SPECIAL SUMMER ISSUE: GREECE
THE NORTEHRN HEART
Fun and active, a holiday that fits everyone in beautiful Rhodes
BRITISH EXPATS -living in Greece
STILL MAKING IT
Young Greek people about the life in Greece. Work, life and crisis.
June 2013 Summer issue Travel
My Greek Passion My first visit to Greece I can`t remember. Not because I didn’t like it, but because I was in my moth er’s belly – and that’s how it all started. My Greek adventure. Since then I have been to Greece every year, and for me it is no other place in the world I would like to spend my summer. Here I can go to little island like Halkidiki or Thasos in north for relaxation and the ‘traditional and real Greek holiday’, or I can go south to Crete and Rhodes to get a more modern holiday, with everything included. No matter what, It`s something different about Greece. The food, the beaches, and the people – it’s so simple, but yet, so perfect. Sadly the crises have made some changes according the Greek lifestyle. Even though it doesn’t affect the tourist that much, it does something to the Greek charm. But, it`s always two sides of a story. And you as a tourist can choose to think that it’s scary to visit Greece, a country in huge financial crises. Or you can look at the bright side; think of the Greek people that will give you really good service – because they need tourism more than ever, and you can have a fabulous holiday for less money than before. In this summer issue you will read about the British expats Manuel and Jonson who are both living the relaxed life in Greece, and both are encouraging tourists to visit more often. In Thessalonica the city with the white tower the crises is slightly more complicated than on the tourist islands. But yet, it’s a charming city with so much to offer. What always amazes me when I travel to Greece is the attitude. The egoism, self-respect, and the Greek peoples ability to always think that everything will be fine. So why should you move, when you are living in one of Europe’s most beautiful countries, with a cultural history richer than most others. If you have any Greek memories, do send us your story and pictures. Wed love to share your history. Photos: dockstock.com/ Maria G. M.
Summer issue Travel June 2013
MariaGM Maria Gjøslien Metaxenioy, Editor
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June 2013 6 Active Holiday
Who said that holiday is just for relaxation? In Rhodes you can be active, have fun and enjoy a Greek holiday.
8 British Expats in Greece
Both Manuel and Johnson left behind the British life, to create a new and more relaxed life in Greece. One living as an olive farmer in Messania, another in Rhodes just working in the summer season.
12 Still making it
How hard is the crises effecting people in Greece, and are they willing to move somewhere else? Ralli and Katsoulis are still doing it well.
14 The northern heart
Thessalonici, the heart of northern Greece. Such a charming city, with history from before BC. But is the crises destroying the Greek charm and way of life?
Summer issue Travel June 2013
June 2013 Summer issue Travel
AN ACTIVE HOLIDAY, PERFECT FOR EVERYONE Holiday is the time for relaxation. Lying on the beach feeling the burning heat from the sun, and just do nothing. And where is a more perfect place for this, than in Greece? But even though relaxation is great, some of us also get restless of doing nothing. So why be lazy just because you are on holiday? By: Maria G. Metaxenioy
2013 is the year to try something different, a holiday filled with activities and fun. Fitness- and active holidays are more popular than ever. Keeping your body healthy while enjoying the sun is a pure pleasure, which suits the whole family. With more energy you will also get so much more out of your holiday.
some hours here by the “eptapiges” (seven springs in Greek) you can find a nice spot for a picnic. Or you can just enjoy the relaxing atmosphere at the small and cosy tavern, in the shadows of the pine trees. For the kids the snake shop might be more interesting than the waterfalls. Here you can by nice handmade souvenirs and meet the pet of the shop owner - the 4-meter long python snake.
every taste. Walking in the mountains, volley, squash, water aerobics, water sports and paintball are some of the activities you can try when you are on a holiday in Rhodes. From early April until October different airlines have flights several times a week to the island. And the long season makes this Greek island one of the most popular travel destinations for tourists in Europe. Different charter companies’ also offers fitness resorts where you can get almost everything at one place. You don’t even have to leave the hotel area to be active if you are staying at resorts like this.
