Light switches outside the bathroom, elevator doors that don’t open and other quintessentially Greek things that drive me mad


A quick trip back to the motherland this week has promoted my latest post… I started thinking about all of the cute little quintessentially Greek things we experience that drive “us Amerikanakia” absolutely insane– things I actually experienced on this trip.

I’m not complaining… I love this place and wouldn’t trade Greece with anywhere on earth… But seriously, people…

(1) I wait outside the elevator door– sometimes for several minutes, cursing inside of me, wondering what’s taking so long… Only to realize that most elevator doors are the kind you have to open manually.

(2) I’ll never really understand why light switches are located on the wall OUTSIDE the bathroom and not inside the bathroom.

(3) I know it’s logical… But I can’t get used to the ground floor of a building being “zero” and not the first floor. Throw in that darned “imiorofo” which is sort of like a mezzanine and I’m all confused and ending up on the wrong floor all together.

You have yours too… Go ahead. Add them to the comment field below. What are your “quintessentially Greek” things that drive you mad?



  1. For some reason these types of things don’t bother me when I’m in Greece. I take off my watch and just kind of let go. My cousin who lives in Athens once told me, to be Greek is to accept that you’re crazy and this whole place is crazy. Traffic flows in a sort of controlled chaos. Small children are commended for their feistiness and cunning, not sharing and cueing up, while jumping lines to get the best seats at the cinema. You can’t flush paper down the toilets because, well, fuck you, that’s why. Just don’t do it. Taxis will always try and scam you. The Byzantines live on in the bureaucracy of the government and I’ll be the only one in Glyfada to get a parking ticket for facing the wrong way when everyone else is on the sidewalks and blocking bus stops. It’s a crazy place so I just kind of wallow in my own craziness. Oh, but be on time for those island ferry boats because, unlike everything else in Greece, those bastards run like German trains and will leave your ass at the dock when the second hand hits departure time.

  2. You’ve obviously never traveled to India where stuff like this would be mere pimples. I’d take Greece – and all its “imperfections” – over any other country on this planet. The Greeks have a sense of humor and a kind heart for their fellow man. This is what separates them from all other cultures and countries.

  3. Ok! Where do I start?! How about the fact that no one is EVER on time, especially at business meetings?! You have a meeting at 10, they arrive at 10.30 and ask you for 5 more minutes until they get their frape..!

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