An essential product for women everywhere. And especially for a Greek woman.
A Greek woman must be ready for every eventuality. Little Nikos might hit his head and need medical attention. Papou might need gas and air after a brisk walk. And no doubt someone will be hungry at some point.
“Πού είναι η τσάντα μου;” / ” Poú eínai i̱ tsánta mou?” – “Where is my handbag?” and “Δώσε μου την τσάντα μου” / “Dó̱se mou ti̱n tsánta mou” – “Give me my handbag” are two phrases that are well versed by Greek women.
So what IS inside a Greek woman’s handbag?
- Make up – in case a relative/neighbour pounces and invites you in for coffee and you need to freshen up
- Women’s products – no need for explanation
- Tissues/hand sanitiser/wipes – a must for any handbag
- Purse – stashed with old drachma and family photographs
- Diary – to keep a schedule of every Greek event / birthday / name day / feast day
- Holy water – to sprinkle on anyone or anything that may be affected by the evil eye
- First aid kit including aspirin etc – for emergencies such as when Thea Maria chips a nail
- Whisk-o-lait – in case someone would like their frappe frothed
- Greek coffee – because no coffee tastes as good as a Greek coffee
- Toothpicks – dental hygiene is very important
- Sewing kit – for all those loose buttons
- Tweezers – for that annoyingly thick, stray eyebrow hair
- Lighter/matches – in case Uncle Spiro needs his cigarette lit OR wants to build a fire to heat the Greek coffee
- Mints/Sweets – for fresh breath and a sweet tooth
- A light snack – i.e. a large chunk of moussaka kept in a microwavable container
My mother’s grandmother used to carry a brick around in her bag in case anyone needed “a good clout”, and my Yiayia carries around a large photo album, in case her neighbours need to visualise a member of the family they are gossiping about.
I too am guilty of carrying non-essential essentials, but I will say that if I need to get everything into a smaller bag, I CAN.
So what’s inside your bag???