Greece is well known for its salty water and beautiful beaches. And Rhodes, one of the most popular Greek islands is no exception. But Rhodes is also the perfect destination for those who want to have a holiday filled with activities. Here you can have a healthy and fun holiday, combined with the true ‘Greek holiday feeling’. This perfect comFor those who don`t want the ‘all in one’- deal bination of relaxation, activity and sun gives you with resorts and everything planned, it is also the energy boost you need, while you are taking possible to do everything on your own. Just buy a break from your everyday life. a flight ticket and rent a hotel – wherever you like. Maybe a cosy little family resort tempts With many different options of activities it you more? Rhodes is ideal for doing everything shouldn`t be a problem to find something for on your own, even though its your first time in Greece. You can easily use different local agencies to keep yourself active, doing exactly what you want – when you want. Through posters, local guides or websites you will easily find information of different activities such as: Go-cart, golfing, diving and paintball.
Maria G. Metaxenioy
Summer issue Travel June 2013
If you like to go for a walk in green surroundings you should visit Seven Springs, one of the most charming places in Rhodes. Here waters come out from the springs all year around, and end up in a small lake. A real oasis, cool and magical. You get to the lake by walking through a narrow tunnel of 186 meters. The lake exists thanks to a dam built by the Italians in order to provide the nearby Kolymbia with fresh water, during the war. You can also choose to walk around on a in your hands through the wet, dark and cold tunnel adds some fun to the trip. If you want to stay
Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands and is located in the eastern Greece. The island has for many years been on the ‘top three’ of the most popular Greek island to visit. The island has the perfect blend of the ‘real Greek’ with family restaurants and small Greek apartments, mixed with the modern luxurious resorts, spa and everything you should need for a perfect holiday – something for every taste. Travelling to Rhodes you should definitely take a visit to the Acropolis, which is located at the top of the little village Lindos. The village is also called ‘the white village’, and is a sight for the eye. Standing on the beach looking up at the small white house’s crawling up the mountain which carries Acropolis, it`s like you are looking at one big marble bloc – so white. Here you can walk up the 800 step stairs (or take a donkey taxi), and experience this historic vision from 3rd–2nd century BC. Amazing ruins from the “ Temple of Apollo”, theatre and library is still to be found here. After taking pictures at the amazing view, it`s nothing better than a break in the shadows, with a refreshment at one of the snack bars. On your way down, you will see cute handmade souvenirs in the adorable little shops, and afterwards you should end it all with a swim at the beach. Another green experience is the butterfly valley on
the way between Paradhisi and Theologos. This valley is till one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rhodes. The butterfly valley or “Petalouda” in Greek, is great to visit in August. Then it`s time to reproduce, and the butterflies overwhelm the valley. But it should be mentioned that the often visit of humans has affected the butterflies, so don`t be disappointed if you don`t see any – at all. Butterflies or not, this large valley is either way a popular destination to visit, and the valley is a vision for the eyes. The turquoise water from the Aegean Sea is one of the many things that attracts tourists to Greece. The beautiful salt, delicious, blue water is just amazing. And if water is your element, Rhodes has many options for you. Scuba diving takes you to the world under water, which gives you the beautiful scenery of Rhodes – seen from another point of view.
If you want more exercising, the fitness resorts offers a great diversity among group sessions – in water. Such as aerobics or polo. And while the sun is standing bright on the sky, what`s better than be in the cool water of a soothing pool? There are also a number of options from different sports centres at the beaches. Everything from wind surfing, catamarans, water- and jet skiing, to the more normal activities like pedal boats and paragliding. For the childish, but energetic type you have the Waterpark in Faliraki. Perfect for those who like to have some fun with speed and heights – all in the water. This amusement park of water and slides has something for every age group. Slides, rings, waterfalls and much more will keep you busy all day - and give you a kick you will remember for a while. Remember to bring some sun lotion, ever can... June 2013 Summer issue Travel 7
DANGEROUS HARVEST Some parts of the year are busier than others when you have 420 olive trees to take care of. And of course November is one of them – then it is harvest time. “It is hard work, stressful and potentially even dangerous. I think it is getting more dreadful every year, but it also gives us a little income so we can live and enjoy life when it is over”, Rob says. Being an olive farmer is not a joke, and the couple work hard. Harvest time in Greece is not like what they had expected, nothing like an ‘olive fairy tale’, that’s for sure. But when the harvest is over, they try to enjoy the relaxed life in Messania. With a house that overlooks the sea, and about a ten-minute drive to the beach it’s not hard to imagine that their life also can be a formula of the good life.
