Celebrating Forty Years of Living in Greece and Forty Things I Learnt About the Greeks.




The Greek stereotype
The Greek stereotype


Forty years ago today, on Saturday the fifth of February 1977, I left England for a new life in Greece.

Passion made me do it, I had met my Greek God, (Yes, England had Greek Gods!) and I would have followed him to the ends of the Earth.

Sunday, the sixth of February dawned, and so began my initiation into the crazy, yet wonderful ways of the Greeks.


Forty phenomena I have grasped throughout my forty years in Greece.




"It's all Greek to me" Charlotte Higgins
"It's all Greek to me"
Charlotte Higgins



Literally, I understood nothing; my question of the day was “What did he say?”
But, within a year, I was speaking fluent Greek!


2. Punctuality is a dirty word



Living on Greek time
Living on Greek time



Time has no meaning, Greeks live for the moment!


3. Ouzo, don’t go there


Lethal stuff, especially when your first encounter with it was “straight up”, no added water!


4. Men wear skirts


Evzones-The Presidential Guards of Greece
Evzones-The Presidential Guards of Greece



They wear their skirts  with great panache, a proud “Evzone”, the presidential Guard, in his “fustanella” (Pleated white skirt), is a sight for sore eyes.


5. Everything is better with feta




Greek Feta Cheese Makes things better
Greek Feta Cheese
Makes things better

Feta cheese, served with absolutely everything, and I don’t like it!


6. Greece is not the name of the country


Greeks are adamant about this, the name of their beautiful country is Hellas.


7. Traffic lights, traffic laws and the Highway Code, were made to be broken


The first time driving in Greece, I felt I was taking my life in my hands, I soon became an expert Greek driver!


8. Everyone is someone’s cousin


All Greeks seem to be related to one another!


9. Lemon, olive oil and oregano go with everything



Olive oil and lemons The staples of Greek cuisine Photo property of Julian Merrow-Smith
Olive oil and lemons
The staples of Greek cuisine
Photo property of Julian Merrow-Smith
Artist Julian Merrow-Smith

If you don’t like olive oil, lemon or Origano, you starve.


10. Every family has a Yiannis


Yiannis is one of the most popular boy’s names in Greece, and as the tradition is to name the first born son after the grandfather, every family has one, I have one of my own, my son Yiannis!


11. Greeks are never wrong


Aristotle, philosopher, teacher of Alexander the Great, (384-332 BCE). Roman marble copy of a Greek bronze. Museo Nazionale Romano, Rome, Italy
Aristotle, philosopher, teacher of Alexander the Great, (384-332 BCE).
 Roman marble copy of a Greek bronze. Museo Nazionale Romano, Rome, Italy


Well, seeing as they are descended from the world’s greatest philosophers, and The Greeks Who Made Us Who We Are, how could they ever be wrong?


12. Greeks dance on tables


When Greeks dance, it’s as if they are on another level, and they are!
They’re up on the table, dancing with all their soul, smashing plates and crying “Opa”.


13. Greeks talk with their hands


Don’t stand too near to a Greek; you are likely to be whacked in the face by their wild hand gesticulations!


14. Greeks force feed their guests


Greeks are such generous people. Don’t bother trying to refuse food from a Greek, just accept everything and then diet for the next two weeks!


15. Greeks keep count of how many times they visit the beach each summer


I still don’t know why they count the number of times they visit the beach, but it becomes quite a Competition between them, you will inevitably be asked “Posa bania exeis kanei?” “How many swims have you done?”

I've just popped back here to add this, many of you (And thank you so much for reading my blog) are telling me I forgot about the counting of ice creams!

Yes! I had forgotten that, Greeks count how many ice creams they have consumed each summer!


16. Greeks are loud and proud




Self explanatory!
Self explanatory!



And so they should be, they have a lot to shout about, Greece is the cradle of civilization, they have been through thick and thin and they survived, and, they gave the world History!

Herodotus, "Father of history" started it all, with his works; The Histories, and don't forget Homer, the great Greek poet, author of The Iliad and The Odyssey, epic poems, central to all Greek literature!



17. Each and every Greek family owns at least one olive grove



Olive harvesting Photo by Costanavarino
Olive harvesting Photo by Costanavarino



Outside of Athens, it’s rare to see Greek mamas buying olive oil from the supermarket; they have gallons stored away, all from their own olive trees.


18. Greeks do not know the meaning of the word “Queue”


Wherever, whenever, it’s a free for all!


19. Greeks never say “I don’t know”


The Greek ego, I have learnt to my detriment, if they don’t know the answer, they’ll tell you anything, always best to check and double check from some other source!


20. It’s Constantinople, not Istanbul



Sultan Mehmed II's entry into Constantinople, painting by Fausto Zonaro (1854–1929).
Sultan Mehmed II's entry into Constantinople,
 painting by Fausto Zonaro (1854–1929).



Don’t call Constantinople Istanbul if you value your life, up until The Fall of Constantinople 1453, it was the capital city of the Byzantine Empire, stolen by the Turks, a thorn in the side of every Greek.


21. Pay cash, I’ll give you discount


You want to buy a fridge, a television, well; it goes for anything really, pay cash, you’ll get a discount, see that plasma TV there, 1000 Euro, give me cash, it’s your for 900
I like this!


22.  Greeks are consistently one year older


When you ask a Greek how old they are, they will always add a year, you see, if they are forty years old on their birthday, they are now in their forty first year, so, they are forty one, logical!


23.  Greeks don’t read tea leaves, they read coffee cups




Predicting the future with a Greek coffee cup
Predicting the future with a Greek coffee cup


A variation on a theme, Greeks predict your future from the residual coffee grounds in the cup and on the saucer.

You drink the little cup of delicious Greek coffee (Don’t ever call it Turkish), the cup is turned upside down on the saucer, left for a few minutes, the residue inspected, and voila, you know who you are going to marry.


24. Greeks spit at you


Don’t worry if a Greek spits at you, three times! They are only protecting you by warding off the evil eye.


25. Greeks are passionate


Oh yes they are, in everything and every way, they love life, whatever they do, they do it 
with;

 "MERAKI",

 with all their heart and soul.


26. Family is what it’s all about




Family What else is there?
Family
What else is there?


Nothing is more important to Greeks than their family, they may fight and quarrel, they may not speak to each other for days or weeks, but, family is everything, the be all and end all.


27. Greeks eat together



My big fat Greek family
My big fat Greek family



Meal times are happy events; it’s not only about great Greek cuisine it’s about being together, catching up on news and gossip.

Most of Greece comes to a standstill at lunch time, around two o clock, shops and offices close, school is over, everyone heads home for lunch, always homemade!

Normal life resumes at five!


28. Greeks never eat dinner before 10 pm


After the large quantities of food consumed at lunch time, often not over before three in the afternoon, is it any wonder they eat a late dinner?


