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You’re visiting Greece for the first time. You’ve heard so much about it. Homer. Sunlight. Food. Gods. You’ve seen that movie with Brad Pitt in that leather kilt. You can’t wait to get to the idyllic islands but first, you have to go through Athens. Relax; it’s not as bad as it looks. There is traffic, ok, but then this makes the place safe and lively. There is concrete everywhere. Ok, that’s bad. But have you seen the Syntagma metro station? It’s good. There are no bearded men walking around in togas, talking about Democracy and Tragedy. Well, actually there are, only they’ve gotten rid of the togas. And beards have come back, you know. At first glance Athens is grey but after a while you will realise how colorful she is, thanks to her vast cast of characters. Ok, the names are very difficult to pronounce but you can always smile and they will understand you. Athens is heaven. It just looks like hell. By YANNIS NENES

way among friends or as “dude” among colleagues. It is not used in a friendly way in football or traffic though. MOUTZA Speaking of traffic, you may notice that some drivers give an open palm gesture to each other, thrusting their hand forward like in high-five motion and uttering grumbling sounds as “Naaa! Malaka!”. It’s a kind of an offensive curse of Byzantine, or French, or Venetian origin when chained prisoners were paraded through the streets and abused by having handfuls of filth from the gutter picked up by onlookers and thrust into their faces. But seriously now, they offer some excitement in a dull hot Athens day. KAFSONAS This is the Greek word for heatwave. If you

see this on the news, be afraid. Be very afraid. LOUD? To the person who doesn’t understand Greek, the loud, intense conversations may sound like arguing – but they’re not. Actually Greeks are friendly and not hesitant to show affection. For example, friendly hugging and kissing (twice) is very common, even among men, or women strolling together arm in arm. EYE CONTACT Greeks openly stare at anything that interests them so don’t be offended if you are the center of attention wherever you go. BODY LANGUAGE The code for indicating “yes” and “no” in other countries, breaks down in Greece (as well as in CITY GUIDE summer 2014 _ 15

Eng Guide 2014  
Eng Guide 2014