Living the life of an expat - in greece “We never intended to be olive farmers. When I was a child my dream was to be a policeman, then a lawyer – like many other boys I guess. Then around the age of 12 I settled with my big dream, to become a writer. But I had no idea that it would be in Greece.”
“It seems that here in Greece, everything is difficult, but nothing is impossible. This is an improvement to the UK, where a lot of things are difficult and quite a few things are possible.”
By:Maria G. Metaxenioy
When moving to Greece 8 years ago Rob and his wife wanted somewhere with a reasonable amount of land. Somewhere they could settle, and start their new life. The thing with Messania is that it is almost
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impossible to get land without olive trees, and that’s how it started. The new life in Greece and the life as olive farmers, which can be quite hard sometimes. But when the harvest season is over, they are enjoying the relaxed life only possible in Greece, surrounded by their cats and dogs. Their love for animals has given many stray dogs and cats a new home. Even though they never went out looking for these animals, one after another has just showed up at the couple’s door step and is now a member of the life at the olive farm.
Maria G. Metaxenioy
Today the couple are making ecological olive oil, while Rob is blogging about his life in Greece, making humoristic and informative podcasts about the ‘real Greek life.’ His podcast “Kilo of strings” is named after the illogical way of thinking in Greece, such
as everything can be bought in kilos. Not litres or metres. Wine, olive oil, food and ropes – in kilos. As he explains in one of the podcasts ‘It`s not logical at all, but it`s not a problem. They have always done it like this, so it`s just to get used to it.’
Rob Jonson and his wife started to talk about the Mediterranean dream, and about one year later the couple had bought a place in Greece. More precise, in Messania – the southwestern part of Peloponnese.
DIFFICULITIES Moving to a new country always offers some new difficulties, and some of the problems are harder to get used to than others. The couple has a list of things they have found strange, but they are gradually getting used to them. Instead of looking for reasons for why things are like they are, or why people do things as they do, they have learned to accept this way of life. Embracing it, instead of fighting it. Because all in all, the life in Greece is much more relaxed and harmless than The UK.
“The biggest challenge has and still is the language. Learning any language gets harder the older you get. And even though we’ve put in a lot of effort, I find it very frustrating that I still can’t communicate in Greek to the level I’d like to. And sometimes I do miss a few things back home, like a good pint of British bitter and cricket. But the hospitality and friendliness of the Greek people, and the climate being much better than in the UK is primarily why we moved to Greece”, Rob says. Strange Greek views, thoughts about the Greek life, the harvest and a talk with the mayor are all topics on Rob’s blog. He talks about being introduced to a different culture, system and language – about the real Greek life. And of course politics and the crises becomes a natural topic that is discussed in his podcasts. Although he and his wife have not been too badly affected, the relaxed way of life become less and less evident, he says. Close friends of them are affected by the changes
that have happened over the past years. The situation in Greece has made it harder to live the ‘Greek Dream’, as the atmosphere of cheerfulness and positivity has gradually shifted towards despondency and anxiety about the future. “It is a tragedy to say what Greece and its people have been brought through and that they are brought to their knees because of the incompetence and corruption of politicians and civil servants. And the fact that about a year ago the extreme right began to become very popular, which is a concern. Their apparent collusion with the police and the moves by the authorities and big businesses to control the press and media.” PEACEFUL Rob can see how Greece is changing with his own eyes, but still he thinks that Pelopponnese is a peaceful place, and he encourage people to visit...