29. Greeks clap when the pilot lands the plane


They did this on my first plane trip to Greece, forty years ago, and they did on my last, they are just so relived to be back on “terra firma”, they are also applauding the pilot.


30. Souvlaki is the Greek equivalent of English fish and chips




Souvlaki
Souvlaki
Food of the Gods!


In England, on every street corner, is a fish and chip shop, in Greece, it’s a slouvlaki shop.


31. Greeks are hospitable, friendly and welcoming


Greeks will invite you into their homes, feed and water you, and would give you the shirt of their back if you need it.

An example, once, when visiting Crete, in the middle of nowhere a shepherd flagged us down to ask the time, and proceeded to invite us to his house for lunch, and to meet his family.

To understand the kind, generous and hounourable Greeks better, please read;

PHILOTIMO

It says all there is to say about Greeks.



32. Greeks love children



My little Greek My granddaughter Melina
My little Greek
My granddaughter Melina



Not only their own, in Greece children are not meant to be seen and not heard, they are meant to have fun, who cares if they break Auntie’s antique vase? It was an accident.

Who cares if they smash that bottle of expensive wine? Never mind, never mind, “ Den peirazei”, the phrase on every Greeks lips when children are around.


33. Greeks eat well


Not for the Greeks fast food and junk, they know the benefits of a healthy diet, full of fresh fruit and vegetables, fish straight from the sea and meat in moderation.

After all, The Mediterranean Diet originated in Greece.


34. Always time for coffee



Coffee Greek-Style
Coffee
Greek-Style


No matter how busy they are, Greeks will stop for coffee, not for them coffee in a cardboard cup, on the run, coffee means a time for friends, coffee is to be savoured and enjoyed.

On unexpectedly meeting a friend in the street, their first words will be “How are, let’s go for coffee” accompanied by much hugging and kissing.

This explains observation number two, “Punctuality is a dirty word”!


35. Greeks approach difficulties with a sense of humour


Greeks get on with it, they’ve been through worse, is what they are likely to tell you in times of trouble, today’s austerity measures may mean cutting back on food, “Never mind”, they will say, “I needed to lose a few kilos”.

Inside they are terrified, unsure of the future, to the world; they put on a brave face.


36. Greeks have relatives all over the World


Owing to the depression of the 50’s and 60s, after WII and The Greek Civil War, many Greeks left Greece to find a better life, in the factories of Germany, on the streets of America, in the snows of Canada and in sunny Australia.

And so, everyone now has an aunt in Stuttgart, an uncle in Chicago, a cousin in Toronto, or a nephew in Melbourne.


37. Greeks are political animals



A poet and one of the Seven Sages of Greece, Solon was first elected by Athenians around 594 BC to enact reform at a time when strife among the social classes threatened to cause revolution.
A poet and one of the Seven Sages of Greece, Solon was first elected by Athenians around 594 BC to enact reform at a time when strife among the social classes threatened to cause revolution.
The founder of Democracy


As well as being party animals, Greeks, (who, at the drop of hat bring out the ouzo and crank up the bouzouki, we’ve all heard the phrase “Party like a Greek”), are also political animals, in fact, the ancient Greeks were the fathers of democracy.

Visit a Kafeneon, the old-fashioned, traditional Greek coffee shop, usually men only, at any time of day or night, and you’re sure to witness an ongoing political debate, sometimes rather heated.

Greeks devour newspapers, never miss the news on TV, they know what’s what.
From Greek grannies in remote mountain villages, to smart business men in Athens, they know who the current minister of education is, who the treasurer is, who’s minister of culture, and, no doubt, what the Prime minister had for lunch!


38. Greeks leave everything until the last minute


Trying to get something done in Greece can send you crazy, Greeks seem to operate in chaos, start a job from back to front, down tools and head for the kafeneon, and at your every protest, the answer is “Avrio, Avrio”, tomorrow, tomorrow, yes, major catastrophes occur, all taken in good humour, but, more times than not, “Everything is all right on the night”


39. Greeks will prevail


Greece has had its trials and tribulations.

From 1453 with the fall of Constantinople until the revolution in 1821 Greece was under Turkish rule, after which, they fought a few Balkan Wars, endured the First World War, were occupied by the Germans in World War Two and experienced civil war immediately after.

The Greeks pulled through, and again, now, in this terrible economic crisis, the Greeks will survive, they always do!


40. I am Greeker than the Greeks



Greek Mama- Greeker than the Greeks
Greek Mama-
Greeker than the Greeks


What have I learnt from my forty years living among the Greeks?

I have learned they are proud, patriotic, passionate people; they are kind, generous and hospitable.

Yes, sometimes, I can’t understand their mentality; Greek bureaucracy is a law unto itself, and their death wish disregard for safety makes me cringe.

 Yes some days I want to be as far away from Greece as possible, yes, there are Greeks I don’t like, but, mostly, I love them.



Junior Greek God My son Yiannis
Junior Greek God
My son Yiannis



I have turned into a big Greek mama, with my own big fat Greek family, and,  apart from my very own Greek God, I now have my personal Greek God junior, my son Yiannis, and my Greek Goddess, my daughter Nais.




My Greek Goddess My daughter Nais
My Greek Goddess
My daughter Nais




Enduring, as Greeks do! Me and My Greek God Tassos
Enduring, as Greeks do!
Me and My Greek God Tassos


Oh, and mini Greek Goddess in training, my five year old granddaughter Melina.

“Na zisete”, I wish long life for you all, and “Sas agapo poli” I love you all very much.

See also;


167 comments:

  1. This was fun to read. We have vacationed often in Greece. We cannot get enough of the food, hospitality, energy and history. We always feel so welcome and just cannot stop smiling on our visits.

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    1. Thanks for reading, love the phrase "just cannot stop smiling on our visits", that says all there is to say about Greece.
      You must be familiar with many of their little quirks and foibles!
      Susan. x

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    2. Ευχαριστώ πολύ για αυτό υπέροχο κι αληθινό μα και φιλοσοφημένο άρθρο. Να είστε πάντα καλά 😍

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    3. I really enjoyed reading this, Susan. It reminded me so much of my time in Elefsina; an impecunious town in Attika with a big, big heart. On my first day there I wondered why on earth no one bothered to look before walking across a completely unsecured level crossing; I took this to be typical Greek disregard for namby-pamby health and safety. It turned out that no train had used the line for years - it was redundant, like many of the town's facilities. Yet my spirits rose every day when I stepped onto its battered streets. 'What's Greek for 'cucumber?', I asked one day at the local greengrocer's. Suddenly there was a conference going on around me. I wondered what on earth I had done. Eventually, a spokesperson approached me. 'It depends ... what size you want', he said gravely. I could go on ... the time my typically reserved English husband tried to buy a jumper without reckoning on the whole neighbourhood becoming involved ... trying on a dress only to find the changing room didn't contain a mirror, and emerging to find an sizeable Greek chorus ready to pronounce on my less-than elegant appearance. Happy, happy days.

