A co-worker of mine was telling me how her family had had a really big kitchen so they had put a grand piano in there and the kids would practice while her mom was cooking dinner. One day a friend of her brothers was peeking in thru a window and saw the grand piano and shouted out "Wow! You have a grand piano in the kitchen?" and her brother replied "Doesn't everybody?"
It is funny how we get so accustomed to what we have around us in every day life that we expect it to be like that everywhere else.
I was at a conference in Corfu recently. The last day we had some time to go explore so my group of 5 people rented a car and drove up into the mountains. It was Sunday. After having enjoyed the scenery for quite some time we stopped at a really nice looking cafe. We were trying to decide weather to sit inside or out when we noticed a breathtaking view from a balcony in the back. As we made our way to the balcony we passed the only table with guests, a rather large family with kids and grandparents enjoying late lunch. To our surprise the cafe didn't have much of what was on the menu except for drinks and toast. While we were waiting for our drinks another man had arrived and was being served chocolate cake. I thought that was odd because the waitress had told me they didn't have any sweets. Then it suddenly dawned on us that we had crashed a family party and they were just too nice to tell us that the place wasn't open for business.
That evening we stopped in the village of Doukades for dinner. This time we didn't embarrass ourselves. The host of the little restaurant greeted us with open arms. The town square was so charming and it seemed like all the villagers were hanging out. I noticed a fireplace in the corner with pictures of kids on it. The grocery store a cross the street had the TV on and a bunch of people were sitting there watching together. I came to the conclusion that the ground floors of the houses, although serving as restaurants and shops also functioned as living rooms and the family just slept upstairs. It made perfect sense. In an area were there is hardly any business for 6 months at a time you'd rather sit in your living room than at an empty restaurant… so why not join the two. This was as we had expected the best meal of the trip, the cheapest and to our surprise the fastest served. It was real home cooked food and nothing touristy about it. The lady was so nice that she even told us how to make it.