Monday, June 23, 2008
A 'Big Fat Greek' Festival
There are festivals going on everywhere I turn, and it's up to me to pick the ones I think are worth attending. Without too much thought, me and my sister both agreed that the Greek Festival was a good one to give a try. So, on Saturday, we headed over to the Greek Orthodox church grounds in Glendale and paid the $1 admission.
It was just like any festival, only a lot more interesting. There was Greek music, Greek singing and Greek dancing. The smell of delicious Greek food permeated the air and the lines of hungry festival goers were long, yet fast-moving. I believe this was the festival's 40-something year, and I must say that the years have at least bred efficiency, because standing in line was a breeze.
There was jewelry along with art for sale. One stand was overrun with those blue evil eyes so prominent in the Middle East, and apparently Greece, too (pictured above). We spent entirely too much in that stall, but we ended up with some really cool blue evil eyes... everything from wall hanging nick-knacks to magnets. We ate some great food and heard Greek music. The dancing was beautiful and was performed by adults and children alike. Nobody broke any dishes during the dancing, which was a little disappointing, but I suppose that's just the cliche Greek celebratory thing. One could break three dishes for $3 in a carnivalish kind of game, where you try to break plastic dishes from a distance with a baseball. Meh.
One thing I found especially interesting about this festival was the way people were dressed. Though most people were dressed in festival gear (shorts, tanks and flip flops, or sundresses) there was a large population of female festival goers who were dressed formally. I'm talking slinky evening dresses with dressy sandals that are entirely too high to walk in. It was an intersting sight to behold that made people-watching that much more fun as we ate our gyros on the curb. My only guess is that the evening segment of the festival was a little more adult in atmosphere (the festival was running until 11 PM), or perhaps they are churchgoers who want to be dressed up anytime they are near their place of worship... I don't know. It was interesting, though.
People were also not too bad as they usually are at festivals. I limit my festival going, because I don't like being pushed and shoved by people. At this festival, there was very little of that, which was very pleasantly surprising. In fact, looking back, I don't think a single person even bumped into me other than one lady who apologized and was polite about the oopsie. Anyway, I digress, because there was one incident that was less than pleasant, and it happened at the end of our stay. In order to purchase food, you must purchase coins first. We had $3 in coins left over, which we decided to just turn in before leaving. As we were standing in line, a lady came up to us carrying a toddler and asked us to buy her coins. We said sure, thinking she would just stand by and wait, but she said that we could just find her in the chicken line. Oooookay. So, I go up and I buy her a bag of coins and head over to the chicken line, she grabs the bag when I hand it to her, and she mumbles a thank you and turns away, like I work for her or something. First of all, when you ask someone to do something for you, which is basically letting you butt in line, you stay right where you are, so that the person already going out of their way doesn't have to go even further out of their way. Second of all, a modicum of gratitude is in order, and not some half-assed, mumbled thank you. It never ceases to amaze me just how rude and inconsiderate people can be. And festivals tend to bring out the worst in people for some reason, though I don't understand why. If it's too hot, or you can't stand in line because your kid is having a fuss, maybe it's time for you to go home. Geez.
All in all, the Greek Festival was a lot of fun. If you haven't gone, you should consider going, because there is nothing cooler than seeing what different cultures have to offer.