All traffic laws are negotiable
This includes speed limits, double yellow, one lane, car seats… doors… you name it, it’s been done. My friends back home thought I drove like a mad woman – nope, I drove like a Greek.
It’s always time for coffee.
Which usually turns into ouzo, a pack of cigarettes and a small town meeting given the time of day. Did somebody say backgammon? You’re never leaving the cafe! (which is awesome)
This term can be used as an adjective, noun, verb, or a term of endearment. Without telling any of my Greek friends I attempted to play a drinking game where I took a sip of beer everytime they said the word. After about 2 liters of beer- I gave up. Malakas!
Two men can hug and kiss without being gay – or drunk.
Yup, and in public even. No insecurity about it, no sidelong glances from others — just friends being friends. It’s beautiful!
You don’t buy olive oil from the store- ever!
Ever, Ever, Ever. If you don’t have your own trees to provide for your family, there is a relative who does, or a neighbor, or someone…. you just don’t buy it from a store.
The Greeks invented everything.
I know you saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding- I know you laughed at the “kimono” part. It’s true friends, they did invent it- every word, every idea- it started here. Believe me!
Everything can be broken down to sex.
If it can’t be solved with olive oil or wine, it can be solved with sex. Ask any Greek man- oh, and they are more than happy to help you solve this “problem”, too.
There is always time… for everything.
A four hour lunch- Sure, why not? Driving down the main road and see your friend driving by? Stop in the middle of the road for a 30 minute chat- who cares? “Life is for living”.
(Slowly Slowly) Almost as common as malakas is the phrase “Siga Siga”. It can be applied to any activity you are doing that you should slow down, and enjoy. Walking too fast? Siga Siga. Eating too fast? Siga Siga. Thinking too much? Siga Siga. Driving too fast? Ha, tricked you- you can never drive fast enough in Greece.
Theka Lepta (Ten Minutes) is a lie.
No matter how good the intentions, there is no such thing as ten minutes in Greece. “I’ll be back in ten minutes” “it’s only ten minutes by car” “we will have coffee for ten minutes” – it just doesn’t happen! According to my calculations, the average “ten minutes” is somewhere between 47 to 81 minutes.
There you have it- my broad sweeping generalization of the country of my dreams. Been to Greece before? What did I miss (or nail)? Let me know!