Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

Four Greek songs that always make me cry

There is a quartet of songs that bring me to tears, though by nature I am not a weepy person. I didn’t understand the lyrics of three upon hearing them the first time, as I knew little or no Greek back then, but I believe music has the ability to transcend boundaries.

Κομμάτια/Kommatia (Pieces)
by Christos Dantis (with Martakis)

I was living near the American Embassy during this period, it was raining, and this song came on the tiny radio that was my only entertainment. By the time it ended, I’d been weeping without knowing why.

While walking alone on Ag. Konstantinou a few days later, a car pulled over and a man jumped out and popped open the hood. I knew what was coming.

Man: Hello, how are you? (as I walk by)
K: Fine. (continue walking)
Man: Wait! Where are you going?
K: Home. Bye.
Man: Wait! Do you want to go for coffee?
K: No thank you, I don’t know you.
Man: Oh sorry, I’m Vasili. And you are?
K: Kat.
Man: Great, now we know each other. We can go for coffee.
K: No, because I’m busy.
Man: Ela! What will it take?
K: I’m going.
Man: Wait!
K: No thank you.
Man: I can’t take ‘no’ for an answer.
K: Clearly.
Man: What can I do to convince you?
K: How about I talk to your friend in the passenger side, and if I like his answers, then I will speak to you again, OK? And if not, I go.
Man: OK, I’ll wait here.
K: Hi, wh..?
Man 2: (Laughing and covering his face) He’s crazy, don’t go out with him.
K: Does he do this a lot?
Man 2: No, first time.
K: And how long have you known him?
Man 2: He’s my best friend, too many years.
K: Does he have a girlfriend?
Man 2: No, not for a long time.
K: What’s wrong with him?
Man 2: Look at him, many things. (Gesturing to Vasili and laughing)
K: Does he have a job?
Man 2: Yes, he’s a ____ .
K: Hmmm, really? My brother is a ____ .
Man 2: Maybe you should ask your brother to have a talk with him.
K: And what’s your name?
Man 2: Yannis.
K: Is his name really Vasili?
Man 2: Oh, yes.
(Vasilis is hopping around, waving, looking nervous)
Man 2: You know, he saw your face as we drove by, he said you are very beautiful, and we are going to meet you. Look, it’s very traffic. We had to drive around the block many times and almost crashed the car. He’s crazy, I tell you!
K: OK, thanks.
Man: Well?
K: Fine, we can go for coffee another day.
Man: Can I offer you a ride home?
K: No thank you. I don’t get into cars with strange men.
Man 2: Ela vre!
(Just then, “Kommatia” comes on the radio)
K: Hey, I like that song.
Man: Get into the car.
K: I think I will.

Vasilis didn’t take me home; he took Yannis and me straight to Flocafe where we were forced to have coffee. Our many and frequent protests were ignored, although I did eventually make it home safely without incident.

Our first date was the only time any man in the world has cooked me dinner on a date, and Vasilis turned out to be a very sweet, down-to-earth person. He was brute, beauty and brains. But when his childhood sweetheart came back to entice him, he knowingly fell into another bout of inevitable heartbreak…and Vasilis and I were “kommatia.”

And did it end there? For Vasilis and I, yes. But his best friend Yannis asked me to marry him a year later, and I had to respectfully decline.

The original is done with Dantis alone and with a voice-box during the chorus.

This is the  live version with Kostas Martakis.

Έπαψες Αγάπη Να Θυμίζεις/Epapses Agape na Thimizeis

(You stopped remembering love)
by Pix Lax

Back in the day, this classic was played at clubs during the “Greek” segment starting at 3 a.m., if the overall genre was non-Greek. Everyone knew the words, but I could only listen with my heart.

I revisited this song on the island of Aegina, where my boyfriend had taken me for a three-day weekend. My friends were back in Athens, and I was sad I couldn’t see them during this short visit from NYC — we always clubbed on Friday and Saturday, which of course lasted until Sunday. As a surprise, they hopped on a ferry and met me in Aegina.

After dinner and first drinks, we went to a beachside club with plush sofas, drank, danced like there was no tomorrow and gazed at the dark blue sea. We then hopped over to Elliniko, which was ironically an American rock club. Like clockwork, this song came on at 3 a.m. and we all went crazy, sang the song together, sobbed and danced together in a closed circle with our arms joined at the shoulders. When it was over, my friend Nick looked at me and said, “We always have more fun when you’re here.”

It was one of the best nights of my life.

I miss you, Nick.

Το Σ’ αγαπώ/To S’agapo
(The ‘I love you’)
by Michalis Hatzigiannis

Hatzigiannis’ song is the only one I could understand, and the only song associated with a relationship. For those who know the lyrics, they refer to myself and my choice to leave, thus closing a long chapter of my life and starting over.

Greek National anthem

by Dionysios Solomos

In February 1998, a young woman from California set foot in Greece for the first time after celebrating Carnival in Venice. It was winter, she was alone, and it was Sunday in Athens.

Vassilis Sofias closed to traffic to make way for a contingency of evzones going to Syntagma Square for the official changing, all stomping in unison, all staring straight ahead, all wearing hand-stitched uniforms steeped in historical meaning with sleeves of flowing motion. The band announced their arrival, two men deemed “best of the week” were threaded from the group by a senior officer to “allagi” and the national anthem began to play.

As colors of blue and white waved gracefully in the wind, and I looked upon the dichotomous marriage of young and old, modernity and tradition, present day and historical past, a powerful surge of emotion came over me, though I’d never heard the music or knew its lyrical poetry before this moment. Tears fell uncontrollably. After the evzones turned their heads in honor toward the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, they left the square to the triumphant tune of “Evzonaki.” This was the day I vowed to make Greece my home.

For years, I made a point of going to the square every Sunday or visiting on the last Sunday during visits to Greece when I was living elsewhere. But I stopped this ritual because it became impractical, though the experience is still relevant to who I am and what I feel.

There was no one who cried harder at the Athens 2004 Opening and Closing ceremonies, and the same wave of emotion that came over me 15 years ago is ever present. I have no explanation for it. It just is.

So say what you like about me, call me names, swear at me, tell me I am not welcome here and to get out of Greece. It’s nothing I haven’t heard a million times before. A deep-seated part of me will always love Ellada, and she and I have been — and will always be — inseparable.

But the day to bid her goodbye is on the horizon, as some loves are not meant to be together. Some grow stronger when they are apart and longing, some loves are pulled back by the forces that bind only when other forces are pushing away, and some can only grow in perfection in one’s heart when the realities of daily life are no longer eating away at the soul.

Related posts

My infatuation with Dimitris Basis
Greek National Anthem
Famous bands from my California hometown

The Author

Kat is a well-traveled American journalist and author. To learn more, see “About Me.”

  • was created in 2007 to present meticulously researched original articles that fill a gap left by traditional media, government portals and commercial websites/forums run by people without credentials.
  • @LivinginGreece is a Twitter feed curated from recognized Greek and international news agencies to provide breaking news about Greece, plus real-time updates and insider tips mined from 15 years experience.

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  GreekAmericaninGreece wrote @ October 18th, 2007 at 18:59

I cried while reading “…But the day to bid her ‘goodbye’ is on the horizon, as some loves are not meant to be together. Some grow stronger when they are apart and longing, some loves are pulled back by the forces that bind only when other forces are pushing away, and some can only grow in perfection in one’s heart when the realities of daily life are no longer eating away at the soul…”

It is so perfect what you wrote….so perfect…I thank you.

