Although I haven’t yet reached Greece, I’m already immersed. On the plane, a pleasant German mathematics professor warned me against traveling there. On several occasions, he had booked a luxurious vacation through a travel agency, a Greek travel agency. When he and his family arrived in Athens, somehow, all the luxury had disappeared. He kept shaking his head from side to side, muttering, “Nothing, nothing.”
I advised him that the Greeks are a foxy bunch. It is almost a sport to see how to get the best deal. This approach includes getting first in line or getting the best seat on the bus, no matter how old or young a person might be. I have been trampled over by yayas (Greek grandmothers) and children alike rushing for the prime location on a bus. Once everyone had boarded, friendliness abounds.
Not far from my seat, I could hear a Yalie discussing his Greek roommate whom he described as a nationalist. Anytime anyone had something negative to say about Greece, his roommate ardently rushed to defend his country. However, alone in their dorm, he could be heard lamenting, “What has happened to my country? It is falling apart.”
We shall see.