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    4. No health and safety elves here in Greece, as you found out!
      And haha to the changing room palaver...just don't ever try on a swimming costume!!!
      Life in Greece is never dull, that's for sure.
      Susan. x

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    5. After 40 years here, I couldn't agree more - but you forgot Greeks are LOUD! My Canadian family think people here are constantly arguing when in fact they are just enjoying a normal conversation. Thanks for the smile...

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    6. Look at number 16, above the Greek flag, Loud and Proud! How could I forget the loud, haha, when I first came to Greece, I thought exactly the same as your family; that they were arguing all the time!
      Keep smiling,
      Susan.x

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    7. how bout greeks are union lazy folks? #14 is what I went thru when I was growing up visiting Athens on summer vacations

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    8. and another thing....my greek aunt used to squeeze my cheeks calling me a boolooko when I was 10 years old and she force feed me like #14. however, she was a violent passenger seat driver. my uncle a greek airforce general was such a timid weak guy when driving....my aunt ran the show....she would scream and yell at every driver on the road...but when out of the vehicle she was such an a darling angel that wanted to please everyone....they say that the car won't start if the horn don't work. of course these memories are from back in the 70's....haven't been to Greece since the 1990s. I hear it is skopeethia now with all the nonsense going on today

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    9. I have been here for 22 years (it's the Greek God's syndrome fault) and I totally agree with all of it except the driving. It's too crazy out there for me...or am I just getting older? :) You forgot to mention that almost everyone has a village to go to somewhere, whether in the mountains or by the beach. Don't forget the "kipo" with the fresh produce we bring back after the 15th of August when we are forced to slowly go back to our normal routines.

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  2. Well we don't have a Yiannis or Ioanna in our family but we always count the times we have been swimming.
    Hilary

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    1. Hilary, you must be one of the few families in Greece without a Yiannis!
      I had forgotten this, but someone mentioned, they also count how many ice creams they eat each summer!
      Susan.x

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    2. Well, the big debate was whether you count the morning swims separately from the afternoon ones!

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    3. And the verdict is in....Morning and afternoon swims in the same day count as two swims!
      Susan. x

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    4. Oh! Yes!!!!Finally, someone counts right!

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    5. Always counts as two swims Vicky...and the adding of a year to your age...I find myself doing it now!!!
      Susan. x

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  3. I am a Greek now living in England and your post brought tears to my eyes. You reminded me of all the little things that we cherish!
    You only forgot that we also count the ice-creams we eat during summer, that Maria is the female equivalent to Yiannis and the "Ελληνίδα μάνα" (Greek mother) term!
    Take care, drink an ouzo or tsipouro in our health and να χαιρεσαι την οικογένειά σου!

    Antonia

    Ps. We also don't have a Yianni in the family! Lol!

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    1. Ah Antonia, I hope I didn't make you too sad.The ice cream, yes, I forgot that, I'm sure I shall remember other little details as well, maybe I shall have to write a part two!
      Even better, maybe I should write about the English!!!!
      I really do think of myself now as an "Ελληνίδα μάνα"!
      I shall have an ouzo and think of you, Στην υγειά σας.
      Filakia polla, ta leme !
      Susan. x

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  4. As greek living away from my country (patrida) i miss all those little things that make a greek....greek...

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    1. Efthinie, If I lived away from Greece, I would also miss these little things which make me "Greeker"
      Kalimera!
      Susan. x

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  5. As a first generation American of Greek descent I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I read it out loud to my daughter and we laughed and reminisced as I read. We don't really have a lot of Yiannis either... a brother in law but that's it...lol but we do have George's and Costas a plenty!!! It always baffled me that everyone knew exactly how many swims they had had ! We are Greek... We are strong... We may be quirky and a little crazy but we are Proud and we are passionate! Thanks

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    1. Ah, thanks for reading Kathy, if I made you and your daughter laugh, well, I consider this post a success!
      Quite a few people are telling me they don't have a Yiannis in the family, so, not so popular as I thought!
      Stay strong, and to all you Greeks out there, stay quirky and crazy, that's what makes you who you are.
      Susan. x

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    2. Yiorgos is much more popular than Yiannis

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  6. Oh Susan I was so moved!! you are describing the typical Greeks. I have been here over 30 years but we were brought up the Greek way, even so the bureaucracy shocks me still! But everything will be alright because now we also have a Gianni on the family and as they say σπίτι χωρίς Γιάννη προκοπή δεν κάνει!!!

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    1. Of course everything will be alright, you are Greek, and now you have a Giannis, what could go wrong?
      Yep, the bureaucracy, it beggars belief, but, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
      Susan. x

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  7. I am from Belgium, and never been in Greece, but it was very interesting to read your story. Alfy

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    1. Thanks for reading my blog, yes, the Greeks are very interesting people, and, of course, Greece is a beautiful country, you must try to visit!
      Susan. x

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  8. This 13th of May will make it half a century ago when I first set foot on Greek soil for work and started morphing into the Greek mama I am today.
    I thoroughly enjoyed the way you use your pen, with honesty and humour, and would love to get a hold of your book.
    Thanks for making my coffee taste even better!!
    Angèle

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  9. Angèle, thanks for your wonderful comments, I don't have a book, but, you are putting ideas in my head!
    So glad your coffee was "Greeker" today,from one Greek mama to another, here's to the next 50years, opa!
    Susan. x

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    1. A book . . . should be a singe for you. You have it all ready. You don't need to start with a brain chart, then organise this into sections, then divide the sections into chapters in order to have an outline first. You'll be ready in a jiffy to self publish on Amazon. Looking forward to your first bestseller by the end of the month!!! Talk about opa . . . \o/
      Angèle x

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    2. I love the confidence you have in me Angèle, a month is being rather optimistic though!
      You've certainly given me food for thought.
      Susan.x

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  10. Great! Just we prefer plain Ellas written not in Latin. The H is for the female article "The". Ελλάς. Energy =λλ.ΑΩ.

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    1. Good God, Unknown, have the breathings (πνεύματα) been so completely forgotten in 35 years? The reason Ελλάς is usually transcribed as Hellas in English is that it was so pronounced (with an initial h) in ancient times and was written with a rough breathing (δασεία) until 1982. Nothing to do with the feminine article!

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    2. Actually "h" represents the ancient "daseia".... from Ἑλλᾰ́ς (Hellás)

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  11. Great! Just we prefer plain Ellas written not in Latin. The H is for the female article "The". Ελλάς. Energy =λλ.ΑΩ.

