The clientele is overwhelmingly male as Greek women know that their place is in the home - please note The Mrs, none of your strident feminism here. So maybe it is the charm of lovely Eleni that draws us here. This place is known as “Eleni’s.”

But this is the evening, during the day there is a different clientele and for some of them it is not Eleni but the magician of Kambos they come to visit. I refer to Eleni’s husband Nicho. For while Eleni (or her mother-in-law Poppy) make the four dishes one chooses from as a main course, Nicho is the crepes man.

As he pours the batter on a circular cooker in an even and thin way that you and I could not manage in a month of Sundays, the kids just stare in amazement. They sit at stools watching the magician at work. The gaze up in awe.

And then he adds on chocolate (not Nutella) or ice cream or both. As a diabetic it is sheer torture to watch but the kids love it and adore Nicho who then adds to his popularity by watching the mind-rot cartoons that the kids love on the TV set. To hell with the news let’s watch Captain America. In Greek.

His command of English is marginally better than my Greek that is to say pretty much non-existent. We can get by on a routine basis: me ordering meatballs or Greek salad but if it gets complicated (adding back in last night’s bill which I forgot to pay) then he shouts “Eleni” and his lovely Mrs arrives, grabs a calculator and all is sorted.

Even the magician cannot do everything.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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