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of petrol for the car.” Even though some things are changing, its just a few British expats that have moved back home. Some British have returned to The UK, but this were mainly those who were badly “shafted” by “cowboy” builders who ripped them off very badly as Manuel explains it, and others have had health issues. “Most of the UK ex-pats living here wouldn’t go back to the UK, even though the crises are getting bad”, John says. Crises or not, the Greek-people are still as friendly, the weather just as superb as ever; the culture and the Greek food are all intact he assures. “The tourists who came here during the season 2012 saw little of the problems first hand.” He also is encouraging the summer-guests to think about coming out during the “winter” months, from November through March. Not only during the summertime. Rhodes is an island for both seasons. “The weather on Rhodes during wintertime is usually sunny, and the island is a wonderful place for long walks, spotting wild flowers or wildlife. The ‘tavernas’ and bars are usually open at least in the weekends. The citrus groves are breathtakingly beautiful both to smell and to see.” The couple occupies themselves with their...
ENJOYING LIFE IN RHODES John Manuel and his wife were leading a stressful life in the UK, and although his wife was pretty happy, they started talking about ‘simplifying’ their life. Now John Manuel is blogging from the sunny island Rhodes, where he and his wife have lived since 2005.
The money, which they got from the sale of al10 Summer issue Travel June 2013
“Since 2008 we’ve had to supplement that income a little, but that only means that the two of us had to work three days a week each, during the tourist season. Plus I have income from the four travel books which I’ve written”, he explains.
“It’s like being paid for an outing every time I go to work”, he says happy.
Maria G. Metaxenioy/John Manuel
“We started talking about a less stressful life, since it didn’t ought to be all about working your socks off until you’re too old to enjoy life to the full anyway. We’d never been materialistic, so one day we decided to sit down and calculate how much we felt we’d need to live on”, says John Manuel.
John is working as a tour-guide on day excursions with tourists in the summer seasons, and one of the excursions is a day-cruise with swim-stops aboard the boat ‘Magellanos’.
By: Maria G. Metaxenioy
most everything they had in The UK, John and his wife put aside – and is now used for appreciating their life in Rhodes.
NOT GOING BACK The crisis is hitting the poor Greeks very badly, but John Manuel says that on the islands like Rhodes, it is nothing like the difficulties on the mainland and in the cities.
“Most of the British people here are managing fine, even though our disposable income is affected by such things as huge hikes in the price June 2013 Summer issue Travel 11
I have even tried to be an actor in a music video, she says. After her education Ralli has worked in several positions related to her education, and she hope that she will keep on working with what she loves in the years that comes. Now she is hoping to get recognition for her work, but it`s not easy being a journalist in Greece these days. – I work part time with digital and social media communication in advertising company, I’m a radio producer in offradio.gr, which is the leading award winning online radio station in Greece and a DJ in bars and events. So it’s not an easy, she explains.
Still making it Rafaella Ralli (27) grew up in Mytilene in Lesvos, and her biggest dream was to become a journalist. So when the time came for studying, it was also about time to make the dream come true – in Thessalonica.
She really hates the question “”describe yourself”, but her friends describes Ralli as a honest, stubborn, impulsive, social workaholic. She her self says that both working as a journalist and with music is a perfect description of her personality. – I love doing several things because that’s what helps me not to get bored. I can’t compare my professions, they are totally different. But my love is equal for music and journalism. Journalism is what I studied, music is the “ticket” to express myself – no matter what. Both of them offer to me what people usually describe as “business with pleasure”.
optimist. Maybe I’m too emotionally connected to my country, my family and friends too just give up. This is everything I love and what I have worked for all these years. Even if I know that I could find a better job abroad, I’m sure deep down inside I wouldn’t be happy. And a part of me would always miss all the rest in my life, here in Thessalonica. And asking Ralli about choosing one type of music genre for the rest of her life is like asking her to live somewhere without a beach.
