Looking at Greece

Thursday, October 06, 2005

An introduction

Most people back in Britain, on hearing that I live in Greece, come out with a trite "Oooh, how lucky you are..!”  They mostly imagine that life here is fairly similar to a holiday they may once have had in Greece, or that the climate is wonderful, or that the food is good and cheap.  Understandable (and spurious) as this view may be, it starts to grate after some time and I find myself trying to persuade them that life in Greece is very far from being a bed of roses and that they should count their blessings as they live in a country where they can take for granted so much that is missing here in Greece.  

This blog is intended to present a wry view of life in Greece, viewed through the eyes of an Englishman who has extensive knowledge of life here.  I am fluent in Greek (my university degree was in Modern Greek, taken before I came to live here), in the culture and ways of the Greeks – I was married to one for twelve years and now live with my Greek girlfriend, and have been subject to the horrors of Greek bureaucracy, as I am self-employed.  But I find myself turning ever increasingly into some sort of Victor Meldrew character regarding life here, and am frequently heard to exclaim the equivalent of “I don’t belieeeeve it!!” in Greek…  Any Greeks reading this might well take offence, but I have come to realise that the Greeks are only too happy to criticise their own country and yet find it particularly hard to accept any criticism from non-Greeks.  Strange and worrying!  

The blog is likely to be a touch tongue-in-cheek, but everything I mention will be from my personal experience of life here.  I hope you will enjoy reading it!    


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