When lunch was finished, we stayed at our table under the shade of the tavérna’s roof, waiting for Yiánni and his taxi. Dorothea was talking with Níkos and the waiter, a handsome young man whom we hadn’t seen previously. He may have been there because the weekend was beginning and the tavérna would be somewhat busier (though it was close to the end of the season, and we hadn’t seen signs of a crowd yet). Dorothea asked them about a dance that she had learned as a girl, which Greek-Americans call the Kritikó (that is, ‘the Cretan [dance]’). She took Níkos’ hand and and did a few steps by way of illustration.
Níkos assured her that this Kritikó is a Cretan dance, but only one of many. Cretans call it the Chaniátiko (‘the Chaniá [dance]’), which associates it more precisely with the place it belongs to. Dorothea also asked them about a popular dance she knows as the Kalamatianó, and the waiter assured her that it was indeed associated with the city of Kalamáta, on the mainland.
Níkos and the waiter showed her the steps of a few more Cretan dances. And, in answer to another question, the waiter confirmed that the name of the Peloponnesian town of Gargaliáni, where Dorothea’s father was born, is based on the word for ‘tickle.’ I decline to speculate on what might explain a community of hard-working famers being named “Tickletown.”