French Fries

The smell overwhelmed me, freshly grilled burgers, deep-fried onion rings, and salted french fries. I quickly ran over to Kelsey and told her we should eat here at Goodies. “Prof. Nevious said this place was really bad and that we shouldn’t go their,” a quick replied from Kelsey but my rumble stomach had ignored and decided we should go. The big bright red sign that hung over the door was flickering, the first sign that should have told me not to go into this fast food chain. I was particularly interested in the differences in fast food in Greece from the American chains such as McDonalds. 

As soon as I stepped into the room, I noticed the menus above the greasy counter were in English. This joy of knowing I could read the menu without any help had totally consumed me. I knew instantly what I wanted, a double cheese with bacon, an order of french fries and a large Coke. Money in hand, Kelsey and I walked up to the register to up in out order. “hello, we would like” were the only words that came out of Kelsey’s mouth before the lady at the register expressed that she, nor anyone else working could speak English. All I could think about is how could there be an all English menu when no one who worked there spoke a word of it.

“Point” a young lady dressed in blue genes had suggested to us. “Point and we will tell her what you want.” Overwhelmed that someone was nice enough to help us order instead of standing there and smirking, Kelsey and I quickly pointed to everything we wanted. As soon as our order was placed, I ran back to the lady who placed our order and asked her to tell the cashier we wanted french fries. When I asked, I received a very puzzled look from her. “french fries” I repeated over and over, but she still did not understand what I wanted. I then glanced up and pointed to the french fries and quickly discovered they were not called that in Greece.

I walked back to the table that Kelsey and I picked out, which seemed to be the only clean one available and sat down. Kelsey grabbed the menu that was on the table and started saying “Dipotes potatoes. That’s what they call french fries here, Dipotes potatoes.” It was weird to me that something so commonly recognized in my culture could be called something completely different in another culture. As I sat there confused about the situation, I started at the front counter to see whose order was up, knowing I would not understand it when our order was called. Two Cokes, two double cheese burgers, one “Dipotes potato” and one onion ring. Once is saw that tray, I ran up and took our food and smiled at the cashier, who returned with another smirk.

I had never seen a light tan burger before, it looked as dry as the desert sand in Egypt. After taking one bite, Kelsey and I looked at each other with utter discuses. The burgers were dry and flavorless. Kelsey ran over to the ketchup container and filled her cheeseburger wrapper with it, getting some on her pants, to hopefully add flavor to her meal. We sat and ate the food, trying to be respectful of our surroundings and thus the fast food chain of the Greek culture. We noticed when we got into the fast food place that when you are done with your meal, you just leave it on the table and walk out. This was another weird phenomenon to me, but was eager to see what happens when preformed. We both got out of our seats and decided to leave. I grabbed the last Dipotes potato, wiping the grains of salt from its surface, and ate it. As soon as I walked out of the restaurant, I new I would regret eating that last Greek french fry.

Kyle Brooks, Athens Scholar
Pierce Arrow Blogger

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