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  12. Thanks for the correction George, I know it as Hellas, but then I'm only English..haha, now you said that, yes, I have seen it written as Ellas...Zito Ellas!
    Susan. x

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    1. Of course it is Hellas in English. We dropped our aitches for good some 2000 years ago, but we kept on writing them , in the form of 'spirits' or 'breathngs' (πνεύματα, like inverted commas) until 1982.

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  13. So many I recognize -
    I have lived in Greece for 9 years and just retired to the island of Paros -
    during my working life, if anyone suggested 'let's have a meeting at say 4pm' you need to clarify if that is a Greek 4pm, a Japanese 4pm or an English 4pm. The greek one is basically - sometime between 4 and dinner time, the japanese one is exactly 4pm and the english one is 'about 4pm'

    As for olive oil - most families have bulk tanks of it - often as much as 50 litres - often 2 or 3 of them. If one becomes empty, it is a crisis - all need to be full!

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    1. That's where you are going wrong. No meetings take place ar 4pm Greeks are asleep then!

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  14. Oh, Paros, wonderful, hope you're enjoying it. Yes, Greek 4 pm can be anytime, you got that right, sometimes, it is even wise to ask which day at 4pm !
    We had an olive oil crisis this year, we had to buy from the supermarket a couple of times!
    Susan. x

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  15. Hello!

    As a student studying right now in London I found this very moving, and accurate. Made me laugh at some points, was touched by others. While reading your post, I could not but not comment on 2 -to my opinion most misunderstood- points. Constantinople is the historical name of the city, named after the famous ruler. In Greek, during the Byzantium period and after that in minor Asia, people referred to it as Πολη in Greek, which means city, and is short for Constantinople. So when people used to say I am going εις την Πολη (to Pole/Polis), the Turkish people couldn't understand what was said so just by hearing it they made it 'Istanbul' (εις την Πολη). Same can be said for other cities in minor Asia (for instance, Smyrna-Izmir (εις την Σμυρνη)).
    Αs far as the name of the country is concerned, there has been much speculation as to the etymology of both Greece and Hellas. Personally, I find that both are equally valid names, although I understand why people tend to favour Hellas; based on etymology alone I too tend to prefer it to Greece. So, Greece comes from Γραικος, who was presumably the son of Deucalion and Pandora, and also considered to be the oldest name given to Greeks. In Hellas, the H is actually a δασεια (which is a πνευμα in Ancient Greek) and essentially tells you how to pronounce the word. It is like trying to say t with air, so it becomes like a θ, theta, in the end. Another way of notation was S, so Sellene or Hellene, means he who brings the light as Sellas presumably means light. In Greek we use the words Βορειο Σελλας for the Northern Lights. So as you see, the second term is more preferable to Greeks, although a vast majority doesn't even know the history/etymology of either word. Not Ellas, not Helas, but simply Hellas.
    I hope I have shed some light on these two points. It is absolutely a pleasure to find that someone like you actually have blogs like this one. I will stay in the loop for your updates from now on.

    Have a wonderful time! Καλα μπανια!! :)

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    1. Vanessa, even after 40 years, it's still all Greek to me!
      Susan. x

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    2. Thanx for the wonderful article.If you ever try writing a book, there is something similar of a russian-english woman who had the same experience like you. Her name is Sofka Zinovieff and the title of the book Euridice Street (Οδός Ευριδίκης).

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  16. With great respect, while I really like what you have written, this Hellene disagrees with point 2 (punctuality), 3 (ouzo, I hate it), 18 (queue), 21 (I pay cash because I never leave a debt behind), 24 spit (I don’t), 28 (eating time), and 38 (leaving things to the last). In other words we are not all the same. Also, re point 6, not only is the nation HELLAS or the Republic of the Hellenes, but where ever we are around the globe we are HELLENES and not Greeks.

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    1. Hi Ange, glad you liked the post, of course it was meant in a humourous and very affectionate way, I love Greece and the Greeks...mostly!
      And no, everyone is not the same.
      By the way...I hate ouzo!
      Susan. x

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    2. I don't lierally spit at babies, either, but don't you say φτου να μη βασκαθείς, even if you don't actually believe in the evil eye?

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  17. What a great list... and you made me VERY homesick for Greece! I moved away from there in 1989 and have only been back a couple of times to visit. - Thanks! Tina Matteson (living in northeastern Ohio, USA.)

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    1. Glad you liked it Tina, hope you can visit Greece again soon, Hope I didn't make you too homesick!
      Susan. x

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  18. Dear Susan, thank you for this very enjoyable depiction of Greek culture. I am a 37 year old Greek and I have lived my life in Athens, except for the two years I was studying abroad (in Newcastle, England). Although all these aspects of culture are well known to me and every other Greek, I feel they do not correspond always to the truth, at least as I see it. For instance, I have never broken any queue in my life! Most of us are just ordinary people, living in a world that has become very very small and uniformed. I cannot distinguish myself from any other person living an ordinary life, in the western hemisphere at least. Nevertheless I feel you have captured the most important aspect of our culture. This is the warmth of our hearts. Indeed I feel we are warm, hospitable and proud people. We want to love and be loved, and to share this love with new people. It is an honor for me and most of the Greeks I know to have a guest in their home. In essence, what I am trying to say is that if you magically take away all the problems of the modern Greek, you will find a descent person underneath, without this being an excuse for all the shortcomings of the Greek society. Anyway, I sincerely hope that this land has been kind to you and your loved ones. Thank you for coming to our country in the first place, which is of course also yours in every way possible. My best regards to you and your family! - George -

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    1. Hi George, Greece and the Greeks have been very kind to me, I love it here, yes, you are the most warm and hospitable people.
      I'm pleased to hear you know how to queue!
      Remember, I live outside of Athens, among villages, it's a bit different than Athens, in many ways!
      Thanks for having me in your beautiful country, thanks for the regards, and to you and your family too.
      Susan. x

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  19. This made me smile :) I am 5 years in Greece with my own greek god ;) but sometimes I want to get as far as possible from here. Loved reading your blog and thank you :)

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    1. Look after your Greek God!!!
      As for getting away, I know what you mean, but only sometimes, usually when I have had to deal with Greek bureaucracy!
      Thanks for reading my blog.
      Susan. x

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  20. You shout Yannis, Dimitri and George....everybody will come to you...lol...they all have the same names here...very frustrating for a foreigner

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    1. Haha, yes, everybody comes running!
      When I was first here, I was hearing the word "Ella" (come) I thought it was a Greek name!!!
      Susan. x

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  21. Thank you, I loved reading this

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    1. And thank you so much Michael for reading it.
      Susan. x

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  22. After 30 years here in Greece [sorry,Ellada]I had to laugh at many things! I am loud now also and speak with my hands!Hopefully many more years for you and me and everyone here in this beautiful country!Take care,Anita Faitakis-Boerman [Crete]

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    1. Haha Anita, you see, we all eventually become "Greeker than the Greeks" !
      Take care yourself, and enjoy beautiful Crete.
      Susan. x

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  23. In Jan 75 I landed in Greece and have lived here since that. I also have my Greek god (Giannis, what else) and my growing Greek family. Greek/Finnish).
    All you write is so true, congratulations for being able to put everything so eloquently into words!