I am back in the States now.

  Stavros wrote @ October 18th, 2007 at 19:16


Funny how music can bring us back to a time and place associated with the first time we heard it. I think you once referred to yourself alternately as an American and a citizen of the world. That may be so, but your soul is Greek. Some of the best Greeks I know haven’t a drop of Greek blood coursing through their veins, yet they put the rest of us who claim our Greekness by accident of birth to shame.

Posts from the heart are always our best ones, aren’t they?

Kat Reply:

Ela Stavro mou! – I don’t know if anything about me is Greek, but the emotions I experience are unexpected and catch me off guard. It doesn’t matter how many times I hear the anthem or how often I see the Athens 2004 DVD, it’s the same reaction. When I was in my “surge” stage with Greece, a lot of people thought it was a good idea for the GNTO to hire me to promote Greece; after all, who better than a non-Greek to rave about a country she’s not ancestrally connected to or from? But… Thanks for coming by and making a comment today! Mou leipeis!

  Kostas wrote @ October 18th, 2007 at 20:31

Ela Kat, I keep telling you that you are Athina reincarnated (yr soul was born here!) and this is your country too, but you don’t believe me! Anyway, how you can feel this with everyone always saying you’re not Greek, you know nothing and don’t belong here. Its sad. Good for you that you are leaving, bad for me, bad for us. :( Filia

Kat Reply:

K – I resist what you say because it’s not for me to say, and I couldn’t believe it anyway with how much I’m made to feel like an outsider here. I came here to put down roots and make a permanent home, and people kept pulling out the roots. But it’s totally OK. I’m at the summit and there’s nowhere left for me to go, and that’s just not good enough for me. I want something more now. It all worked out for the best!

  xristina wrote @ October 18th, 2007 at 20:43

All your posts have always made clear that you love Greece. Whether people do manage to live in Greece, try but need to leave, or would never dream of trying, love for Greece, agaphi ki erota, always binds us. Its problems wouldn’t be so infuriating otherwise!

Kat Reply:

X – That’s a nice thing to say, but not everyone agrees with you. Nearly every day, I get people calling me names, telling me to go “home” (wherever that is; I thought it was here) and asking me why I hate Greece.

  Evangelos wrote @ October 18th, 2007 at 20:53

If you are touched by the Greek national anthem, it’s because you perceive Greece more as a higher state of mind, an idealised place of the imagination, similar to the ideals that Solomos had for Greece when he transcribed the anthem lyrics. You should feel privileged Kat because very few Greeks still perceive Greece this way, most of them are demoralised by the harsh realities of the everyday Greek life, forgetting that Greece works better as an idea and less as an organised state or as a geographical country.

Kat Reply:

E mou! – What a sweet and insightful thing to say! I don’t know what I feel or why, and I don’t try to figure it out; I just accept it. As a non-EU immigrant, I’m beaten down more than the average Greek or EU citizen in bureaucracy and everyday discrimination, so how is it that I still hold this ideal and pure feeling? Or am I crying tears of sorrow because I know that these ideals can never be achieved? Hmmmm… ;)

  yiannos wrote @ October 19th, 2007 at 08:41

Kat, i just lost a bit of respect for you. crying to Greek songs? that is the living, breathing, definition of C-O-R-N-Y. however, i’m willing to give you a second chance because i like you. ;-)

Kat Reply:

Y – I already said in the post that i’m not a weepy person, so the repeated occurrences are strange and mysterious as far as I’m concerned. It just happens. I can try and fight it back, but it just doesn’t work. Corny to you perhaps, but maybe you’re just C-Y-N-I-C-A-L. I believe that’s a Greek word. ;)

  The Scorpion wrote @ October 19th, 2007 at 10:08

You mentioning the Greek national anthem brought back another memory as well. Years ago, when I lived in Glyfada I used to listen to the US Military’s Armed Forces Radio (1584 on the dial in Athens, and 1485 in Kato Souli) and every night at (was it midnight or 1am), the US Air Force announcer from the American base at Elliniko would say goodnight and preface that by playing the national anthems of the Republic of Greece and the United States of America. I enjoyed each one while laying in bed waiting for sleep to come.

  Ioanna wrote @ October 19th, 2007 at 17:45

i was doing university stuff and google pass me to your blog.
kommatia is probably the most beautiful greek song with such touching lyrics i ‘ve ever heard. reminds me of so many things in the past. its nice that someone feels the same way too about it though this song was never really noticed by others here in germany.
thank you for sharing your live and your experiences in freaky greece. i grow up in germany still studying here and i just know life in greece just during the holiday time in summer. i feel like a stranger always when i am there but i am going to move back to greece after i am finishing studies. some things i read here sounded so familiar to me.
have a nice day
greetings to athenz

  Kristie wrote @ October 21st, 2007 at 19:42

I just recently came across your site. I just love the graphics you have on top, its really beautiful. I think that I will be coming back here (I have already bookmarked you!). Looking forward to more from you!

  PanosJee wrote @ October 21st, 2007 at 21:11

You have an amazing site and a deep insight into our little land that is not paradise usually, unless you look for it (usually in places where not many greek people are ;-) ) I am really moved that you chose to stay here despite all the problems and sometimes even I do want to leave specially after dealing with TEVE and FPA and so on… or rude greek people and so on but I when I rest on the beach with friends drinking ouzo or going to concerts of Thanasis Papakwstantinou, I change my mind.

  Trina wrote @ October 22nd, 2007 at 19:47

I am a huge Dantis fan. Kommatia is great, but the one that always gets me is To Domatio.

Thanks for the site. My husband and I are contemplating moving to Greece. The information and opinion you provide have been invaluable!

Kat Reply:

T – There is a small percentage of opinion contained on this site, which reflects many peoples'; the rest are stats and facts from legitimate sources and true stories based on my life. You’ve actually consulted me before on your “possible” move to Corinthia, perhaps a year ago; I wrote you a lengthy customized response with links and never got acknowledgment you’d received it. And I’m actually not a Dantis fan, something inside of me apparently connects to that one song. What that is, I’ve no clue! :)

  ein Steppenwolf wrote @ October 23rd, 2007 at 20:35

The first story is lovely! But the music doesn’t touch me. De gustibus…

(From K: For those who don’t know Latin, this is the beginning of a phrase translated to English meaning, “there is no accounting for taste”)

Kat Reply:

ein S – As I told Yiannos, I have no explanation for why something inside me stirs in relation to music I’ve never heard or words I don’t understand, it just does. When someone asks me what kind of music I like, my answer is hip hop, opera, classical, old school metal, alternative and anything I can dance to.

  Dino wrote @ October 31st, 2007 at 23:59

Kat, as far as I’m concerned…you are more Greek than a born and raised in Greece Greek. Greece is not just the whitewashed houses, sun washed beaches, and the Parthenon. Greece as you know is billions more things…and it is hard country if you understand me. Greece is 50/50 — you either love it or leave it. When people come face-to-face with the harsh and different realities of this country, they either leave or embrace it for what it is. Because Greece is beautiful chaos!! And you chose to stay without complaining and embraced all that is beautiful about it, and to me that is a real Greek. Remember, it was Aristotle who said that a Greek is not the one born in the narrow geographical borders that make up Greece, but the one who embraces and assimilates to its culture.

I am in the US (San Francisco) right now for studies, and you have no idea how much I am longing to come back!!!!