By: Maria G. Metaxenioy
– It was like a domino – in a good way, and suddenly I could ad many jobs to my CV. Radio producer, TV presenter, TV reporter and editor. 12 Summer issue Travel June 2013
– Crises made it much harder. There are almost no jobs as far as journalism is concerned; most mass media collapsed from their debts and the rest of it is flirting with bankruptcy. Furthermore, in Greece people love to be involved with everything that might give them publicity, so there’s a huge amount with people with no proper education who claim to be journalists. You can understand how harmful that turns out to be for those that see journalism as their real profession. So, with everything going on, what keeps her motivated and still going strong? – I have no idea, she says. But generally I’m an
– It’s like you ‘re asking me to choose between love and health. I do love soul, rhythm and blues, I really admire the outstanding gift that nature gave to black singers. But I’m 100% positive that I’d be bored if I had a particular life soundtrack with no variety. If I have to choose now, in this moment my favourite artist has to be ‘Sade’, she finally replies.
Ralli did her work experience in different radio stations, also as a copywriter and voice for ads. And one thing led to another.
She describes her work as ‘extremely fascinating’, and that it allows her to get introduced to many interesting people, who she might not get to meet otherwise. But everything isn`t ‘pretty and pink’, even though Ralli is living the dream.
– Mytilene is too small. I wanted to become a journalist so I got my degree at Aristotle Univeristy of Thessalonica. When I came here in Thessaloniki at the age of 18 I already knew that things wouldn’t be easy for me. Journalism in Greece is all about acquaintances and public relations – I didn’t have any – so I knew right from the start that if I wanted to “survive”, make progress and eventually work, I had to create somehow an agenda. Therefore, I tried to establish myself as a professional by working from the age of 19, anywhere I could think would be helpful for me in the future.
Before she ads that every hour, every mood and season has it`s own soundtrack.
Making a living – using your body as a tool Stefanos Katsoulis grew up dreaming to become a professional BMX rider, and still he cant see a life without BMX riding. But he has also added one more thing to his list of “things he can`t live without” – his needles. Stefanos is making a living by making big holes in people ears, decorating faces, arms and genitals with jewelleries, and filling peoples bodies with different shapes, underneath the skin. – It all started many years ago. I was a client at the Nicos tattoo studio already in 2001, and as a hobby I was doing piercing at my friends, he explains. And about eight years ago the fascination and hobby led to a lifestyle when he started working for Nicos tattoo studio. First as an assistant, but within a year he had getting involved with piercing. And naturally his biggest dream now is related to his passion and work. – My dream is that every kind of body modification becomes acceptable by all kinds of people with my contribution, I would love that more people would experiment and be open for modification, not just a simple piercing. Already since 2006 Stefanos started performing June 2013 Summer issue Travel
The Northern heart Thessalonica The crises have taken over Thessalonica, not the parties. The city is facing a different struggle. A war within the country, rich against the poor, truth against the lies. The government against the people. And the Greek life with charm, attitude and love is vanishing. Or is it? By: Maria G. Metaxenioy
Thessalonica today is not what it used to be. The city with history from back in the Byzantines time, and the culture capital of 97, hasn’t had the bright future that was predicted just a few years ago. In 2010 it was said that Thessalonica was going to be ‘the city of the young and adventurous’ before year 2014. And Lonely Planet announced Thessaloniki as one of the best party cities in the world, amongst Dubai and Montréal. Today the big clubs die and vanish, one after another. “A girlfriend? A wife? How am I supposed to finance a woman, or a family? Do you know how much money I have every month?”
Photos: Maria G. Metaxenioy
Summer issue Travel June 2013
We have been out dancing all night, and now we are sitting at our hotel room talking about how the nightlife has changed. Outside the sun is rising, while we are eating olives and bread – talking about nothing, and everything, in the middle of Thessalonica. We met Alexandros many years ago, at the very same club we went to tonight. Back then the club was huge. I remember the first time we went to this club, located at
the airport. We were standing in a long line outside – three girls, one boy, that was the rule. Getting in I was stunned of how big the club was, and how many people there were. Lights in every colour were crossing the room making a sea of green, yellow and red. A thousand heads moving to the beat, music so loud that we barely could speak to each other. Cigarettes and bottles, glasses filled with drinks – at every table. Most of all I remember the atmosphere – so much energy. It was so crowded that we almost couldn’t get from the entrance to the bar. We had to wait to order a drink at the bar, but when we finally got to order, the free shots came as they were serving water. Every table and spot at the dance floor was taken, a scenario opposite from what we experienced tonight.
