Things to Know

Because of our time in the Islands, I was unable to blog. Sense yesterday I just caught up, I was at a loss at what my topic this week should be. I decided that I will discuss some of the things that I have learned about Athens/Greek culture. Some of these things maybe will help others prepare for their journeys here themselves!

In the food department,

*I would like to announce to those peanut butter lovers, that it is rather expensive, and rather rare to find. Nutella seems to be the preferred sandwich material.

*Most food usually consists of olives and feta cheese, this is a common conception of Greek food, and it stands true. Many things I have also found to be completely drowned in olive oil (delicious).

*The people of Greece seem to love pork, and they throw it in everything, including pastries, etc. Watch out you vegetarians!

*But, a lovely vegetarian delight is the spinach pies, found at bakeries everywhere. Mmm mmmm good.

*For ketchup, I have only seen it a couple of times, and it tastes like BBQ sauce?

*In the drink department, wine, beer, and ouzo are the cheapest ways to go. Hard liquors are available, but they are extremely expensive. If you go out to eat, try getting a 1/2 liter or a liter of house wine. They are good, and range in price from 4-8 Euros, wonderful!

*At almost every restaurant they usually give you bread and bottled water. These are added to the bill, while they are not expensive, they should be taken into account when splitting up checks.

*Speaking of checks, most places tips are not necessary. If you have a waiter that is exceptional, it is nice to leave a tip, otherwise, save your money. If you are in a hurry, ask for your check as soon as possible. The culture in Greece is very slow. Sometimes you sit at the table for long periods of time, just waiting to pay them!

In other random departments,

*W.C. = the bathroom (this is common in other European places).

*If you can at least attempt to speak in Greek, they automatically appreciate you (they don’t think of you as much as a stupid American).

*The first floor doesn’t count, you walk up one flight of stairs and that is floor 1

*Watch out for motorcycles

*Just because the light says walk, doesn’t mean the cars are going to stop for you

*They really don’t know how to dance; when they do it can be described as a “drunken swagger”

*If you see something you like, keep looking around, it’s probably cheaper elsewhere

*There are no sheets with the rubber bands to fit around the mattress, as far as I have seen!

*Sunglasses are very important

*Converters are hard to find, buy them at home, there is no Wal-Mart here

*No open hand waves for Taxi drivers; that is an insult I learned. Hold your hand out flat with the palm down.

*The streets get REALLY slippery.

*Books are VERY expensive

*Buy your products at home, here you can buy them at the Hondo Centers, but they are very expensive.

*Finally, they don’t use tampons with applicators, beware!

I hope that this information helps everyone out in some way. These are just things that I have noticed, and may not be completely factual, I am sure others may have contradictions!

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