I will be in Athens in January. Maybe we can go for coffee…but I promise I wont sing “Kommatia” — even though i like it too!

Kat Reply:

Dino – Ela and hello! What kind words, but I am still just me. You happen to be near my hometown now, isn’t that funny? True, chaos is a form of order (disorder) and there’s a lot of it here. I can’t say that I’ve never complained; I have, but probably more when I was a newbie and used it as a scapegoat. However, as I’ve said many times before, it’s much healthier to accept things for what/who they are because ultimately they cannot be changed. Life is too short, we can’t get back any single moment so there’s no reason to waste it, and happiness is ultimately something we create.

Let’s see where I am in January, but yes it’d be nice to have coffee. Be a pal and bring me a 1 lb. round of Boudin sourdough. ;)

  Simon Baddeley wrote @ November 12th, 2007 at 15:43

I like these from Elytis’ Axion Esti

Glad to have found your site via technorati. I’ve linked.

Kat Reply:

Simon – Delighted to make your acquaintance. I actually knew about you through Buru Buru, Adventure of an Athenian, who mentioned us both during the August wildfires. Got quite busy after that though. Your blog meets my high standards, and you’ve been added as well.

  Jo wrote @ November 14th, 2007 at 06:51

If only you knew how many times I’ve started “answering” one of your posts but never actually submitted any comments; all I can say now is that it’s too bad, as we may have gotten to know each other sooner…. Oh well, better late than never, right?

En tout cas…. Kat, I want to thank you for this site. I used to come across it often whenever I’d try to google any info of a more practical nature on Greece, but I’ve since learned my lesson and now come directly here! Most other information that’s provided is often outdated, if not confusing, unclear or contradictory.

I’m sorry to hear that your stay in Greece will be coming to an end, and it saddens me even more that a person with as much love for ANY country as you obviously have for Greece has been “pushed” away and forced to make such a choice…. It also scares me to see how much you’ve tolerated over the years (sorry, I’m still thinking of yr landlords); it seems that Greece kept throwing you lemons, you’re STILL making lemonade, and yet…. reality got the upper hand.

I myself am a first generation Greek Canadian contemplating moving to Greece in the very near future. I’ve wanted to for a long time now and have somehow always felt more at home while in Greece (and I’m not talking island hopping). I recognise the “powerful surge of emotion” you refer to quite well; in addition to it, I randomly get overwhelmingly nostalgic for a country in which I have never lived and that I know for a fact is full of problems and will most probably never provide me with the orderly ease of life I have grown accustomed to in my neck of the woods. Nonetheless, I dream of living there; in my mind and my heart I’ve always associated Greece and greekness with history, myth and the overall wealth of its multifaceted culture, all of which Greeks are proud of yet take for granted. Greece has so much beauty to offer and provide inspiration that one only needs to sit back, soak it up and enjoy it to the fullest. I regard this as one definition of Quality of Life just as much as any other. It seems the ability to “work to live” can only be appreciated once you’ve had a “live to work” routine that is unfortunately all too familiar in N.America.

Most people I know (Greeks and Canadians alike) think I’m crazy and then proceed to list all the difficulties I will most likely face; many of your posts confirm them. It’s even harsher that I can already relate to your (mis?)adventures more often than not, and this just by visiting; as a Greek of the “Omogeneia”, I am also regarded as a “3enh” and even made fun of to my face under the assumption that my language skills aren’t sharp enough… Isn’t that enuf to make anyone feel welcome?

In any case, my point at present is that your site is God-send. Your articles have hit home more than once and I find the overall site to be both informative and insightful, not to mention reassuring (something abt having all of this centralized and at your fingertips really does it for me). I haven’t yet organized myself for a move, I’m still a little chicken (can we say comfort zone?) but considering the fact that I quit here, I’ll be snapping out of it ASAP. By then, the magnitude of what I want will most likely have hit me and I will probably have loads of questions.

Until then, I just wanted to give you a shout out (you don’t even need to publish this, I just wanted to send you a message), say hello, cheer you on (though I’m sure ppl show you their appreciation daily) and thank you again. I just hope that I will not, one day, also be forced to face reality and change my mind abt living in a place I already consider home.

Pros to paron, as elpisoume na mhn er8ei ayth h mera. Pisteyw ki elpizw na ta 3anapoume.

Geia sou. Filakia polla kai na prosexeis.

Kat Reply:

Jo – Hey there, nice to finally meet you. It is too bad you haven’t commented before, but realize that a lot of people don’t so you’re still unique in that you actually took the plunge. Now you have a bigger plunge to take. The best way to overcome fear is with action. You’re right, it is tough for non-native Greeks as well; I tell people that, but I’ve been accused of being racist for saying so. The material I present on my site reflects the reality one must face upon arrival; it is not meant as a deterrent, but an overall view of life here — not just sun, sand, sea. It’s cars bought for the ego/flash factor, not because there is any real wealth or substance; it’s schools that are free, but crumbling and substandard; it’s a 7-euro frappe nursed over 4 hours (to quote a Greek-Australian friend); it’s bureaucracy, discrimination and a flogging job market. If one doesn’t mind these things and faces no challenges, that’s great. But at least the Pollyannas have been warned.

I was one of those optimists long ago whom Greeks attributed their resurgence in Hellenism. The funny this is, the majority have now admitted they were just humoring me because they wanted to be supportive; they came clean once I opened my eyes. The minority are still living in a world where they think calling themselves Leftheris instead of Ted or spelling their name Xpistos instead of Christos is making some sort of statement of Greekness. It’s bull.

And just so you know, I heard the warnings and saw the pitfalls, even experienced them, but I was in denial and convinced I could persevere and emerge victorious. In many ways I have, more than most people, and I’ve done it alone and from nothing. If I was OK with shouldering mountains of bureaucracy, discrimination, paying outrageous prices, wasting my life and being a housewife or working a mediocre job, this might be a fine place to be; it’s not about money or a house or material things. Reality didn’t get the upper hand. I am choosing to leave at my own free will because my priorities have shifted, and Greece is no longer and will never be enough for me and others like me. Greece didn’t change, I did.

About the site. The challenge with this site being named “An American in Athens” is it doesn’t convey an obvious sign of containing practical information about working and living in Greece, whereas if I’d called it Living in Greece and commercialized it, the majority might come here first. But what’s more memorable, Living in Greece or An American in Athens? The drawback in commercializing it (which it may come to) is ads may follow and I’ll have to close comments; I’ve thought of splitting the site, thus ending it’s one-stop shop appeal, but two sites is twice as much work and time. I appreciate the compliment and the fact you’re taking the time to thank me without also wanting something. You’d be surprised to know it doesn’t happen on a daily or even monthly basis amongst thousands of visitors. Some even steal info and insult me afterward, in addition to those to whom I write customized replies never saying ‘thanks.’ But the few that do make it worth it.

  spyros22 wrote @ January 8th, 2008 at 17:03

Very Very nice site


I ll put it in a blogroll

Kat Reply:

S – Thank you, and thank you for stopping in today to make a comment. Please feel free.

  orthodoxmichael wrote @ January 24th, 2008 at 08:06

This is great. Thanks for posting Greek music. Feels like home.

Kat Reply:

OM – Welcome! Also take a look at the right sidebar, where there are different Greek music selections at least twice monthly. :)

  Eleni wrote @ January 26th, 2008 at 15:31

Hi! I found your site by accident, looking fir something else in Google. I am 24 years old and I study in Aristotle University (Thessaloniki).

