Josna Rege

11. The Napkin Collection

In Stories on January 2, 2021 at 7:58 pm

Today I lifted these old artefacts carefully out of the case where they have been packed away for more than 50 years and took some photos of them to illustrate one of my earliest posts on Tell Me Another. Snapshots of a bygone era!

Tell Me Another

As a girl of eight, I collected paper napkins; a strange hobby, no doubt, and seemingly a typically girly one. But my fellow-napkin hounds were all boys in our Athens neighborhood, and we traded and struck deals with our folded bits of colored paper with all the passion of Wall Street stockbrokers, with the important exception that not a single lepta ever changed hands.

We didn’t have much stuff in those days, and even less cash, but we didn’t even know that we didn’t have these things. Pocket money was unheard of, and my only access to money was through the kitchen drawer where my parents would throw their small change in lepta coins, holed in the center so that one could string them together.  Every few months the lepta would add up to drachmas, and when I could string together 60 drachmas’ worth of coins, I could…

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