Greek native Despina Safouri and Canadian-born Keith Gilmour were excited to buy a home and start their next chapter together in Athens, Greece during winter 2019.
What had started as a Greek summer romance turned into an unlikely match that saw the couple get married three times — once “on paper” for international visa purposes, once in Greece and finally in Canada.
But what Gilmour didn’t realize when he agreed to cross the Atlantic and tie the knot with his wife was that he was also marrying her family, namely her old world-view parents.
In an episode of HGTV’s House Hunters International, the couple is shown during their “Big Fat Greek House Hunt.” As the show goes on, it becomes apparent that Safouri and Gilmour are not only struggling to find a house — they are also struggling to find common ground.
“I don’t think my parents are really going to like that,” Safouri says during one house visit, to which her husband responds “Your parents don’t seem happy about anything.”
The situation goes beyond a clash of cultures and quickly involves financial matters once Safouri’s parents offer the couple $100,000 to boost their home-searching budget.
Gilmour, albeit grateful, still insists on his own home preferences which include proximity to restaurants, bars and the social scene.
His wife, on the other hand, remains concerned about raising a family and her commute to work.
The binational couple’s search and the ensuing drama resemble something of a scripted comedy with two characters who seem progressively more incompatible than happily married.
“You know how traffic here can be terrible,” she tells the real estate agent. “I don’t want to be stuck in traffic, commuting each day and hating my life.”
“I like an area that’s more lively,” Gilmour says. “We’d like to have cafes, bars and restaurants close by.”
“We are looking at starting a family, so we need, like, three bedrooms,” Safouri says.
“Me, I would go with two bedrooms,” Gilmour says, directly contradicting his wife. “At the time being we don’t have kids.”
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