Then we drove from Thessaloniki to Makrygialos where a cousin of my wife’s has a small farm. Nearby, his friend and interior designer has a palace. My wife’s cousin is approaching the mid-fifties; he has been in retirement since his mid-fourties. Coming from a poor village background, he had started his own textile manufacturing company where, he says, he worked like a horse for over 20 years. He sold his business, invested in real estate and now lives off rent. And not bad.
The small farm is in a location which could just as well be the Toscana. Absolutely charming with a view towards the sea and Mount Olympus. Other friends gathered. Three retired men and a lady who owns a pharmacy. None of them have anything to worry about.
Before lunch, we drove over to Katerini to visit the new Mikel coffee shop. It is the newest unit in the Mikel franchise chain and the cousin’s friend had done the interior designing. Everything absolutely first class! (including the coffee!). And prices not even unreasonable. I heard that daily sales were over 3.000 Euros which comes out to about 100.000 Euros per month. Wait, 100.000 Euros per month? Who has all that purchasing power?
For lunch, we drove to a fish restaurant by the beach. The interior designer was, of course, well known there. The restaurant was full. Food and drinks were served in typical Greek quantities (and quality!). The bill was 25 Euros per person.
On the way back to Thessaloniki we passed a delivery truck carrying about 10 new Mercedes cars. And on the ring road around Thessaloniki a brand-new Porsche honked nervously because I had slowed down his speed. So I moved my Hyundai i10 over and let him pass.
All in all, a very nice day. Economic crisis? What crisis? Oh, that crisis!