It starts with the 'taste twitch' and ends with a random smashing of plates in the kitchen.
Yes, it's that time of year again when the promise of all things deliciously and wonderfully Greek takes over, meaning the world-famous Paniyiri Greek Festival – one of Brisbane's most-beloved cultural events – is just a few Zorba steps away.
Here are ten signs that Paniyiri Greek Festival is almost here.
1. The Taste TwitchThis can present as a slight tick in the corner of the mouth or as an all-out drool when the thought of doughnut balls dipped in honey – otherwise known as loukoumades or honeypuffs – enters the brain. Ditto with any form of Greek BBQ. Or baklava. Or haloumi. Or souvlaki.
2. Busy Legs, also known as The Zorba WalkThis has you walking sideways, back and forth, and often attempting an Olympic-level high kick. It can happen in lunch lines, on the train, at the gym, anywhere. It's a sure sign you are ready for the Paniyiri dancefloor.
3. Sticky Coffee SyndromeThose in search of the famous thick Greek coffee, often so thick a spoon stands upright, have been known to add the odd teaspoon of Clag glue to their latte. This is not recommended. What is recommended is patience until 19-20 May 19 when Greek coffee will abound.
4. Greek Grandmother EnvyWhen you start calling your own grandmother YiaYia, and ask her to reveal long-held family secrets on how to create dolmades and baklava, and regale stories of 'home' (regardless of the fact she may have hailed from Dalby or Caloundra).
Causing bearded bartenders and 'mixologists' all over Brisbane to shake their head in amazement, this sign sees Gen Y forgo their beloved Aperol Spritz for Ouzo. Yep, Ouzo.
5. The Great Aperol Spritz Snub
6. Smoke Signal MadnessWhen Paniyiri fans madly follow any smoke they see (much like storm chasers) in the hope of discovering a mouth-watering Greek BBQ with a lamb spit or charcoal chicken.
7. The May Flavour WaveSuddenly you find yourself ordering everything with added rosemary and lemon, even adding it to your cornflakes.
8. Brisbane, a City of LinguistsThe week before Paniyiri sees fans all over Brisbane suddenly proficient in key Greek words, namely haloumi, dolmades, yiros, souvlaki, spanakopita, keftedes, moussaka, tzatziki, calamari, baklava and zebra, and are often heard correcting others on correct pronunciations.
9. The What to Wear DilemmaThis sign kicks in around Tuesday before Paniyiri and sees fans juggling their love of fashion, with their need for a stretchy-waisted pants, enough to allow for an adequate intake of Greek delights, while staying up during a particularly strenuous Zorba. Good luck with that.
10. Getting (Plate) SmashedYou will view smashing plates at work, at friend's places and at random restaurants simply an act of preparation for Paniyiri. However, it is recommended to HOLD this urge until the festival because then, you can bring on all the good spirits or kefi, that the act beholds, otherwise, well, it's out of our hands.
Whether you are showing early signs or are deep in the thralls of Paniyiri Fever, there is not long to wait.
Over the weekend of 19-20 May Brisbane will be overtaken in a haze of haloumi-flavoured smoke and Zorba-inspired high kicks – and Paniyiri Greek Festival organisers have promised a two-day celebration of authentic flavours, faces and culture.
Tickets are available online. Click here for more details.
This year all Paniyiri ticket holders travel free on network-wide Brisbane City Council buses and Queensland Rail City Network trains thanks to a partnership between Paniyiri and TransLink (must present valid ticket when boarding).