We all know what it means when summer is officially declared in Greece — roasting season has begun!
Even before words like καμíνι and φούρνος come out of the winter closet and make their appearance on newscasts to describe the day’s weather, you know summer is fast approaching because Slimline and Gili Center start pushing their services on those who might have overindulged at Easter, and Laserline offers to zap unmentionables off fuzzy men and women.
For those who prefer to be discreet, Nair and Neet can assist in the quest to be one of those women stretching their legs on boats, beach chairs and underwater swims, and infomercials sell magic gel to smear on problem areas, squeeze in plastic wrap and melt away the inches.
The annual Playmate of the Year contest, shown at the turn of summer, has plenty of lithe young women bouncing and bending over in fake showers should anyone need inspiration.
If you are successful in making yourself presentable, you can appear in one of three reports running weekly throughout summer, which promises to be a hot one:
1) Act surprised or uncaring about how sun exposure causes premature aging, wrinkles, age spots and skin cancer, then marvel at or dismiss this “new” invention called sunscreen. People ask me why certain nationalities look so old. It’s not hard to figure out.
2) state the obvious by saying, “πολύ ζέστη” a lot and fan yourself, when asked about the weather; or
3) be an unsuspecting woman in a barely there bikini that attracts peeping tom closeups on two primary regions.
But for me, the saddest thing about the end of summer is the fact that ice cream takes its leave. That’s right. Unlike the Danish and Italians who are my kind of folks and love it year round, ice cream is an “only for summer” product in Greece, much like deodorant. This may explain the demise of Baskin-Robbins in Syntagma several years ago, and the malodorous smell in winter.
So why does my Greek counterpart call it roasting season? It’s that time of year when Mr. and Ms. Butterball slather butter on white skin and bake themselves to a crispy, golden brown.