Apparently, it's at the vet's office. My four visits there (drop off, pick up, drop off, pick up) have yielded more meaningful social interaction and conversation than anything else thus far.
There's the 71 year old British ex-pat who was there with two of his dogs (he's got five of them) for their annual check-ups. His wife was back home in England visiting family, so he was left taking care of their brood, which consists of five dogs, five inside cats, and several more "outside" kitties. He was happy to share with me all the things that he had to take care of while the missus was away, and what a lot of work it all was.
Then the woman from Germany, who is here for just six months like myself. Apparently she visits frequently though, because the dog she had in for some parasite ailments was originally acquired here in Crete six years ago.
Today I met Joanne, originally from New Orleans but she hasn't been back to the States in 30 years. Her husband is British, she holds dual citizenship, and they've been here in Crete for the last six or seven years. We talked about Katrina and DC (she recalled very well how green and pretty DC is), and about the business that she and her husband now run, doing walking tours in the south of the island, as well as tours to India. And of course, we talked animals. She was there with TigerLilly, an native Cretan cat, who is 10 years old and not ill, just there for her check-up.
As I was setting up an appointment for Rikki's teeth to be cleaned next week, the veterinary assistant Yannis shared with me a tidbit about people who have a phobia of the number 13 (Leslie, listen up and tell your Dad!). He said that some of them are so afraid of the number that they won't even say it, and the phobia's official name is "Triskaidekaphobia", which is "three and ten" in Greek. He told me that this is an actual English term, used because the people with this fear will not only not say the number in English, they will not say the number at all (hence the three and ten, to avoid saying the actual number).
I guess it's a common theme that makes for conversation, and I seem to have found it here at the vet's.
I can't wait for Rikki's teeth cleaning...maybe I'll meet the man of my dreams;-)