I just wanted to say “THANK YOU” (for loving GR so much) and “SORRY” (for the inappropriate behaviour some Greeks show to you). In my mind you are more Greek than I will ever be.

You know, it is said that “Greece eats her children”. And, sadly, there are times that this is quite true even for born-in-Greece/having-Greek-origin people.

If you ever need anything, or even decide to come north, feel free to contact me.

Kat Reply:

E – Thank you for stopping by accident to see me, and for your kind words, but it’s never necessary to apologize for other people. Please understand that I’m used to how things are here and in the world. It’s the curse of being from the country I was born, even though I had no choice in the matter. You’re very kind to extend an invitation!

  Sakis wrote @ March 14th, 2008 at 08:14

Hello, i came upon your blog by accident today, just browsing around and i must say i love your entries. Nice to see you are touched by these greek songs. There are so many great greek singers i would recomment you check out -many of them have touched me- so here are some singers i think you should check out : Melina Kana (she has some very touching songs), Savina Yannatou (she sings in so many languages too), Theodosia Tsatsou (she’s a greek who grew up in Australia), Eleni Dimou (the list could go on and on) I think you will like them. Cheers from NH, Sakis

Kat Reply:

S – After you posted your comment, I featured all of the songs you recommended in the vodpod for 2 weeks, and other people in my life suggested songs related to them. Thank you very much, I did enjoy them. Also, I have been to NH a few times, as I have friends there. It’s a lovely place.

  Donna wrote @ March 28th, 2008 at 18:03

I am listening to the four songs……and they make me cry too!!!

  George wrote @ April 12th, 2008 at 03:48

Kat, great pics for the top 4. I am happy that you acknowledge the national anthem, many Greece-born Greeks (including myself, to be frank) would not add this in their top Greek songs unfortunately. I listended to each one and may need some tissues soon!

Pix Lax: very soulful music, ESPECIALLY the song you mention here ; )

Xatzigiannis: I also like him, though I prefer ‘mono sta oneira’. I first listened to that song at a kafeteria in the Athens Airport the day I left to Australia for studies, not to return in 6 years!! So yes, inevitably that is sentimental for me

Dantis: Has become a bit of a rezili (disgrace) lately in my humble opinion. But Kommatia is timeless.

Songs by Mitropanos (about Thessaloniki, my home city) and Pasxalis Terzi, I would have to add to the ‘always cry’ list. And this is a Greek guy admitting this ehh? hehe

Some other gems: (though don’t always make me cry, that is important as I can save tissues, things are VERY expensive lately here in Melbourne!)

‘To filaraki’ (‘the dear friend’) by Remos

‘Dinata dinata’ (‘strongly, strongly’) by Arvanitaki (I had the good fortune to watch her live in… Monterrey Mexico while living there temporally and can assure you it went off!)

Dimitris Basis – I Zwi (‘Life’)

Giorgos Dalaras singing in Spanish for some inexplicable reason moves me
‘Una moneda le di’ – (‘I gave him a coin’)

There is a song by Anna Vissi (99 or 2000). It is called ‘Ela mwro mou kai pes s’agapw’. It is mostly in English. Cannot find it in UTube nor If anyone can find it, please post I would appreciate it much.

Kat, thanks again for the blog!

Kat Reply:

G – I agree with you on almost every point, except Dalaras. I like Mono sta oneira also, it’s the first song I heard from Xatzigianni, but it doesn’t make me cry. Basis (maybe you saw my other post, “My infatuation with Dimitris Basis”) is featured on this site often – in fact he’s in the vodpod now — including the song you mention. I only like Dantis for that one song; I find him too cheesy for the past 7 years, except for the fast duet version of “Anapatisis na Kleiseis” he does with Paparizou. The anthem is always on my list because it was a deciding factor in moving here…well, not the song itself, but what it meant and still means to me. Filakia.

  Tania wrote @ May 13th, 2008 at 09:23

Kat I just had to second what GreekAmerican(no longer in)Greece wrote:

[I cried while reading “…But the day to bid her ‘goodbye’ is on the horizon, as some loves are not meant to be together. Some grow stronger when they are apart and longing, some loves are pulled back by the forces that bind only when other forces are pushing away, and some can only grow in perfection in one’s heart when the realities of daily life are no longer eating away at the soul…”

It is so perfect what you wrote….so perfect…I thank you.]

I LOVE that paragraph you wrote!

As someone who loves Greece and is passionate about it, I am also glad I live somewhere else and get to visit it and really enjoy it on my own terms without the ‘realities of daily life..eating away at my soul’ (to paraphrase you slightly). I guess though my view of Greece is not the reality then because only by living somewhere can you truly ‘know’ it. Unfortunately it is a two-edged sword.

And perhaps Terzis’ song ‘Zito I Ellas’ would fit with this blog entry too? :)

I also cried buckets at the opening and closing ceremonies – my partner (born in Greece) thought I was crazy :) Glad to find someone else who feels the same way as me.

Kat Reply:

T – You don’t need to live here to experience reality; you just need to have your eyes and ears open without being in denial and romanticizing things when you are here. I think you do that. My friends from Sweden lived here for a year, but now only come to Greece for 2 weeks for vacation, but they are acutely aware of reality during those 2 weeks and can’t wait to go home. I’m glad you’re still a reader of mine; I get this vibe we’d get along fab in addition to fight over tissues while watching Athens 2004 ceremonies. P.S. I’ll get out my Terzis and listen to the song you mentioned.

  Christina wrote @ May 16th, 2008 at 09:04

Hi Kat,
I came accross your site by accident, and I need to tell you how sorry I feel for realizing once more that the infamous “Greek hospitality” is becoming an element of the long past; and how surprised I am to read that an American woman managed to connect herself with the original Greek spirit, feeling Greek herself! Too bad that you are leaving Greece, I really hope you can keep this connection alive forever. Not many Greek people feel or act as Greek as you; not many of us even understand the meaning of the national anthem lyrics. Shame.

I wish you all the best for your future endeavours.
Kind regards,

Kat Reply:

C – Hi there! Thanks for stopping in and saying hello. It’s very sweet of you to say what you did, but please understand that some chapters in life naturally come to an end. My priorities have changed since I first arrived, and I’m not willing to sacrifice or compromise new dreams and goals for a man, a country or a feeling. My connection to GR will always be strong, but I don’t need to prove that by living/working here.

  Iosifina wrote @ May 16th, 2008 at 21:35

What a wonderful, wonderful blog you have. I love your choices of music (I too am moved with the Greek national anthem!) and the Greek citizenship info is invaluable! Bravo! I’ve been married to a Greek for 38 years and find each year more and more interesting. I’ve never been bored–always something new to learn with the language, the culture, the food. I’m sorry to learn you may leave Greece; your insight is unique. Take care, gal.


Kat Reply:

I – Nice to see you here! Thank you for your compliments. Indeed there is always something more to learn, but I’ve immersed myself in everything and feel I’ve done enough. There’s a whole world to learn about.

  Matt Barrett wrote @ May 29th, 2008 at 23:02

I love your site. I discovered it by accident because someone visited my site and sent me an email about a Greek song called ‘The Cat’. I was googling it and somehow your site came up and I have been wandering around ever since.

