Faces of Pangrati: Meet Pablo
Pablo wears a green sweatshirt, is friendly, warm, and is ALWAYS happy to teach you some Greek words. I first met Pablo my second night here in Greece, as my friends and I were looking for a corner store to buy some basic necessities. After wondering the streets for quite some time we decided to venture back closer to home- and there we found it. Pablo’s shop. Right next to the local Domino’s.
It’s tiny but stacked with everything you could imagine- from ketchup to chips to soup to wine to salt and pepper. At that moment it was safe to say, we’d be coming here quite often. Our first conversation with Pablo went a little something like this:
“Kali-nina,” we said.
Pablo laughed and immediately corrected us, “Kalispera,” he said with a smile.
We laughed and promised that one day we’d get the wording right. After a brief conversation, he told us, “Just for you girls, I’ll stay open until 10:30 pm.”
We smiled and discussed how awesome our new friend was the entire way home. Throughout our time here, we’ve visited Pablo’s shop at least once a week and each time he greets us warmly with a smile as if he hadn’t seen us in months. “Welcome! Welcome back,” he’ll say. Then we’d move onto our routine of attempting to speak Greek and him politely correcting us. And finally the trip ended with him offering a free snack for us to take home and try.
One day when walking back from class, we even saw Pablo out and about with his family! My friend Tori and I met his adorable nephews as they walked in the sun. For the first time since being here, I really felt like I was part of the neighborhood. Waving to someone you know on the streets has that effect. After parting ways I smiled, thankful for the experiences, memories, and people. Every new person I meet here fosters a greater appreciation for Greek culture. They’ve all been extraordinarily kind and welcoming. Pablo is no exception.