Cleopatra (#581) 29-04-14

I did not make this up – that's her name. For the ~three minutes that we spoke, the expression in this image was representative.

In basketball parlance, my wife gets an 'assist' for this stranger. After Javier (#580), my quest for an authentic Greek stranger continued. We approached “Nina's Natural Sea Sponge and Soap Emporium.” In Tarpon Springs there must be two dozen shops selling sponges. God knows how they survive. But a small group of people in front of Nina's were talking, pointing and gesturing in various ways, and my wife said, “The woman with the purple blouse is a local.” Sure enough, within a minute the crowd dispersed and the lady in purple went inside. I followed.

Nina's was her store. I explained that I would like her photograph, and introduced myself. She said, “I am Cleopatra.” After a startled moment, I feared that my expression might have given my thought away. She did not react, she has probably seen that expression many times. She is indeed Greek, having moved to the U.S. 35 years ago. Cleopatra likes (but not loves) Tarpon Springs. I asked what she thought about all of us (tourists) who invade, and seem to take over the town. She looked at me and said, “Honey, I LOVE all of you. You keep me in business.” As I left, she said “God Bless.”