My Greek is bad too and I am half Greek. But I read Seferis every day and every morning I take a long walk around Carrboro, NC listening to Kazanzides, Dionyssiou, Savopoulos and other laika and try to understand as much as I can. One day it will click I tell myself (for 20 years)

You don’t have to post this. I just wanted to say hi.

Kat Reply:

MB – You and I have crossed paths before, but you perhaps don’t remember me. I appreciate you stopping in to say ‘hi.’ Did you ever find “The Cat” song?

  Kimberley wrote @ August 11th, 2008 at 23:12

Hi Kat,
Great site thank you, being a non Greek EU citizen who is married to a non Greek non EU citizen and living-working-loving Greece.
(Been here 15years, been married here for 5years).
I only wish i’d found your site a couple of years ago, we got through it (the paperwork) but it was like being blindfolded and earmuffed! wouldn’t want to do it twice.
We live to tell the tale and are still living and Breathing our beloved Greece
As for Kommatia it gets me too……music is a soul thing, i can weep over a guitar chord, language is irelavant.
Notis Sfakianakis “To Tragoudaki” i weep

Kat Reply:

K – Hey there! I totally know what you mean by being blindfolded and deafened. Even speaking Greek, getting straight answers can often be a challenge and govt sites we found are too often incomplete or just plain wrong so there are always surprises around the corner. The Sfakianakis song that gets me is “Thelo na se ksanado.” Thank you for saying ‘hello’ and hope to see you here again.

  A. Krassopoulos wrote @ September 7th, 2008 at 15:48

In 40+ years living in Greece, your site is the first time I’ve had so much useful info in one place. Thanks for the songs.

Kat Reply:

AK – I’m happy to have you as a reader. Welcome, thank you and you’re most welcome! :)

  mari wrote @ November 3rd, 2008 at 16:21

i love your site –
i’ve been listening to your top 4 songs (that make you cry)
…and tears are running through my eyes

i am waiting for the day that i will be brave enough to move to greece –



Kat Reply:

M – How sweet of you to say so. One of the best ways to overcome fear is to take action. You know, like Nike, “Just do it!” Filakia!

  nicholas wrote @ February 10th, 2009 at 11:46

actually i just moved over to greece from austria. my favourite greek musicians were michalis jenitsaris, markos vamavakaris, and similar manges ;)

but your experiences could probably be interessting. so i would be pleased to invite you either to a cafe, or my favourite place. but the only serve tea and spirits… just let me know please

well just wanted to add, trhough reading your blog, in one way feel sorry, but i do hope you worked it out for you…

you see for some reasons i was dreaming about life in greece a long time, and all my frineds have f.e. their own little shops, because i got to knwo them through running into their shops…

eventhough i had my own weird experiences as well, i would never give up to try to make my life here. eventhough i am a coffee and tey specialist, i am also cleaning a house these times- that i just started to live here- so beside i really would like to get you to know personal, i have a another wish as well… sometimes your blog seems so negative, eventhough you should have some affinities towards greece as well, no ?

i have some, and would not like to go back to austria, eventhough salary and so on would be much higher, so plz write also about what you like about greece, or after all, did you get so greek that u just complain as well all the time.. ? :)

as well i also travelled around but still no place in a town, for me, is more beautiful then filopappou, not the baihan garden in haifa, not the central park, not the gaudi park ni barcelona…

i just love to be in castella/pireas as well…
i love greek people for having the structure of smashed down blade of lentils…
and for the smoking as well- because i believe that this topic was just brought up in europe to have a new way of dividing the mass and to rule … like with any other topics as well

eventhough politness could be better on that…
i feel more free here…
the smells of the markets
and so on…
what do u love here… ?

kala naperasis

  Asteri wrote @ July 28th, 2009 at 19:18

I just wanted to say what a great blog! It’s so cute how you think you’re Greek!

Kat Reply:

Actually, I do not think I’m Greek at all, and the fact I’m not Greek is pointed out to me on a daily basis. I have a very strong identity and sense of myself, so I’m happy to be me.

  Meli wrote @ July 29th, 2009 at 03:14

Kat (Katerina) –

Your Blog resonates with me. My odyssey began in 1980, when I came back after traveling the year before, to pursue something different than what I was used to, having grown tired of the “scene” in Ann Arbor. So after the “kaimakitzis” that brought me back to Greece and I broke up, I decided to pursue living and working there. Having Dual citizenship helped in the work permit process and being American, I was highly in demand to teach American English…and so it goes. Now I have my own Ellenopoula and my 19 year old wants to be in Greece working and studying because for the first time she finally felt like she was where she belonged!! (her first adult visit) sooo…

I’ll visit often-

say hi to my baby-he’s the cutest one you’ll see on Doiranis (Kypseli) near the bakery. :)

Kat Reply:

Hi Meli, thank you for saying hi and sharing your story. Having dual citizenship with Greece does help if you’re American or any non-EU citizen, especially if you’re female and have no military obligations. I don’t qualify, but it certainly makes it easier. Wonderful that you’re giving your children that gift so they have options.

Looking forward to seeing you here again! :D

  Athina wrote @ December 26th, 2009 at 21:51

What can I say, I feel nothing but deep shame for ourselves for making someone like you feel unwelcome. We have no excuse.

I love my country to pieces but when things like this happen it cuts me deeply. I really hope we’ll find our humane selves again soon.

Kat Reply:

Athina, thank you so much for stopping and making a comment. You’re very sweet.

The events on May 5 made me think of you and your hopes for this country, which are the same as mine and many of us.

  Emma wrote @ May 7th, 2010 at 04:53

Well, I personally wouldn’t cry over any Greek song and never have, although my sentimental idiot distant relatives in Greece do (long story, can’t stand them)! But, when I was in Greece I do remember a few songs that “spoke” to me, i.e., that I liked to listen to over and over again, and still do – Eleni by Anna Vissi, Ola Kala kai Ola Oraia by Dalaras and Then S’afino by Giannis Parios.

Other than that, the rest I found corny, sappy love songs which didn’t at all do it for me. I kind of got a kick out of the funny songs though, like “Fiye Stella kratao maheri!”! Stuff like that would make me laugh, as did some of my experiences living in Greece. Now, I’m soooo glad not to be there.. Saw this coming a long time ago and would tell people too, only no one listened.

  foto wrote @ June 23rd, 2010 at 17:21

………….what the hell…….
all i have to do is hear “sagaaaaaapooooooooo…sagapoooo giati is oraaaaaaaaeeeeeeeaaaaa……..” and i break…
…..lady gaga nothing!……
…I love that you all write with meraki…and with great openess…I hope the athenians are enjoying late night serenades around irothou attikou… aeraki sto sounio……opou sas vri!

  vouksis wrote @ June 25th, 2010 at 19:05

Dear Kat,

I just wanted to say that I stumbled upon your website 3 days ago and absolutely love it, especially all the funny personal stories. Please keep them coming if you have some time to spare!!!

I can say that in a way I understand how difficult but also rewarding living in a foreign country is. I am a Greek that has been living in the UK for the past 6 years, first as a student and now working. The transition from Greece to the UK hasn’t been easy and needless to say that the UK is much better organized country than Greece (I could also use the word civilized but I’d rather not) and I had lots of financial support from my parents in a typical Greek way.

I cannot even begin to imagine how difficult it must have been for you to deal with the Greek bureaucracy and working conditions all alone, especially when Greeks themselves many times can’t cope. I would also like to tell you how ashamed I felt every time I read about a Greek telling you to “go home” or making a racist remark against you. I’d like to believe that during all these years that you have lived in Greece you also met kind and polite people instead for all those j@@ks mentioned in your stories from time to time.

