Guest blogger - HUGer Morgan
We don’t really have anything like the Porto Rafti Market back home in Decatur. I mean there are places to buy local produce, but it’s doesn’t have the pop up shop feel where it comes once a week on a specific day and that's when everyone goes out to purchase the food items they need. I loved the environment of the market, and the fact that we had to buy an item of food really helped give me a true experience of what it is like to interact with locals in this way. They were all so helpful and kind, which is something I really appreciated as I was nervous trying to buy oranges in Greek.
While we were at the market, I was thinking about how cool it was and how it was so different from back home, and I realized that this is just another way that Greeks develop community with one another. They grow these products and catch these fish and set up stalls for their products that line this one specified street, and they all do this together as a community. They share with each other and talk together, waiting to sell their products but are also ready to recommend the strawberries or oranges that the vendor two stalls down from them has brought to the market this week. They know each other and work together to sell their produce. They are a community.
When I am back in the states, I just go to WalMart, grab what I need, go to the self checkout, and leave as quickly as possible. It is not an experience filled with a lot of social interaction, and I don’t really give any thought to where the food that I am purchasing came from or the hands that tended to it while it grew. That isn’t an option here at the market in Porto Rafti. I was face-to-face with the people that grew these oranges and had the opportunity to show them that I appreciated their work through purchasing 2 kilos of the oranges they had picked from their own trees that very morning. Even though they probably didn’t think anything of it, the interaction we shared was important to me, and it is an experience that I will remember for years to come.