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Study Abroad - Chris Stamas' blog
Studying in Greece
Coffee and Hospitality
Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010
Greek people love to converse. Dating back to the ancient philosophical days of Socrates and Plato, talking amongst one another can be regarded as a national Greek pastime. It is no wonder then that coffee shops line the streets in modern day Athens. After watching the Athenians pass the day with one another over coffee, it became my goal to call one of these cafes my own. After befriending a waiter and frequenting a coffee shop near my school, I accomplished my goal.
Through this process and other experiences while in Greece, the stereotype of Greeks as overly hospitable holds true. From day one, the owner of my coffee shop went out of his way to make me feel at home. Although he doesn’t speak English, the owner visits my friends and me at our table bearing gifts. In one such instance, he brought flowers to all the girls at our table. Other times, we’ll receive free coffee or hot chocolate. On my way to school, he won’t let me pass without stopping me to say hello and give me the typical European greeting, a peck on both cheeks.
Some of the best experiences I have had abroad involve integrating myself with the natives. Although a language barrier exists, it won’t stop people from being gracious and welcoming. This past week, several of my friends and I received a box of cookies from a bakery owner simply because we were foreigners. It is these types of experiences that make you feel welcome and want to help those when they are in your neck of the woods.
Leonidas, Chris Stamas, Bri Peterson