on his face. Now his gorgeous boyish smile is hidden by a constant worried expression. A worry a man of his age shouldn’t be having. But I don’t blame him. His left overs is what I use for food in one week, or maybe just a weekend if I am going out – and I’m a student. Alexandros has taken his education, pays his taxes and is working – doing things as you are supposed to do. And for what? Every year the government is cutting his salary, the days at work are getting longer and with more responsibility. During the conversation we are trying to switch the angle, telling him that he should be happy that he got a job with everything that is going on. My friend and I, two students, sitting in one of the most exclusive hotels in Thessalonica, trying to lecture him about how it is to not have money – and to be grateful.
“I have 660 euros a month, my bills are 515, you do the math. Not much to have fun with, huh?”
“I love my job, you don’t understand. I just hate how it is now, where I am and everything that`s happening. I want a life as well,” he says.
Nadia and I are looking at each other. Alexandros used to be the party boy, going out 3 times a week, always with a smile
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THE CONTRAST After some hours of sleep we are waking up from the sun shining – making our room like a natural sauna. We decide to go out for a walk to the white castle. A historic monument of Thessalonica, and a symbol of the city. In 2012 they renovated the inside and made the tower into a modern museum with pictures, films, music and historical effects – so we thought it would be fun to check it out. It`s in the middle of the day and we don’t expect to see many people outside. So, we don’t bother to do much about ourselves, just throwing on some sunglasses and comfy clothes before we leave our room. A big contrast to the people sitting at the cafeterias and bars along the harbor side. Women with perfect hair and nails, sipping to their wine glasses. Good looking and well-dressed men. Every table is full, with lunch plates and beer or wine. Smiles, laughter and people enjoying the good Greek life. We observe these beautiful people as we walk by. How they are such a huge contrast to our conversation just a few hours ago. Not much sign of a crisis here where the sun is shining.
After fifteen minutes we are outside of the white tower, and there are people everywhere. Salesmen spread along the pier with all kinds of things at their colorful blankets; sunglasses, purses, popcorn and lucky-bracelets. People, both young and old walking “voltes” (relaxed walk) and kids pingwhile teenage-sweethearts sitting at the benches, kissing. It`s people everywhere and they are doing what you should do in Greece – enjoying the beautiful weather and being social. After a tour inside the white tower, and the mandatory pictures from the top of the tower, we are going for a walk at the pier. And suddenly we end up at one of the boats, a café-bar at the sea. A pleasant and different 30 minutes free trip of an bar experience. JUST A SIMPLE SNACK Afterwards we head back to the city center feeling hunit`s Because, they are still the midnight people, the party animals, and the dancers of the night. The beach lovers and coffee drinkers – the people that likes to enjoy and take things as they come along.
playing, while teenage-sweethearts sitting at the benches, kissing. It`s people everywhere and they are doing what you should do in Greece – enjoying the beautiful weather and being social. After a tour inside the white tower, and the mandatory pictures from the top of the tower, we are going for a walk at the pier. And suddenly we end up at one of the boats, a café-bar at the sea. A pleasant and different 30 minutes free trip of an bar experience. JUST A SIMPLE SNACK Afterwards we head back to the city center feeling hungry, so we decide to have a quick snack. The city center is crowded with people, like every summer. People walking back to school or work. Others relaxing with a frappe’ at one of the coffee bars, or having a meal at one of the snack bars. “Spata” the snack bar in the center of Aristoteles Square, are making gyros like never before. The waiters are running around like chickens chased by a farmer. We are walking past the people sitting at small tables outside, in the shades of an umbrella – hoping to find a free table inside. And we were right; inside with the
Photos: Maria G. Metaxenioy
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air-conditioning there are available tables. The cold air is fantastic. It is like you have entered a new world, a world that wants you to be comfortable.
picking a good bite of warm tomato mixed with a slice of onion out of the pitta bread, I`m thinking that I could eat this every day. It is so good – and cheap.
