Dining ‘al fresco’ in Oakleigh.

It’s noisy. There’s a general cacophony of people talking and laughing and the clatter of cups, plates and cutlery. Numerous cafes and restaurants, small shops, and several bakeries selling traditional Greek cakes and pastries line the street. The luscious aromas of coffee and souvlaki meats waft in the open air, interrupted from time to time by an acrid whiff of cigarette smoke from a diner at an open-air table. Smoking anywhere in public seems so out of place these days.

A well-dressed woman walks by, her expensive perfume lingering in the air after her. I wonder how much fragrance one needs to apply in order to have that effect.

The service is not terribly quick here, but I think that is related to how Greeks view eating and mealtimes: it’s about enjoying food, sharing conversation and spending time together.

In time, our meals arrive. Freshly prepared, beautifully presented and absolutely delicious. I enjoy every mouthful, but I am glad I didn’t order anything more.

Sated, I walk away enjoying the light breeze and the sunshine on my shoulders.

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