My best wishes to you, and I hope you have now moved out from that flat with the problematic fireplace (still living in Greece?). I will be visiting your website regularly from now on.


PS sorry for posting it here but I couldn’t find your email address anywhere, tried to register in twitter but couldn’t figure out exactly how it works so I could send you a personal message.

Kat Reply:

Hi Kosta,

I’m so sorry for not replying to you sooner, especially your kind words in compliment and in empathy have more than once come to mind since you wrote them. I no longer live in that horrible flat, but the past months have been difficult for me at home, at work and in the street as prices go up, anti-immigrant sentiment grows and our salaries shrink.

A lot of people like the stories I tell. But my free time is limited with working a full-time job, updating 300 practical articles with new information, curating the Twitter feed, answering people’s questions and tending to my own life’s responsibilities, which people tend to forget I have. Issues of privacy and daily plagiarism also discourage me from writing more.

You must know that it’s people like you who keep me going, giving me the strength to know that deep down I am doing the right thing by helping people when I can and opening communication in an attempt to create understanding.

Thank you so much for persevering in making contact. If you can figure out how Twitter works, add me and tell me it’s you. We’ll definitely keep in touch :)

  Paul wrote @ September 6th, 2010 at 12:10

I just love how serendipitous life is. After stumbling across the wealth of information & diverse situations you have experienced, not to mention sharing it all with us, you have miraculously answered so many questions i had. Firstly, it`s heartwarming to know there are still selfless people who offer so much without expecting anything. You`re simply a remarkable human being :) )). I will definitely be following all the sharing on here.

Oh , i guess i should mention i am a newbie that has moved to greece, although London-born, have resided in the USA for 16 years. And..Yes..Love has brought me here, so i am taking a leap of faith & following my heart for a change ! Wish you nothing but a magical life full of wonderful blessings … Hugs Paul X

Kat Reply:

Hi Paul,

Thanks so much for taking the time to say hello and share your kind words. This website is for everyone, so please feel free to share your input and experiences when compelled.

P.S. I do expect something — mutual respect. That’s all. :)

  bonnie wrote @ September 22nd, 2010 at 07:59

wow…maressi afto poli @ your website.

American born, I adopted Greece 25 years ago by falling in love.
Your website is somewhat profound — captivating, inspiring, fulfilling, beautiful and heartening. (have I said enough?)

I was looking for the history of kokoretsi when I found you. I trust all is well with you whenever you may read this. Sure, I don’t know you…but anyone standing in Syntagma Square weeping a bit at the anthem is someone with an echo of my own melting heart with Greece.

In memory of an Athenian gyneka who taught me to say phonetically,

Ef Car Is Tow, Polie!

Kat Reply:

I no longer go to Syntagma, as the post says above, and it’d be difficult for me to even get there with all the strikes and protests. With higher cost of living, tax hikes, salary cuts, xenophobia and increased unemployment, living in Greece affords many reasons to cry on a daily basis without any prompting. ;)

Thank you for stopping in and saying hello.

  Marilyn wrote @ July 8th, 2011 at 20:28


Do you teach translation?

Kat Reply:

I don’t. Precise translation involves deep knowledge of languages and being familiar with slang, local expressions and culture.

  Konstantinos wrote @ July 21st, 2011 at 17:42

Hi Kat,

I am a Greek that grew up in NJ and tried my hand at living in Greece from 2002 to 2005. I can relate to many things you wrote here and throughout your site. I have often said that I have lived better as a Greek in America than as a Greek in Greece, though I was always perceived as an “Amerikanaki” when I lived there.

Now 6 years after leaving Greece, I still miss her, I miss the relaxed life and the contradicting daily insanity and instability. My life in NJ has gone back to normal and is comfortable, and while it may seem great I still long for those unstable days I lived in Greece and songs do indeed bring back memories. The combination of your site and this post made me Kommatia. Feel free to write back. Se euxaristw gia go site sou, eisai foberi!

Kat Reply:

Ela Konstantino,

On “Should I move to Greece?,” I talk about how some Greeks are classified not Greek enough and how the reality of living/working here full time is different than what people experience on vacation or read in novels. People who know what I’m talking about often say I’m “too honest,” and people who don’t call me sour, bitter, biased, negative and anti-Greek. Thank you apo tin kardia mou for being the former.

What you describe is a bittersweet longing that tugs at your heart and soul, and infects your mind so it forgets the practical, bureaucratic and financial reasons it makes no sense to fight a series of battles just to live a supposedly relaxed life. But I think it’s because we struggle against contradiction, insanity and instability that life’s small victories in Greece seem sweeter, our memories stronger, and normal life boring.

The upside is a comfortable life and salary allow you to come to Greece whenever you want ;)

It’s refreshing when people comment or give back to the website without wanting anything, and I appreciate you taking the time to say hello.

  christine wrote @ October 17th, 2011 at 12:48

Hi Kat,

I want to say how fantastic your site is and how helpful it must be for anyone trying to settle in Greece, though not to me, as I married a greek and he deals with all the paperwork etc. I think if I had had to deal with that, I would have gone running back to Wales with my tail between my legs a long time ago, either that or be locked up in jail for assaulting a member of the Greek public sector. I have moved my bank accounts around because of rudeness. I still do not have a residence permit, as apparently it is only asked for if you buy a car, which I never will do, as I do not drive, even tho my husband has a rent a car Company!!!

I spent the last 30 years, living in a small Greek village — pop. 1200 on the island of Kos — after having emigrated to Australia and then cruising around the world on Cruise Liners for 7 years. Finally arriving here in 1981 to work as tour representative for a British Tour Operator and finding myself living in a village where there was hardly any running water, no one had a cooker — had to take our food to the bakery to be cooked, after they had finished with the bread baking — no tv, oh the local bar had a black and white one with ERT 1 and ERT2. I learned to love Vengos and Yiannis Parios, Nisoitika….learnt to live without fresh milk, still drink NouNou in my coffee, bananas, baked beans and basically everything that one can get today. Learnt to enjoy eating dried figs stuffed with almonds as our fruit during the winter and was constantly amazed on how little we could live on. The excitement of going to Turkey for the day, when they finally opened the line and bringing back 17 boufonts (jackets), one for each member of my husband’s family and about 10 kilos of bananas. A friend of mine brought some fresh bread back, but her boyfriend refused to eat it as it was from Turkey.

Basically I can just agree with everything you say on your site…the bittersweet joy of living in Greece. At 59 I have finally been affected by the unemployment situation, but again not a problem as my husband has his own business, so finally I have been roped in to help out there. Unfortunately, like the Greeks, I opted not to pay anything out that I did not have to ie IKA. When I first arrived in Kos I worked for the first 15 years for British Tour Operators and I do not think they had to pay a Greek or British Stamp for me, then I moved on to working for a Greek Company that did not pay my IKA, did not really give any thought to it all, and now here I am nearly 60 with no pension to look forward to, although I have received a letter from the uk stating that I will get 22 pounds a week when I am 62 and 9 months. So I look forward to living to life out here in Kardamena, eating lots of xorta and eggs and hopefully my children will give back to me what I have given to them over the years…love and care.