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    1. A Greek God and called Giannis, it doesn't get much better than that Mette!
      Thanks so much for your kind words,
      Have a nice day.
      Susan. x

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  24. That's a fun way of presenting Greece. You made me laugh and feel shame (bureocracy= reason i took my business off the country) at the same time. I didn't know the other Greeks also add a year on their birthdays! hahah yes, i am a Greek also. Proud for our past, worried about our present but always optimistic when it comes to future. P.S. Do not try to understand the Greeks, just love us and we will love you back! xx

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    1. Hi Eirini, Sometimes, as with Greek bureaucracy, we just have to laugh, or go crazy! Terrible at the time, but it does give us plenty of anecdotes with which to amuse our friends!
      You described Greeks perfectly, proud, worried about the future but always optimistic, even after forty years, I'm still learning about you beautiful people!
      Love you always!
      Susan. x

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    2. A bit too optimistic Irene?

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  25. Well... As a native Greek myself I totally approve this! Especially our unique, worldwide known, bureaucracy. Gotta love our public sector. I am now a 2nd year student in Bristol and trust me, I miss my country every single second. It is a great shame things have rolled back to the late 50s (or even late 70s), with all the young and productive people migrating in search for a better future. A future which is not 100% guaranteed either way, but all you can do is hope... I really hope an opportunity will be presented and I will be able to return home. I've been all around the world and nothing beats Greece. Only people that have stayed there long enough can understand this... :D

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    1. It certainly is a shame about the state of Greece at the moment, but, Greece has been through much worse and come through, as it will come through again.
      Enjoy Bristol, and don't worry, you'll be back, which is a point I forgot to mention in this post; Wherever in the world Greeks make their home, at some point, they always come back to GREECE, ELLAS, PATRITHA!
      Susan. x

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    2. I've met a very few people who have emigrated and aren't nostalgic about their homeland. A friend mentioned her husband, he had an unhappy childhood in Salonica so left to study and work in London. He is happy there and doesn't wish to return to Greece, esp now. Another Greek acquaintance married to a Brit told me she doesn't want to socialize with Greeks in London and doesn't want us to speak in Greek!! (I am Greek btw). Another person I know in Argentina feels the same. There are a few other incidents which I may add but don't want to burden you anymore. It does happen though.

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    3. Wow, I must say, this surprises me, I haven't met or heard of a Greek who feels like that, even not wanting to speak Greek, there you go, you live and learn.
      You are no burden at all, no worries!
      Have a nice evening,
      Susan. x

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  26. Absolutely brilliant Susan !!! You really should write a book, xxx

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    1. Thanks Christine, You're the second person to tell me that!
      Food for thought!!!
      Susan.x

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  27. Actually the H I front of the word Hellas is correct and has nothing to do with the article The. Instead it has to do with grammar. Greek words starting with E that used to have "δασεία" are written in English with an H at the start (another prime example is Hermes-Ερμής ). The words that took the other accent "οξεία" do not, hence we write in English Elefsina and not Helefsina! It sure how old you are and if we're taught these accents but there you go: a real explanation!

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    1. Thank you Ana for this clear explanation of the word Hellas, there did seem to be some controversy about it, as they say, "it's all Greek to me"!
      Yes the age thing,it sure does have a lot to do with the Greek language, what, and when you learnt at school, which, nowadays, is changing constantly, very confusing!
      Susan.x

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    2. Mrs. Athanasakou, you forgot to mention that ad the English speaking people say,"It's all Greek to me", Ellines say," It's all Chinese to me". I don't like ouzo,no Yiannis in my family,I hate beuracracy and yes we are loud till I heard Latin Americans and Vietnamese talk. I thought they were arguing. Haha. Thank you for your kind writing.

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  28. Thank you for this lovely article Susan. I am Greek through and through, born and bred until age 18 when I went to London and stayed for 20 years before returning in 2004. Greece was then a fantastic place to be in but unfortunately the good times didn't last, resulting in one of the deepest crises ever. In all the years I was abroad and even the years I've been back, I lost touch with my "Greekness". I have become very disappointed and highly critical and cannot see anything good in this country anymore. Your article reminded me that I really do love my country, with all its flaws (and God knows there are many)!! Although I do think that I loved it more when I lived abroad...

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    1. Thanks for reading, I now feel Greek through and through myself, after forty years among you lovely, crazy Greeks, crazy meant in the best way possible, never a dull moment, love it!
      Yes, it's a real shame what is happening in Greece, all over the world even, we can only hope for the best, and Greeks have plenty of hope!
      When we are away from something or someone we love, I think we always paint a rosier picture than what things actually are.
      Your Greekness is still in there somewhere, it never goes away!!
      Susan. x


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  29. Interesting. A few additions:- Greeks don't dance on tables and shout ''opa'' that may have happened in the 60's and 70's film, but they do get up on the tables and shake their butts !! Also, the new generation do eat junk food, esp Goody's and McDonalds. Giro and kebabs maybe the Greek equivalent of junk. Greek hospitality in my eyes is a myth. Not all Greeks are friendly and helpful, they can be very rude too. Corruption exists in high and low levels. Lastly, there is not a single Yiannis in my family. Thankfully the younger Greeks have become environmental and animal-friendly. I truly believe there is a vast difference between the older and younger generation.Other than that, it's spot on !

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    1. Oh yes, Greeks shake their butts!,the younger generation do eat junk food I suppose, but I think to a lesser extent than other Europeans, saying that, Goody's and MacDonald seem to be closing down all over Greece, not that there were ever that many.
      Of course I was generalizing, but on the whole, I have found Greeks to be hospitable and friendly.
      After reading comments on here, I'm beginning to think the "Yiannis in every house" saying, really is a Greek myth, and, yes, it's refreshing that the younger generation are becoming environmentally savvy, and learning to be kinder to animals.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.
      Susan. x

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  30. Thank you for all, dear Susan.We appreciate your effort to be understood by a British lady.It is an honor for us the Greeks.

