Stories from the Courtyard
The local events in Nikea’s courtyards continued in May, with the second event being “Stories from the Courtyards”! People from the neighborhood gathered in a courtyard one afternoon to share stories over coffee. The stories were many, with memories old and more recent. Antonia shared how her parents' house used to be, before she moved to the adjacent block. We looked at photos and remembered the children living and playing in the courtyard some decades ago. Maria saw herself as a child in a photo that she had never seen before, which was brought by Sofia from her home. Litsa and Maria shared their stories about the mischiefs they did when they were little. Two sisters, Despina and Pitsa, mentioned that they recognized their mother, Evangelia, in an old photo from the ELIA archive. The photo depicts their mother with another neighbor in one of the shared laundries that used to exist in the courtyards. They are cleaning a younger girl's dowry.
Amid all the discussions, the local seller of cheese and sweet cream pies (bougatses), Yiannis Aslanidis, passed by on his tricycle. We bought some pies and he shared his life story with us. He is now 84 years old and has been doing this job for 40 years now, together with his wife who prepares the delicious pies. He learned the job from his cousin who was his predecessor. Mr. Yiannis mentioned that he was embarrassed at first, but the people of Nikea loved and supported him and that is why he has not stopped working yet.