Tuesday, 31 July 2012

A Taxing Day Followed by a Feast at Finnikas...

WHOOPS - Forgot to post this last night even though it was ready - I blame the Olympics!!

Today we had to make a trip down to Paphos for a number of reasons.  Firstly the hot and humid weather has caused a number of our kitchen doors to warp and so Andreas asked us to bring them down so that he could make new ones.  Then we had an interesting time at the tax office.  Apparently we should have received our self assessment tax forms already and they had to be filled in and returned by Wednesday (August 1st).  Klaus in the village had been telling us that his form pitched up last week so we were bit concerned about what had happened to ours - not that we are liable to pay any tax but we just like to make sure that we are living here and abiding by the rules and regulations.

We managed to find the tax office with Dad's instructions and headed off to the information counter and managed to get a form each which we quickly filled in but unfortunately did not have our Tax Identification Number as they would have been on the missing forms.  We were told to queue up at the cashiers office which we did.  It was chaos and you have to have your wits about you otherwise those who have no intention of queueing suddenly overtake you on the inside and get served first!! As we were about to be served John spoke to a girl who quickly looked us up and said that we were not registered and needed to go up to see the tax lady on the second floor.  The same tax lady that had overseen our registration last year.  When we finally found her office there was a sign on it telling us that she was on holiday and to go to an office on the first floor.  On arriving at said office we found the man from the information counter who had served us first!  Eventually we were directed to a lady who thankfully found our TIN and then told us to go back and queue at the cashiers office.  John decided to adopt the non-queue mentality - when in Rome and all that - and found the girl who said we weren't registered and waved the forms under her nose and she took them, stamped them and that was it - job done!

Our final port of call was to see Sofoklis's son to try and find out why we get the strange over-revving on the car and to find out where the fluid leak is coming from.  Although located in a very old building in Paphos right next door to Sofoklis's metal works the garage is state of the art and I was fascinated by the camera system they had to balance wheels.  I was treated to a sketos coffee and one of the 'dryasabone' wedding favours from his daughters wedding which was back in June.  These pistachio filled biscuits could double up as a corner stone for a house and with a piddly little cup of Cyprus coffee to help wash it down I struggled as every bit of saliva in my mouth was stripped away.  John deftly avoided eating his by going out with Sofoklis's son to listen to the car.  The good news was that the over-revving is apparently a bit of a feature on this model of CRV the bad news is that the leak is coming from the brake master cylinder so we have some expense coming up next week when we get it fixed.

We called into see Mum and Dad as we haven't seen them for several days.  The photograph on the left is the plant that my sister bought for them after her holiday over here and it is in the pot that Aunty Joyce and Uncle David bought.  It is a dipladenia and obviously likes the spot that they have chosen as it is looking healthy and has put on quite a lot of growth throwing out runners which are now three or four feet long.  We stayed a couple of hours before setting off back home.  We will be seeing them again on Sunday when we are all going to Irene and Dennis's for a barbeque which Irene is holding to thank those of us who keep her supplied with things for her market stall which she sells in order to fund her work with the local cat population.  We needed to get back at a reasonable time as we were going out with Sheila and Klaus this evening.  Trying something really different this time - going to have a meze at Finnkas's in the village which has always appeared to be shut to John and I.

We have heard varying reports on the experience that is 'eating at Finnika's but we always like to try things for ourselves and have eaten in some pretty 'off the beaten track' places in our time.  The top of a multi-storey car-park in Borneo springs to mind!  We were meeting at 7.00pm and it was an exceptionally hot and sticky evening.  We wandered down to the taverna pitching up at almost exactly the same time as Klaus and Sheila.  They have both eaten there on a number of occasions and Sheila had kindly gone down previously to negotiate with Marina!!  Marina speaks only a little English so there is always a danger of something getting lost in translation however the doors were open when we arrived and we could see Marina, several of her grandchildren and a couple of the village elder ladies (dressed in black) sat at a table in the garden so at least we felt we were expected!

The inside of the taverna is very traditional although we had been warned that the tablecloths stoically remain on the tables year in and year out - along with the dust it would appear!!  Actually in fairness it wasn't as bad as we had been led to believe and we were both prepared to look beyond the dust.  However we were eating out the back in the courtyard garden which was an eclectic mix of tables and chairs and washing!!

The backdrop to our evening meal was a selection of Phillipos's smalls - or rather larges!!!  We were fussed over by the grandchildren - three boys all under the age of about six (who kept bringing us their toys and then their flipflops to admire before being told very firmly to leave us alone) and Marina.  Sheila and I braved ordering a carafe of house red which came in an interesting cut glass decanter but thankfully without the ominous brown tinge of some of the rougher house wines I have sampled.  In fact it was quite pleasant, not cold and very palatable!

Hats off to Sheila and Klaus for organising the evening because despite the rather interesting surroundings and the fact that it was so very hot and sticky in the shelter of the courtyard the food was excellent and quite clearly very freshly cooked.  We started with a huge salad with yoghurt, taramasalata and tahini, pickled caper leaves and olives and this was followed by the most delicious bulgar wheat and courgette and eggs, halloumi and loukanakia, souvlakia and pitta and grilled chicken and freshly cooked hand cut chips (I may have forgotten something I am not sure) all of which was rounded off by fresh water melon.  It was delicious and we had a right old laugh and I would certainly eat there again particularly if someone wanted to experience true ethnic food - Sheila is probably right - opting for meze was the right choice - food Marina is familiar with and cooked fresh - brilliant.

1 comment:

  1. We all had a great evening and a good old laugh.