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    1. Thank you!
      The honour is all mine, you have made me welcome in glorious Greece for forty years.
      Susan. x

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  31. Really enjoyed reading this!!!
    By the way, no "Yannis" in our family as well ;-)
    On a recent search, the most common name in Greece is George ;-)

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    1. Thanks for reading, yes, after reading some of the comments here, I'm really beginning to think "The Yiannis in every family" is a Greek myth!
      It's outdated, let's change it to George!
      Susan. x

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    2. Agreed, after all my name is George ;-)

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  32. Bravo! Great article :) You sure are greeker than some greeks i know :)

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    1. Thank you Nadia, what can I do, after forty years...Greece can do this to you, love it!
      Susan. x

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  33. Oh Susan you made me sooo homesick especially with ouzo and feta and all the nice things! Some other things reminded me of the things I don't miss but nowhere is perfect!
    I love to hear how other people see us Greeks.
    I thought we had a problem with queues, but then I came to the Netherlands. Try persuade a Dutch to stay in the queue! :)
    Kisses, Eleni

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    1. Eleni mou, I see you Greeks as loving life, crazy, making the best of a bad job, and yes, sometimes driving me mad, I feel I am one of you, I wouldn't be anywhere else!
      Haha, really surprised about the Dutch and queues, thought they would have been like the British, lined up like soldiers!
      Filakia
      Susan. x

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    2. Susan, I thought of the Dutch like that too, but then I saw them, it is crazy sometimes. At the trains and trams it is the worst, they never wait for people to go out before they go in! It was really surprising for me too! But as I said.. nowhere is perfect, there are good and bad sides everywhere.
      I was also thinking about the "go for coffee" that you said.. I am 35 and my mother still cannot understand that when we say "we go for coffee" we don't always mean we will actually drink coffee, it is just an expression! So after coming home from "coffee with friends" at 11 pm she still says "Whaaat? You drink coffee at this time? How are you going to sleep now?" So funny!!
      Kisses,
      Eleni

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    3. Haha Eleni, all the Dutch must have visited Greece and taken lessons, no other explanation!.
      Well, "coffee with friends" can mean absolutely anything, I'm just thinking, I may have to write a part two, I keep thinking of more and more typically Greek stuff.
      Hugs
      x

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  34. Dear Susan, thank you very much for your wonderful post, and for your love for my country. Especially from you, that have lived in 2 different cultures and can see much more clearly the differences than someone living all her/his life in one place. You touched me greately and brought me a big smile. We all here need a warm embrace, especially in the difficult times we are going through. We need to raise our self esteem a lot, not by lies, but by remembering who we are, and how we could become better, as we need to. Big Hugs !

    Themis

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, yes, I've lived in two different cultures, and I know where I would rather be, right where I am!
      It's so sad, what Greece is going through right now, but i'm sure, Greece will prevail, it may be a rough ride, but, we'll get through it.
      Big hugs.
      Susan. x

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  35. Dear Susan ,that was a great post!!
    It is said that Instanbul got its name from the phrase is εις tin την polin πολιν which mean to the city , reffering to constantinople which neans the city of constantine :)

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    1. Thanks for reading, thanks for taking the time to comment, and thanks for the info, much appreciated!
      Filakia!
      Susan. x

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  36. I am Turkish. With a few obvious differences (don't go there with coffee and Istanbul, the Greek name of the city as oppose to Roman) it is identical in Turkey.

    I loved it!!

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    1. Thanks Bertan, yes, I imagine it is just the same, I have never been to Turkey, but one day hope to visit, amazing I have never been, it's so near!I want to see the Grand Bazzaar!
      Susan. x

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  37. Clichés, of course, but oh how true!
    You may want to read George Mikes' (yes, the one of How to be an Alien fame) Eureka! -- wrtten, to be sure, 60 years ago, but still relevant. And I am sure you know Patrick Lee Fermor's boks on Mani and Roumeli.

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    1. Hi Anggelo, I must check out George Mikes book, and Patrick Lee Fermor, I just love him, read all his books.
      Susan. x

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  38. Hiya Susan, thank you for your kind and tolerant way of thinking of Greeks (could be writing for hours about the origin of city names and meanings)
    Living in Scotland for a long time i feel that i have to write a few words about the kind and lovely people of Britain.
    will do so, promise.

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    1. Hi, it's not difficult to be tolerant of the Greeks, and I could have written for hours about them, never mind the cities!!!!
      Waiting and looking forward to hearing what you think about the British, that should be a good read!
      Susan.x

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  39. Wow Yolanda what an interesting tale you are true inspiration needless to say we like Yani the great musician and Saganaki....love the world of Greek hope to return one day also spend time in Cyprus with friends back in early 70s

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    1. Hi Jeff, oh yes, Yiannis is wonderful, and as for saganaki, can't get enough of it....cheese and prawns.
      I hope your wish comes true and one day you are back in Cyprus, won't be the early 70s though, truly a great era!
      Susan. x

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  40. Wow!!!!i lived in greece when i was younger!and i have to say my heart is still there!!!we go on holiday every year!and now my family loves it as much as me!the way you have described thn agapimenimou ellines is so spot on!!!beautiful people with beautiful souls! And the food........i still cook it here in the uk i love it so much!!!!
    Efharisto polli for a fantastic read!X

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    1. Hi Tzeni, once you've been to Greece, either to visit or to live, it never leaves your heart, and my beloved Greeks, one word ..."Philotimo"...I need say no more!
      Keep eating Greek...simply the best!
      Thanks so much for reading, glad you liked it.
      Susan. x

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  41. I laughed so much reading this. Applauding the pilot, counting swimms, the one year older thing, the I (usually) make it on the last minute and "the Greeks will prevail" (of course) are indeed deep insights in our culture. Things a tourist would never know.
    PS1 Only kids count ice creams in my experience.
    PS2 Your daughter is indeed a Greek goddess!

    Great post

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    1. Hi, if I made you laugh, I consider the post a success!
      I agree with you, most of the points tourists never get to see, a shame, I think they would love these little Greek quirks.
      Ah, yes, that must be why I forgot about the ice cream counting, my kids are grown up now.
      I will pass on your comment to my Greek Goddess...thanks!
      Filakia!
      Susan. x

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  42. I visited Corfu with my Corfiot boyfriend in 1974. A few sips from the legendary spring at Anemomylos and I was hooked, I would return. This we did in '79 with our 20 month old son and stayed and stayed for 22 years. I loved just about every minute. I would have gone completely native were it not for my friends 'The Girls' (we still call ourselves that almost 40 years on although all but one now live in the UK) I'm now widowed and retired in England. I reluctantly left in the end as getting older and working in that heat was so debilitating for me. Every one of the 40 things is true. I get quite 'homesick' at times, but I can still be just 'as greek as any Greek at the drop of a hat! Only blot on the horizon was the mother-in-law from HELL! Anyone else with that experience? Don't all rush........ lol

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    1. Anna, you had your best years in Greece, sorry to hear about your husband.
      Yes we are always "girls", I and my friends always call ourselves girls...if we don't, who will?
      Better not sat about mother-in-law, MGG may be reading!
      Susan.x

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  43. You put a smile on my face. I have to say you're too kind or too polite for not mentioning our shortcomings (and we have plenty of those not just red tape and queueing). But it's really interesting to read how a well adapted foreigner views the country and its people. When I read that sometimes you just wanna leave I thought yep you are greeker than greeks. Enjoy the good stuff and I guess be patient with the rest.

    ps: can't believe you don't like feta!!

