Greek Hospitality and Other Values

One of the things that Greeks are known for, aside from moussaka and souvlaki, is their hospitality. We want tourists to feel welcome in our country, we want them to adjust and be able to experience every possibility that our beautiful country provides them; and we want to help them, as much as we can, if possible, without asking anything in return.

A few days ago, as I was going downtown to my Spanish lesson, I ran into an American woman who had got lost. She wanted to go to the eastern side of the city and instead she got herself stuck in the western one.

“Don’t worry, Aubrey,” I told her.

*Her name isn’t Aubrey, of course, but I’m trying to protect the woman here*

“Oh, thank you so much for your help,” she said and smiled at me. “I have to map out this route for the refugees,” she went on.

“And why do you have to do that?” I asked with pure interest.

“They have to know how to get to a hospital. It’s part of my job,” she replied.

As our conversation on the bus was unfolding, I found out that she would stay in the country for two months, with all her expenses paid, and she would be paid to do errands like this one.

And I wonder… Isn’t that supposed to be a voluntary job? Helping refugees I mean. Please, do correct me if I’m wrong.

When she was about to get off the bus, she thanked me so many times, that I actually started to feel awkward. Newsflash people! Some of us out there, do want to help our fellow men and women, and we ask nothing in return.

It’s not that unusual. Well, maybe it seems unusual to some of you, but that’s besides the point.

I got off the bus a few stops after the American woman. I got a cappuccino with extra milk and chocolate and went to my Spanish class. The day was long enough as it was and I desperately needed some caffeine to run inside my veins.

I got in the classroom and Tessa, my Spanish tutor, informed us about that day’s lesson… The value of solidarity. Talk about Karma here, man!

Sometimes I just let it do its job. Even if there are some people out there who insist that “Karma” is a silly name for a Rottweiler. 😝

Karma has got me where I am now. And Karma will get those who think that they can always hide the truth from the sun. Like one of my clients for instance. When she came to get her order, she felt extremely pleased, she paid me and left without checking her change. I was sure I had given her the right amount of money back; there wasn’t any other 20 euro banknote in the cash register, so she had got the last one. A few minutes later, she came back almost furious claiming that I hadn’t given her the right change.

I tried to remain as calm as possible, I really did, but when she started making a scene, I told her to check the ground or the car’s floor. The bill had fallen inside the car. And she had called me a thief few minutes ago! Talking about karma now, don’t we?

There’s a Greek proverb that quotes “Not every day is Resurrection Sunday” which basically means that those people won’t be able to hide forever. Honesty is a value, too, in case some of you have forgotten it. I’ll just have to let Karma do it’s job once more.

It’s almost midnight here but I guess it’s hard to sleep when you have so many things you want to write down. And yes, I know that everyone’s in a different time zone, but anyway…

Thankfully, my boyfriend and I have coordinated our biological clocks and I don’t need to worry that the sound of my typing will wake him up. He’s so eager to read everything that I write. That’s also a value folks. It’s called appreciation.

Those little things are the ones that keep our humanity alive. Those little acts of compassion and appreciation and fondness are the ones that keep us Greeks optimistic. Even if the situation seems so dull and dismal.

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I prefer to say that for a pessimist, I’m pretty optimistic!

How about you folks? What do you think? Do manners matter? Do values matter? Do you think you did something lately that mattered?

keep-calm-please-manners-matter

Till next time… Toodles!

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