Peter's Viewpoint

My blog spot, my mind, your time, and hope for the better

Surviving Thirty Years in Greece

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Moving into the next decadeToday is the first day of the rest of my life, well not really.  I have just closed thirty years of living in Greece while at the same time I celebrate my sixtieth birthday, that’s 60 years young in mind, although I can’t say whether or not the body will agree with that any more.

It all started as an idea that living in Europe would enhance the biographical profile of my resume.  I thought that I would venture into the realm of European Business and learn multiple languages that would eventually increase my net worth as a business partner through networking.  It did not and if you are one of those considering something similar, don’t bother especially if you live in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, or Australia.

I have managed to learn Greek, not just the curse words and phrases, and a few other languages that I rarely use such as Italian, and even tried improving my Spanish, but the culture shock is extremely difficult.

Greeks and Europeans continue to strive in a lifestyle that resembles living in medieval times while using smart phones and tablets on their merry ways to work and market.

Looking back over the years since 1983, I have seen many changes in Greece:
Street signs and maps that actually allow you to find where you want to go.
Traffic lights now operate 24 hours a day.
The banana status; where once upon a time only the wealthy bought bananas.
We used to call ourselves millionaires when we used the Drachmae.
We may soon become billionaires if we exit the Euro.
Every street corner now has a third world foreigner looking for a hand out.
Gypsies have disappeared from the street corners.
The price of a souvlaki has increased a million percent.
You can sit at a cafeteria for few hours, used to be a day, after ordering one coffee.
The average Greek person is now two times larger (fast foods?) in size.
Hardly anyone drinks tap water.
The stores are larger; services are chargeable and almost useless.
The government now uses the English term “fast track” but new business startups still have to wait.
The majority of small businesses are now closed.
Answers to email are still as slow as snail mail.
Government services use the FAX even if they have an email address.
Taxes are filed via the Internet but they will not email you about upcoming payments or other pertinent information.
The sale of make-up has increased about one thousand percent.
Greek women all want to be blondes.
Oh yea, America thinks that it is technologically advanced.
And finally, I am a year older.
Hysterical isn’t it, if you don’t laugh at this list then you are probably crying.

Sadly, the one most important change that has not taken place is that of kleptocracy.

As with all things over so many years, there have been both the good and bad that can change our lifestyles and form the basis of future decisions.  Being human we try to forget those who we have lost and remember the happier moments in our lives.

The best thing that happened to me over these years is my wife, what’s her name, who I met in Greece and who I have been with for 24 years now, OMG!

Thanks to my friends in Greece who help keep each other sane.  I have managed to survive 30 years of life in Greece.

Anyway, a Happy Birthday to me!

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