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    1. That's the whole point, it's some(not all!) of the shortcomings I love about Greeks, it's what's make you unique!
      I'm being patient...and no, tried and tried but just can not stomach feta!
      Susan.x

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  44. Hello, I enjoyed reading your article and Xronia polla for you're 40th year here. I moved to Greece last year and i really love it.
    However, I can tell you, i didn't feel anything in this article is special about Greece, every single thing mentioned here also applies in Mediterranean countries.
    I'm from Egypt, we eat Feta with everything ! Olive oil is obligatory, we dance on tables and we spit 3 times to protect from the evil eye. Maybe that's why i love Greece, because it feels like home!

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    1. Thanks for reading Nouran, I can imagine Egypt is very similar to Greecs, and maybe the Eastern Mediterranean countries.
      It's the heat that does it!
      Susan. x

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  45. Oh my God! You made my day! I'm Serbian,married with Greek, 8 years here in Greece and every single thing that you wrote it's true! Great post!!!

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    1. So happy to have made your day Sanja!
      Have you become Greek yet? Haha, you soon will if you haven't!
      Susan. x

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  46. Very good and very close to reality!

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    1. Hi Lazaros, Thanks...I think, after forty years, I finally know the Greeks!
      Susan.x

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  47. This is so true. After holidays in Greece for 20 years I moved to Greece to live 10 years ago, also to an Island. I love Greece and its people, well most. Here I only have Greek friends apart from tourists I have met and have become Greek in many ways. Coffe, dance with your soul like nobody is watching, food etc and I hope that before I pass on I can grow a Greek ❤️

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    1. Hi Peter, so, you've been here for ten years, you know what that means....you're already "Greeker" !
      Susan. x

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  48. My good wife Sophie (Sofia), is Canadian born, of Greek extraction. We met on facebook and I visited her in Athens in 2008. I've never felt more at home than when we visit "home". The first thing we do when we land, is coffee!! Usually, the second thing we do once home is; you guessed it - go out for Coffee - maybe with a friend. I love it there. There's a kind of hurry up and be lazy, that is unique to Greece.

    I, like you, find the greek peoples to be generally friendly, hospitable and and generous. Outwardly ignoring the deep crisis and determined to enjoy life, yet well informed about their country and (unlike the UK) the rest of the world.

    We got engaged on Valentine's day 2009 so this is one of our special days. <3

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    1. Bill, what a wonderful story! I love it!
      Happy Anniversary, Happy Valentine's day, and hugs and kisses to Sophie!
      Susan. x

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  49. Hi Susan, lovely blog - makes me very nostalgic. I'm yet another Brit who's reputed to be more Greek than the Greeks! I built a house, married a local and lived on a wonderful island for several years. Athough I've now returned to the UK, my heart and soul are still there, and will always be. Greece has such a strong magnetic and positive force, so even when bad things happen there are many good things to make up for them. One thing I think deserves a mention in your blog is the frequency of national and local celebration days that take place to commemorate historical events and saints' days. The wonderful displays in the town square of children in national costume performing traditional dances along to music by local bands, and surrounded by hoards of locals whatever the weather. Another is the presence of "peripteros", the Greek equivalent of newsagents, and pivotal to Greek life. Lastly, the upwards, short nod of the head which means no - not yes, which as an uninitiated foreigner I totally misunderstood!

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  50. Thanks Aretie, oh yes, you're right, I should have mentioned the celebrations, one nearly every day!!! Never a dull moment.
    As to the periptero, how long is it since you visited Greece? Sadly, they are disappearing...fast! All "psilikatsidika".
    The kiosks were the very essence of Greece.
    And yes, the nod for no, with the clicking of the tongue!
    Maybe I should write a part 2 !
    Susan. x

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  51. Replies
    1. Thanks Miss!
      Glad you enjoyed it.
      Susan. x

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  52. Loved reading this as I have just landed in Athens to begin my new Greek life! Not sure that I have 40 years ahead of me but I hope to make every moment count. Thank you for the giggles and yes, I can't wait for my first authentic loud and proud OPA!

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    1. Stamie, all the best for your new Greek life, you will love it.
      One thing is for certain, you'll have lots of giggles, you may not laugh at the time, but, later, you will howl!
      Opa!
      Susan. x

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  53. Love this and so true even from visits rather than actually living there.we are treated in the same way. Love the islands and its people it feels more like home than home does.
    Sue xx

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    1. Thanks Sue,
      The Greeks make you feel at home anywhere!
      Susan. x

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  54. Hi Susan , Having lived in Greece 37 years myself , in fact not far from you in Mandra near Elefsina, I really could relate to every word. You brought a smile to my face and yes, my son is called Yiannis xxx

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    1. Hi Jayne, 40 years, 37 years in Greece, Same thing!
      So glad You have a Yiannis , many people leaving comments say they don't have one, I thought I was going to have to change that bit!
      Susan. x

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  55. Loved Loved Loved reading this. I can so relate. I married into a wonderful Greek family so I have observed many of these myself. Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. Thanks Staci Ann,
      I'm sure you can relate, Thanks for reading.
      Susan. x

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  56. I am Brazilian married to a Greek, we live in Scotland. I totally agree to all you have said! But honestly, when I was reading most of time I don't know if I was reading about the Greeks or the Brazilians, very similar culture!

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    1. Hi, thanks for reading, a lot of people from different countries have said the same, they feel as though I could have been describing their country, it must be the hot weather!
      Susan. x

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  57. It was really enjoying reading your post! I am a Greek and I feel like thanking you for taking time to make this excellent post! It made me laugh, almost cry and realize what we are mising everyday as we don't pay much attention (or any at all..) at all these small details in our everyday life! I hope you are always well and "να σε χαίρεται η οικογένειά σου"! I must also say that you husband is really lucky to have someone as nice as you with him. I hope you always enjoy life wherever it is and God bless you!

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    1. Thanasi, what a lovely comment, thanks!
      Yes, it's the little things that count in life, I'll pass on your message to my husband,he forgets how lucky he is sometimes....haha!
      Be happy!
      Susan. x

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  58. Thanks for the wonderful read.My mum is Greek and my father English and sadly not with us now.Nearly everything you have mentioned I can relate to with either family or friends of.I am now retired and it was always my dream to live in my mothers country of birth, a place I have loved since being a small child and although I have been to many countries around the world Greece has my heart.So when May arrives this year I will be living in Corfu for as long as they will have me.