As you can imagine I am so upset at what is going on in Greece at the moment strikes etc. The reason I found this site is that an English friend of mine is getting married on Saturday to a cousin of my husbands, and most of her English guests are due to arrive for the wedding. Yes, you have guessed it…Wednesday the 19th. I am sure they will all arrive in time for the wedding on the Saturday but they will miss the run up to it, but now that I have found your site I am will become and avid reader and look forward to your articles.

Have you actually left Greece now?

Kat Reply:

Hi Christine,

Lots of women depend on their Greek husbands to take care of bureaucracy, but there is a group of us (like me) who don’t have or want that option and half my readers are Greeks seeking guidance on issues not covered by official websites or civil servants. The website and Twitter feed also cover a lot of news and practical info for travelers and residents on non-bureaucratic matters, plus slices of life.

It sounds like you’ve had a envious life with a good man and wonderful kids, and that’s more than a lot of people could ever ask for. Never mind the IKA, ERT and strikes. Happiness counts for a lot. I hope that your friend who got married can look forward to the same.

I appreciate you saying hello, and hope to see you again.

  Jessica wrote @ November 13th, 2011 at 23:12

Thanks for sharing this music. Not so familiar with recent Greek music myself (now I know some names to start looking) but I love Ena Asteri pefti pefti by Xaris Alexiou and Zilia mou also by her and the Cafe Aman American. Do you know this? I have been in Greece a few times, mainly as a volunteer to help care for donkeys at Corfu Donkey Rescue. They’re amaizingly gentle animals.

All the best to you!
Jessica- The Netherlands

Forgot to add: the song Kaigome, kaigome. Not a happy song at all, but their voices all together is very beautiful and touching.

  drgeorge wrote @ January 19th, 2012 at 18:41

Hi Kat,
I have to say that I have always found your site amazing. I am a Canadian of Greek descent and I have always felt a very special attachment to Greece. There is no other place that brings out that deep seated emotion that you yourself feel. A few years ago we built a house in southern Greece where I have spent my summers since I was a child. I am blessed with many great Greek friends that we can’t wait to see again. I have been involved here in Canada with the local Greek community and it is interesting to note that the Greeks are the same everywhere- they have big hearts but also all of the negatives you have experienced.

I learned a long time ago that Greece is really a higher state of mind- an ideal that really doesn’t exist. I love all the time I spend in Greece. I love the people, the mountains, the sea, the music, the culture but I also know that living there full time would erode that love because of all the day to day dealings with some of the people, and the difficulties of just trying to get things accomplished. So I return year after year and enjoy the Greece I love and then leave it behind before the negatives can get to me. I feel sad that you are leaving but at the same time I completely understand. SO I hope that in the future you will only experience the Greece of your soul- that Greece that we truly love. Good luck to you. Thanks for all the great blogs.

Kat Reply:

Hi Dr. George,

Most people of Greek origin living abroad fall into two categories:
a) Those who cling to nostos, becoming more nationalistic with time, longing for the patrida and calling me anti-Greek at any mention of truth because it mars their idealistic ‘reality';
b) people like you, who truly love Greece but acknowledge reality.

Thank you apo ti’ kardia mou for taking the time to share kind words, your story and incisive observations.

  Bill wrote @ February 22nd, 2012 at 23:00

Our hearts go out to the Greek people at this time, Your choice of songs was inspirational. thanks for sharing!

Kat Reply:

So no love for the 1.5 million non-Greeks (like me)? How sad!

  Tori wrote @ April 21st, 2012 at 17:17

Hi There,
Great songs you posted. Greek lyrics are so dramatic. I am sending you this song, I think you will like it! I’m also from Cali … had this dream of moving to Greece and here I am years later dreaming of moving back to the Bay Area! haha. But somehow I know I’m in the right place.
It’s ‘Etsi Eimai Ego’ by Hrw.
Have a lovely Day!!

  niniek wrote @ October 8th, 2012 at 18:33

first time i knew about greece was 5 years ago when i met someone (greek man), he stayed in piraeus, he came to my country (indonesia) on duty..he gave me some gift from greek such as t-shirt, greek calendar and the most important thing was greek songs..i love paxsalis terzis keti garby nd some more..i like greek’s now he is gone and i miss him and greek culture very much. i need to have some friends from greece

regard frm jakarta indonesia

  A.Macmillan wrote @ December 30th, 2012 at 00:48

I have been married to my Greek husband for forty seven years now.I hav been with (and often in) Greece through earthquakes,military coup,dictatorship,economic disaster. Greece is an unorganised hopelessly flawed country….but Greece is now as much my own native land as Scotland,where I was born….and that is an astonishing statement….coming from a Scot. I love both countries,and I believe thjat they have much in common. Probably no two such small countries ever contributed more ,for their size and population,to the advancement of civilization than these two. I am proud to be a citizen of both.

  Jennifer wrote @ May 31st, 2013 at 04:20

Delighted to have found this site. Enjoyed reading your story very much. Looking foward to many more

  Marios wrote @ July 27th, 2013 at 20:37

Nice choice of songs!
Just a minor correction though, all of those songs speak about relationships in some capacity.

I would love to provide you with translations if you would like. Just email me.

Kat Reply:

Thanks for offering, but there were two misunderstandings.
— Obviously when I first arrived, I did not understand Greek at all. Over 15 years, that changed — if you look under the Hatzigiannis song, I say I can understand.
— All the songs may speak to relationships. But in my life they’re not associated with any, except one. It’s rather presumptuous to correct a stranger on her personal story.

I speak, read and write Greek, which is how I’ve been able to translate government circulars, news articles and handouts from the dimosio in order to compile the original articles published on this website. Sto kalo.

  Stelios Giannakopoulos wrote @ August 15th, 2013 at 13:29

This website is so poor…makes me want to vomit

Kat Reply:

Some readers are so pikra…makes me want to ___ .

  Muhammed wrote @ October 2nd, 2013 at 21:28

Agripnia – Thanasis Papakonstantinou / αγρυπνια – θανασης παπακωνσταντινου

One of the greatest Greek songs if not the greatest.

  David C wrote @ October 31st, 2013 at 09:46

Brilliant ! Very nice songs that I hadn’t heard.
Very touching experiences. Many thanks for sharing both !!
Now it’s got me thinking back to special moments and the songs that went with them …..
We love Xaris Alexiou. I think all her songs are good. After very painful experiences building the house in Crete (builders going bust etc), with the help of kind local people we finally made it liveable. OK, not completely finished, but I understand that’s traditional in Greece :) Currently in England, I think of happily lying in the sun on the top-floor sun-deck overlooking the whole bay listening to “Apopse Thelo Na Pio”. OK, her wanting to get drunk isn’t so romantic, but she sings it so well and from the heart. We’ll be back in Crete in December and look forward to it. Kouremenos is like paradise.



  Lee wrote @ December 23rd, 2013 at 20:50

Years ago I had a record with Greek songs. One became a favorite. The translated title was “Let Out the Sails.” Now I don’t have the record and would love to hear that song again. Do you recognize the title? or have any other information that would help me find it?
Andover, New Hampshire

  Alexander G wrote @ May 10th, 2014 at 21:53

Hey Kat, love your site, check those two songs as well and try to understand the Lyrics. I believe you will love them, it is all about loss, emotional pain,loneliness, feelings which are and have always been part of the identity of Greece. Do not feel sad for the rejection you faced from my citizens as most of us greeks face that as well in several aspects, soorow is unfortunately deeply rooted in us and it comes out sometimes in ugly ways. Hopefully, mentalities will change.In the villages it is usually quite different. Anyway take care, wherever you are.

