Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday Snippets: Greece Has Got Talent!

We had the good fortune to meet a number of interesting people while traveling through Greece.  As most of you who travel will likely agree, some of the most interesting things happen in the most unlikely settings. . .

Syntagma Square - May 1st 2014
We’d set out on foot to explore Athens on that May 1st Labor Day; a holiday of sorts when many workers were ‘on strike’ and gathered in Syntagma Square. Others simply weren’t working and most stores were closed.

We strolled the pedestrian-friendly Ermou Street that leads from Syntagma Square (and fronted our hotel) then looped our way through tree-lined boulevards and past small urban parks.

However as we walked through the popular-with-tourists-area of Plaka we were drawn to an art and jewelry store - first by the window displays and then by a friendly employee whose smile was sunshine.

We weren’t really shopping for anything, we told him. . .didn’t need anything else in the suitcases.  He didn’t mind – ‘take your time’ – he said as he explained the intricacies of various objects.

The conversation was the usual: Him: Where you from? How long are you here? Us: Were you born in Athens? Where are you from?

And then somewhere in the chit-chat we learned he was a singer – a real-live singer. He is hired to sing at weddings and other celebrations and has regular weekend ‘gigs’ at a few places he named for us. Elvis, Frank Sinatra . . .he can sing them all.  And to prove it he broke into song, singing Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me To The Moon” for us right there in the middle of the showroom.

The Scout with Nikos Georgas
And then Nikos Georgas, who is in his late 50’s, told us that he was named the 2010 winner of Greece Has Got Talent, (a show much like the American version)  At that news, I told this Grecian crooner I had to take his photo so he insisted The Scout pose with him.

We had liked a couple of objects and told him we would think about them and perhaps return. He replied, “That’s fine. I am a singer – not a salesman.” And then added, “When you get home you can find me on You Tube.”

You know what? We did. And here’s a link to the winning announcement – it is in Greek, but you will understand it no matter what language you speak – do check out this amazingly talented man. Stick with it for a sample of his many songs.
Have you ever had a similar unexpected pleasure in an unlikely place? We’d love to hear about it.


  1. Hello Jackie and Joel:

    As long as one keeps a mind open to all that life has to offer, as clearly both of you do, then the unexpected is always waiting around the next corner which is only a few steps away. What fun all of this is.

    1. We believe everyone has a story to tell and love hearing those stories. It really is fun to meet new people and learn of their experiences which are usually so vastly different from our world. I think that is also one of the high points of the blogosphere. . .meeting people such as yourselves who we would otherwise likely have missed in this lifetime. Thanks for your visit!! Have a great week~

  2. That is amazing, Jackie!! I just love how you guys reach out to people, genuinely caring about them and getting to know them. :-)

    1. When I finally focused the blog, I noted it was about travel: tips, tales, people and places and I firmly believe that often times the place is really defined and remembered by the people we meet there. Nikos, for example, put a whole different angle on big-city Athens. And that smile of his was simply contagious! Thanks for the visit - have a great week!! xoxo

  3. I really like that, Jackie, when of nowhere, comes something special, so it is preferable at least at times to not have a strict itinerary for the day.

    1. We abhor those types of days with itineraries. The most we might commit to is, "The Farmers' Market is Saturday morning, we must make sure we get to it." Thanks for the visit and taking time to comment, Andrew!

  4. That's one of my favorite things about travel - all of the interesting people you cross paths with. How cool that you met a local celebrity!

    1. I so agree Dana! It really is the people -- the every day folks -- who bring a place to life for us. And sometimes they hold special surprises, like Nikos did! Thanks so much for the visit today~ hope to see you again soon at TravelnWrite.

  5. I am looking for the name of his store. Any ideas?


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