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    1. Sorry for late reply, don't know how I missed your comment. Enjoy your life in corfu...all the best.
      Susan. x

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  59. Loved your post!! I laughed so hard at points but mainly I was shocked...

    Who DOESN'T count their swims or ice creams??????

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    1. Thanks, haha, yes, Greeks can shock you!
      Who doesn't count swims and ice creams, those who aren't "Greeker'!
      Susan. x

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  60. No, no! I mean I was shocked that there are people who do not count them :P

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    1. Oh right, I must have been having a senior moment!
      Susan. x

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  61. It was fun and 90% accurate. 1) Not all Greeks have olive groves (I don't. My wife has.) and 2) I remember sometimes in the past having dinner before 10pm. :D. Just joking of couse. It was a really nice and comprehensive article. I enjoyed it. I have a question for you though. It concerns children. Northern countries' children to be exact. I 've visited some northern countries in the past, like Germany, UK, Denmark and so on. I 've seen in many cases children with their families acting like robots. Not laughing, nor crying. They looked like zombies without feelings. Why this happens?

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    1. Thanks Vassili,
      I don't really know about children in Northern countries, maybe it has to do with the "Children should be seen and not heard" mentality!
      Susan. x

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  62. Hi Susan, I have been sitting here on my computer reading your wonderful comments about Hellas. I have many comments to make why Greeks do this or that but I will give you only one. They count the times they go to the sea in the summer because they think their health depends on how many baths they took this summer, or even last summer, if they are still healthy. Of course I have been away from Athens since 1958 and have been back many times. However, many things have changed over the years and may not be as I remember them. Recently, I read the book, Hellas, A Portrait of Greece, by Nicholas Gage, written in the 70's. It sure brought back wonderful memories of my beloved country. Thank you for this article - more memories to share with my children and friends. aspetrocelli@gmail.com

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    1. Oh thanks Anna for info on the book by Nicholas Gage, I must check it out, I have read his book "Eleni", very sad.
      The best comment I have had about health and swimming was from my sister-in-law, who said to me, when I told her I was very hot, one summer..."It's because you started swimming too early this year" !
      Susan. x

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  63. Loved reading your blog! I'm Greek by ancestry, born in NYC of 100% Greek parents. I'm so glad your Greek God remained a Greek God and did not turn into a "God damn Greek" like so many Greek men after you marry them!

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    1. Haha, love that, no, he's not a "God damn Greek", I put that down to him have lived in England for a few years and being one of eight children, he learnt to fend for himself.
      If he had turned into a "God damn Greek", I would have been long gone!
      Susan. x

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  64. You forgot to mention the most shocking thing in my opinion - that you are not allowed to flush toilet paper in Greece, but have to put it in a waste basket. I thought that was pretty disgusting.

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    1. Oh goodness, so I did, how did I leave that little gem out?
      I have written a post though, about life with a septic tank!!!
      http://greekerthanthegreeks.blogspot.gr/2014/11/living-with-septic-tank.html
      Susan. x


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  65. Today the World is celebrating WOMAN'S DAY. Here in the US women leave their jobs to celebrate or strike for their femininity. If you ask them why they are striking, they would not be able to tell you. I am a Greek woman who has never forgotten that I am a woman first, a Greek woman at that, but a woman with value and worth. I was often told that Greek women do as their husbands' tell them to do and that they are insignificant. I was in Greece until I was 23 and I never felt insignificant. The Greek woman has a silent strength that surpasses any other physical or emotional strength. She stands up to her husband in silence but in kindness. She fights if she wants to but she is fare and strong in her convections. And when it comes to war fights, she remains one that knows what to do. All one needs to remember is Bouboulina...(sp). I am one of these kind of women and very proud to be called a WOMAN celebrating my personhood in my heart and mind for all those who doubt their womanhood. Anna Petrocelli

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    1. Well, like it says in that movie "My big fat Greek wedding": Man is the head of the family, but woman is the neck that turns the head any way it wants :)

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    2. Good for you Anna....who can ever forget Bouboulina?
      Susan. x

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  66. I think we Greeks, are emotional people,compared mainly to our Northen Europeans.-

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    1. I totally agree Chris...totally passionate and that's why I totally love you all!!!!
      Susan. x

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  67. How I missed this one I'll never know but what a treat to read this morning. While our time there has been part-time you've nailed every endearing trait that has such a magnetic pull on us to return. I particularly liked #21!!

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    1. Oh yes Jackie, number 21....and also the art of getting a better price on anything, Greeks drive a hard bargain!!!
      Susan. x

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  68. TO BE GREEK MEANS EITHER TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH A GREEK, TO HAVE GREEK GREEK BLOOD, TO HAVE GREEK ANCESTORS, TO BE GREEK, TO SPEAK GREEK, TO FEEL GREEK IS ALL THE SAME. IN OTHER WORDS ITS ALL GREEK TO SOMEONE WHO FEELS IT IN THEIR BONES.

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  69. Replies
    1. Exactly Peter, I couldn't have put it better myself!
      Susan. x

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    2. To Unknown...lol....yes, just love Peter's comment.
      Susan. x

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  70. We have the book at top of the page, amongst others about Greece. 32nd visit to Parga on the mainland in 3 weeks time. Visited Zante a few times, Skiathos a few times, Santorini, Lesvos, Crete, Corfu, Paxos and Kefalonia (and Parga)already booked for next year. I'm actually a Destination Expert on TripAdvisor for Parga. We have been to many places in the Epirus region and love the area and the people and enjoy helping people who ask questions. We have more friends in Parga, both Greek, ex - pats and repeat holiday makers than we have here in England.

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    1. Wow, 32 visits to Parga, a beautiful place!
      You have seen a lot of Greece....I predict you moving here at some point!!!!
      Susan. x

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    2. Nearly did a few years ago. Looked at a few properties but came home and was offered a job at £35 hr 5mins from home. Too good to turn down. One day maybe a long term rental, too old to buy now. Off to Parga again in 17 days and again in October. Kefalonia booked for next June and Parga for September.

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  71. In ancient Greece ,Greek was labeled the person who acquired the Greek education(no Visas then).
    You have been educated well so be proud to be Greek.

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    1. Thanks Kythera, I think education must have been invented in Greece !!!!
      I'm proud to be accepted by the Greeks in their country! (Visa or not !!)
      Susan. x

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    2. I know a few Greek families that send their kids to England to go to Uni. Huddersfield and Bradford are examples. It's cheaper apparently.

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  72. Wonderfull, delicious article, thank you so much, God bless you all!

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Thank you so much for reading my blog, I am always absolutely delighted to hear your thoughts, ideas or suggestions.
They make all my efforts worthwhile,.

Please do check back, after leaving a comment, as I make every effort to answer all your remarks promptly.
Thanks,
Susan.x

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