Thanks to Zeus that Greek people are old fashioned and don’t welcome the cold air as much as me. And just to mention it, it`s not only cold air that is bad for you, it is also dangerous to drink water with ice or eat ice cream during the summer – you can catch a bad cold. Well, we are up for the risk, happy, inside and take a seat at a big table close to the fresh air.
Then it crosses my mind. No wonder why the snack bars are even more crowded than usual this summer – people can still afford their gyro. Well, almost everyone. At the same time as this thought crosses my mind, something outside catches my eye. A well-dressed woman, with blow-dried, blonde hair talks to a man that walks by her table. After a minute she walks in with the man.
Even though we have been travelling to Greece for over 20 years now, we still have to have our gyro. Just like any other tourist. Even the Greek people love this simple snack meal. And here at Aristoteles Square, in the middle of Thessalonica, it`s no different. People are standing in a long line inside “Spata” to buy one gyro. A really good gyro it must be said – maybe one of the best gyros in Greece. A good and tasty meal, for just 2 pounds, not bad at all. While I am sitting here eating with my fingers,
They are about the same age, but he is not nearly as nicely dressed as her – wearing jeans and a hoodie. They are both standing in line for a while – not talking. Then it’s their turn. The lady says her order to the man behind the counter, who gives the order to one of the chickens. She receives her gyro in less than a minute, and gives it to the man in the hoodie. Suddenly the tall man with a massive beard looks like a lost, little puppy. His eyes getting clear, and smiles shy when he reaches for the gyro. “Is it possible to get some
more salad?” he asks. The lady with the white blazer and fancy shades nearly looks at him, answering that he should not ask for much. He looks down and says “euxaristw” (thanks) many times before he leaves. THE GREEK LIFE Thessaloniki has changed. At first it’s not many obviously changes, and it is no clear signs of a huge economic crises. But as we have been here for holiday’s summer and winter for many years, we can clearly see that the crises have changed the city. People don’t have the money to go out and live the ‘Greek life’ with food and drinks, before ending the night dancing in a club until the sun rises. But, that’s just one way looking at it. Of course the crisis is affecting everyone in Greece (except the rich once), and yes, there are people without a job or a place to stay. Like every other country in the world. People don`t have the opportunity to use their money as they like, and many more are struggling. Everyone has at least started to think about where they are spending their money. But who isn’t? The airport is no longer crowded with enormous clubs (to our frustration), and people
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are not going out every night. But if you`re not a student in The UK, who else are going out 3-6 times a week? Who has the time, and money to do that? But this doesn’t mean that the people of Thessaloniki aren’t still alive.
Now, the restaurants are nowhere to be seen. Things have changed, but the Greek way of life are still strong. In Greece they work to have a life, to live in a happy state of mind is very important. And that’s maybe why they are seen as the ‘strange
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But that’s not because they don’t care – it is because they just want to enjoy life, and they actual set themselves first.
“The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.”
Even though this crisis is like a speed bump, it’s far from a oneway street. Even though they have to be careful and slow down to get over the bump, they will make it. To be social is just as big a part of the Greek culture, as much as the Greek gods in ancient time. And not even the crisis can take that away from them.
Maria G. Metaxenioy
And in the summer they are still running like maniacs down Tsimiskis Street for shopping and they are making the shopping mall Cosmos look like Primark on a Saturday from late June until Au-
JUST A BUMP IN THE ROAD Just five years ago the streets around Aristoteles Square was filled with restaurants. People drinking and eating for hours, joking and having fun. The perfect picture of a great summer night in Greece; late night dinners, retzina and conversations with random people.
and proud people’, the ones that don’t follow rules or time.
They love meeting up out for a drink or coffee. They still enjoy drinking beer and be at beach parties. And the men are still flirting with the tourists at a weekend trip to Halkidiki. They’re still being Greek, and they still make parties like no one else can. Dancing like only Greeks do – with passion.
gust. Then it’s sale – 30 - 70 % SALE. No sign of crises then. Because they are still Greek, social, loving and charming.
– ancient Greek author.
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