Tochni....Human Touch and Hospitality of People!

Trip Start Mar 03, 2010
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Trip End Feb 06, 2011


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Where I stayed
www.vasilopouloshouse.com.cy

Flag of Cyprus  , Larnaca,
Friday, November 12, 2010


Tochni….Human touch and Hospitality

I walk through these narrow alleys in Tochni, and I like talking to people I meet in the street.

The first contact I have is with Mrs. Niovi whom I greet with a good morning. She smiles at me and invites me in.

It is 9a.m and she offers to make some coffee but I tell her that I have already had my morning cup. She insists that she brings me some home-made dessert but I tell her that it is no need for her to bother. Besides, it is still so early! We are sitting for more than 15 minutes chatting in this big entrance room. This main entrance chamber is big and comfortable with a couch and one or two chairs, but the piece of furniture that is in a conspicuous place is the big square table with a nice table-cloth on top. More than 15 photos in frames are placed out here and Mrs. Niovi shows me her children, and their families. Photos are also hanging over the wall.   She is an open hearted lady over 60 and she tells me that the name of the village Tochni has come from the word "Techni" which in Greek means Art.  The people that lived in this village hundreds of years back were very good in arts and crafts, and probably this is the reason why the houses are built of stone. They knew well how to chisel out rocks!

Before leaving I ask to take a picture of her, but she politely refuses.  I don't insist as I respect her request. I greet her goodbye, and move on.

The next person I meet is a constructor….I miss his name.  He shows me his work and tells me how the roof of these very old restored houses is made. The stone built houses he says are cool in summer and very warm in winter.  He shows me real old ruins of an old house where some of his men are working, and then proudly shows me the result of a finished restored house.

I move on to the opposite side of the village. Here again I have to walk up the steep hill.  On my way I chat with a few tourists I come across, and ask them how they like the village. All seem excited and they say that they will surely come back again.

  “The people are very friendly” tells me a young excited couple. “We cook lunch in our apartments, and enjoy dinner out in the evenings very cheaply” they add.

I ask them to suggest the best place for me to have dinner tonight and they point the  restaurant opposite the Church. We finish our chat with a “see you at the tavern tonight” ……and I continue my walk.

I am getting thirsty, and I have not taken any water with me, but I think that it is the easiest thing to be invited inside the locals’ houses for some water or coffee.

I believe, depending on the time, one can easily be invited inside a local’s home even for a glass of wine.  It is so simple and human in every Cypriot village ….but I only need some water now.

I see a woman watering some flowers in her garden and I greet her.

“How lucky you are to be living in such a beautiful village” I say.

 She smiles, and adds. “I really don’t know why everybody finds this village beautiful, ……. I, myself cannot see it ”

“It is just because you are used to it” I reply.

She invites me in, and as I am shown in I ask what her name is.

Mrs. Ritsa not only offers me water but a home made dessert.  The aubergine dessert which you see in the photos is really so tasty and it is one of my favourite desserts!

I am more than half an hour with Mrs. Ritsa, and we are talking about everything, when my mobile rings.

It is Athina, the owner of the complex and the wife of the man in charge of the community. We are supposed to meet and show me around sometime this morning, so she asks me where exactly I am.  I tell her that I am at Mrs. Ritsa’s house and she tells me that it is exactly where she was planning to take me and that I am at her Aunt’s house.  We both laugh, and I add that I can always feel where exactly I should go!!!

I spend some more time with Mrs. Ritsa who gladly accepts that I take some photos of her, and Athina asks her over the phone to show me some of the “Lefkaritika”- hand embroidery she creates. Her work is so perfect! It is time for me to leave, and while she shows me out, I see the oven where she bakes her bread and pies.  She gladly poses for me, and seems to be enjoying it as well.

I decide to pass by the apartment as I am already a bit tired. It is very hot, unbelievably hot actually, especially for this time of year!! Besides, I need to download the many photos I have on the camera. On the way I buy some yoghurt and fruit from the small grocery shop opposite the church, and head for the apartment.
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Comments

laorfamily
laorfamily on

Now that's living. Beautiful crafts & flowers.

venoth
venoth on

Impressive! Theres still a place where people invite you in for a coffee. Wonderful hospitality. Back here, people would look at you in suspicion if you were a stranger walking in front of their homes.

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