Kat Reply:

Not a fan of Alexiou, but I listened to them on your recommendation and the lyrics are indeed touching. I appreciate you taking the time and thought to suggest them.

Things have changed little and sometimes for the worse since 1997. I’ve lived in island/mainland villages and did find it different in ways that are both good and bad, at least from a foreigner’s point of view.

Thank you apo tin kardia mou for your kind words. All best.

  Greek By Osmosis wrote @ July 21st, 2014 at 18:38

I have been married to a Greek woman for 34 years. I seldom weep during songs, although I have during the Greek National Anthem, possibly a sympathetic reaction to my wife’s tears. For me, the equivalent would be a tingling feeling I get when I hear certain songs.

When my daughter got married a couple of years ago, our Father-Daughter dance was some timeless classic by an American crooner – but don’t ask the song, as I can’t remember. However, a couple of hours later, I heard the opening notes of MItropanos’ Rosa – always one of my favorites. Looking to the dance floor, I saw my wonderful daughter looking at me. Our guests ceded the dance floor to us; THAT was our Father-Daughter dance!

  stelios wrote @ September 15th, 2014 at 20:57

I’m a first born Aussie of Greek decent – island of Kos.I don’t know if you had the opportunity to visit it. I have been fortunate to go to go back there five times, the latest was 2 years ago when I took my young son to visit my 100 year old grandmother – still alive now 102 and she still knocks about her little garden with her chickens, her pig and her goat. But she loves to dance, as she did at her great granddaughter’s (my god-daughter) wedding last year. Actually she has seen the birth of her great great grandson. May she live to see many more.
I rarely weep, but let me counter that by admitting the following. Each time I go back to Ellada, excepting the Greek Anthem, which carries true meaning of pain to achieve her freedom, there are four other songs that I hold dear to my heart,:
1) “Kos, H Pio Ylikia Patrida” for obvious reasons, by Notis Sfakianakis and Anna Karambesini:
2) “Siyana kai Tapina” by Notis Sfakianakis, by far the best rendition of this folk song and one that wells you up inside till you choke with emotion
3):”Mes tou Aiyaiou ta Nisia” Unkown artist but sung by so many of her famous singers (from Glykeria, Parios, Nana Mouskouri etc,,) you can pick and choose:
4) “Tou Yamou” the wedding song:
In the case of the last 3 songs, I guess it would be because as kids we accompanied our parents to so many Greek Dances and functions, and so many weddings that they became ingrained in me. In Australia, many of us have dispersed and created our own families, In my case I am with an English wife, so I don’t get to experience my roots that often, but when I do I must admit I weep inside…till the glentia come on, and then it’s party Greek style.

  Tersia wrote @ September 30th, 2014 at 17:41

WOW, what an interesting person you are…. Thank you for the wonderful news and info… It is really a pleasure meeting you. Take care. Filakia

  Παναγιώτης (Panagiotis) wrote @ November 30th, 2014 at 01:41

(Παρακαλώ όποιος Έλληνας φίλος έχει τις γνώσεις και την όρεξη, ας μεταφράσει τα λόγια μου)

Γειά σου γλυκιά μου. Αποφάσισα να σου γράψω ελληνικά, γιατί τα αγγλικά μου δεν είναι καλά και ίσως να μην καταλάβεις αυτά που θέλω να σου πώ.
Δεν θα σε κουράσω, απλώς θα σου εξηγήσω για ποιόν λόγο ένιωσες έτσι, ακούγοντας τον Ελληνικό εθνικό ύμνο. Ο ύμνος αυτός γράφτηκε μέσα στο αίμα των σκλαβωμένων Ελλήνων από τους Τούρκους. Η τεράστια αυτή Αυτοκρατορία κλονίστηκε και κατέρευσε από μια χούφτα ξυπόλυτους Έλληνες, που παρά το ότι είχαν περάσει 400 χρόνια σκλαβιάς, δεν έχασαν την γλώσσα, την θρησκεία και τις παραδόσεις τους! Η δίψα των Ελλήνων για ελευθερία είναι ακόρεστη και οι στίχοι του Σολωμού: “Απ’ τα κόκκαλα βγαλμένη των Ελλήνων τα ιερά, και σαν πρώτα ανδρειωμένοι, χαίρε ώ χαίρε ελευθεριά” δείχνουν ακριβώς αυτό το πάθος. Φαίνεται ότι μετά τον Μαραθώνα, τις Θερμοπύλες, την Σλαμίνα και τις Πλαταιές, η λέξη ελευθερία μας είναι η πιό αγαπητή. Ας μήν ξεχνάει κανείς την πρώτη ήττα των συμμάχων του άξονα στον Β’ Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο, όταν οι σχεδόν άοπλοι Έλληνες συνέτριψαν τους Ιταλούς στην Αλβανία, καθυστερώντας έτσι την εισβολή του Χίτλερ στην Ρωσία, με αποτέλεσμα να τους πιάσει ο χειμώνας και να ηττηθούν.
Όμως τί κρίμα γι’ αυτή τη χώρα που έδωσε τα πάντα σε όλους τους πολέμους στο πλάϊ των συμμάχων, να βρίσκεται πάντα στην απομόνωση. Δυστυχώς για σαράντα και πλέον χρόνια, ήταν κυκλωμένη από χώρες του Ανατολικού μπλόκ και ξεκομμένη από τους φυσικούς της συμμάχους. “Κάποιες” μεγάλες δυνάμεις, της επέβαλαν την δικτατορία, μα και πάλι ο ίδιος λαός την ξετίναξε από πάνω του σαν βρωμιά. Πώς λοιπόν μιλάνε όλοι για την καθυστέρηση που δείχνει η Ελλάδα στην ανάπτυξη; Δεν νομίζω ότι άλλη χώρα θα μπορούσε να φτάσει, εκεί που έφτασε η Ελλάδα αν βρισκόταν στην ίδια θέση για πάνω από 100 χρόνια! Ας μην κουράσω παραπάνω, δεν ζητάμε τίποτα, μόνο ισονομία και δικαιοσύνη. Δεν εγκαταλείψαμε την χώρα που αγαπάμε στα δύσκολα και για μας είναι σαν μητρικό χάδι, όταν άνθρωποι σαν κι εσένα μιλούν έτσι για την Ελλάδα. Σ’ ευχαριστώ.
Και κάτι πολύ σημαντικό. Η Ελλάδα δεν είναι οι πουλημένοι πολιτικοί της, είναι οι φτωχοί άνθρωποι που παλεύουν με αξιοπρέπεια να επιβιώσουν. Αυτό το τελευταίο, είναι ένα ακόμα μέρος από το DNA μας, όπως και η θέληση για ελευθερία. Αλλά πολλά είπα, σ’ ευχαριστώ που με άκουσες.

Here is a special song for all of you from my channel
“Remember me and love me”. Melina’s song but here is instrumental, enjoy.

  Troll wrote @ March 1st, 2015 at 13:48

Gay website. Gay post.

You are not even Greek!

Cry me a river.

Kat Reply:

And yet, you took the time and trouble to leave a comment. Wishing you a non-gay, Greeky and happy life in Sydney, Australia. :D

w00t, Justin Timberlake!

  White wrote @ December 4th, 2015 at 19:18

I lived in Greece way back but I had to leave. The Greeks are the kindest people in the world provided you are 100% Greek.

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