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How expats experience “three years Greece in the crisis” (Part IX)

Three years Greece in the crisis do not frustrate only the Greeks. Expats who permanently or temporarily live here seem to be not shielded from the crisis, even  when it comes just to develop a critical approach to Greeks who change under the new circumstances.

Below the story submitted by Sian:

“I moved to Crete in 1985, falling in love with the island, its people and of course one Cretan in particular.  I loved  the ‘philotima’ – the generosity of the Cretans and also their high standard of honour and preference for enjoying  life not commodities.  Over the years I have seen this dwindle , and the under thirties no longer seem to have it at ll – taking on US values and embracing the ‘must have now’ culture with arms wide.  Parents bring up their children to have everything and demand nearly nothing from them.  It is such a pity.

I feel torn in half about the situation in Greece -from the one hand I can see the lunacy of having high pensions after only 25 years work..people were retired longer than they worked, how could that ever make mathematical sense?  But on the other hand I feel real sadness  when I go to Chania and see the many local businesses shut down, the empty shops and the only places full the street cafeterias, full of unemployed under 30s who can afford a coffee but little else.

And then the other side again…I have watched as the Cretans have grown from a generally lean society of hard working men (in 1985 nearly every man I knew held down two jobs in order to make ends meet) to lots of overweight people who don’t even see their own greed…how many trapezia*, even now, have I been to where everyone not only eats very well, they just keep on eating, as more and more is put on the table, and I ask myself, where is the austerity amongst these villagers…I know it’s there!

I know there are no longer two jobs available, I know there are many families who cannot make ends meet…so why does everyone seem to be asleep?  I think real hunger has to come before the Cretans wake up and do something about austerity – and it has to come to the majority …”

Interesting enough it’s the second time I come to hear remarks about obesity in Greece of economic crisis. Does it have to do with the proto-instinct of human kind to survive in times of crisis? Does it have to do with the proto-instinct of humans to feed themselves out of frustration? Does it has to do with jobless trying to compensate their nothing-to-do all day long? Or it has to do as well with low-income that does not allow much of extravaganza like fresh and healthy diet?

*trapezia = casual dining with family and friends

PS We still need two expat stories in order to create a nice file of 12 expat stories 🙂 just twice 300 words away…

More expat stories published by KTG here

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  1. Eleni Tsigante

    Both my periptero and local small supermarket serving the neighbourhood have told me that sales in chocolate bars and chocolate biscotta (digestives, oreos etc) have risen year on year in the crisis. And most people I know have put on a kilo or two. It is because it is a small comforting treat, not costing too much….when coffee in a cafe or going to a film have become too expensive. And people stay in and are anxious, first and foremost about food.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      a bag of chips and a chocko bar in front of TV is cheaper than movies & a treat/drink afterwards. Plus TV shows more films 🙂

  2. cyril mc donnell

    in τηε 1960’s the cretans had the lowest cardio heart problems in the developed world i’m on crete at the moment and you have a problem young and middleaged recent affluence has had a negative effect