Greece ‘in crisis’ – JULY 2015

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It seems a real shame that I have to write this.

Many of you will know that I live here and am a huge fan of Greece and the Greek people.  And many of you cannot have failed to notice how much Greece is in the headlines of late.

Unfortunately, I have been receiving some requests from various media sources to share the ‘negative experiences’ that people – expats – are suffering.  Whilst I have no doubt and am under no illusions as to the situation here, it upsets me to hear that media is only interested in the negative.

Cash withdrawals

Sure, there are (some) lines at the ATM machines in my neighbourhood – nothing like what I have seen banded around on television and the internet of late.  In fact, people are mostly in as good a humour as they can be: taking the opportunity to sip a frappe whilst they patiently wait, chatting, putting the world to rights.

Greek philoxenia

Hospitality, the official English translation of ‘philoxenia‘, doesn’t do justice to the concept as it does not encompass its main element, which is generosity of spirit.

Source: http://www.cy2012.eu/en/menu/the-presidency-eu/cyprus-presidency/filoxenia

Even in times like this – the Greeks have stepped up to the plate.  I live alone (something I enjoy, but is a little to the bemusement of my elderly Greek neighbours).  The last two days has seen them cooking dinner for me and passing on fresh fruit and vegetables – because they are ‘worried about me.’

Homemade meatballs and homemade fries with broccoli in lemon and olive oil - and olives 'from the village'
Homemade meatballs and homemade fries with broccoli in lemon and olive oil – and olives ‘from the village’

I really have no words for the level of kindness I am experiencing right now – the ‘philoxenia.’

People are questioning whether to come to Greece on holiday – to them I say you are buying into the media scare tactics.  I cannot and will not pretend to know anything about politics – but I know humaneness and kindness when I see it…I see it in spades here in Athens.

22 COMMENTS

    • Yes Yvonne, no matter what one tries to do ‘in return,’ we always get trumped. Glad you also get to experience this too.

    • Thanks Jessica – the people are what make this country go around. And those of us ‘in the know’ love the Greek people.

  1. This is the Greece I love and will fight for! My landlady has told me to forget rent payments and just make sure I can buy food and pay essential bills. In my case it’s no problem and I can pay the rent too, but her “look after yourself first” sentiment was very touching.

    • Yes – it’s sobering to see how the Greeks ultimately, when pushed too far – DO look out for others. We love the Greeks – and are indebted to them.
      It’s no doubt my neighbour is feeling the pinch too, but she still wants to feed me.

  2. It’s heart-warming to be told about the reality of life in Greece. As you say all we hear is doom and gloom, which is just what the EU and the media want. The concept that the Greeks have to be “punished” for daring to question the German might and right of things.

    • I think it’s always important to be balanced – but so often the human side of a story gets forgotten. After all, people have to live their day to day lives – and I hope this post is testament to those people who are doing just so, and doing so with a huge element of kindness to others.

  3. Thanks for this blog-it helps to set my mind and heart at ease. The people of Greece are industrious, passionate and proud! It’s good to know they have maintained their Philoxenia!

    All the best,
    Ruth

  4. Thanks for sharing the good side of daily life in Greece. I’ve often traveled to world “hot spots” to realize that llfe goes on and people are mostly friendly whereever you go.

    • Thanks Lois – in particular, the Greeks are so resilient and when push comes to shove, are the kindest nation of people I’ve come across (so far).

      • I’ve loved Greece,the Greeks,the music,the culture,the architecture,the light,to name but a very few things,since working there for 3 seasons1978-81.
        I do,however,remember that it was always a “national sport” to avoid paying their taxes.This is sadly why they now find themselves broke as a country.
        But knowing the spirit of these people,and the historic proof of their intelligence,ingenuity,imagination,artistic bent and loving kindness/generosity,I know this Phoenix will rise very high again! Elate,pedia! Annette x

        • Thanks for your comments Annette. What is obvious is there is so much more to ‘the Greek issue’ than people not paying their taxes (although I realise this is a contributing factor too).
          No one thing is to blame – but was is certain is there is a propaganda machine out there wanting to destroy this beautiful country.

  5. Thanks for sharing the “other side”. I am constantly telling people this and it is great to have a link to share which further supports what I know to be true. The Greek people will welcome you with open arms and an open kitchen – and Greece in person looks nother like what they show on the 10 O’clock news ….

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