Living in Greece

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

The true Greek experience

Being away from TV world by choice and unwillingly denied my DSL connection — in addition to tons of work — I’ve missed out on these gems. That’s right, you can stop Living Your Myth and trade it for the True Greek Experience!



I was speechless (not in a good way) when I saw this and shook my head. So I suppose I have no comment.



The first thing that came to mind is why there was no traffic, how is it they’re riding bikes without being hit by cars and what they’re doing in a river that’s likely polluted. I know, I need to stop being real.

Wouldn’t the “true Greek experience” include being awoken by barking dogs, standing on a crowded bus next to someone with B.O. because of a taxi strike, avoiding dog poo on the sidewalk and paying 6 euros for a coffee and inattentive service?

I think there’s still a smattering of mythology leftover from last year’s campaign. 😉

Related posts

Living Your Myth in Greece
Journey to Hellas
Greece, land of Gods


  Perry wrote @ May 1st, 2008 at 13:01

They look like recycled Club Med commercials. I don’t understand why anyone would have to be “sold” on Greece. It’s Greece. HELLO!

  Jessica wrote @ May 1st, 2008 at 13:53

I thought of you when I saw these ads. They play 24/7 on CNN. LOL It’s funny that almost every country has one on there, from Malaysia to Taiwan to a bunch of places I have never heard of. There is no Italy one though, I guess they figure it’d be to hard to lie for a full 30 seconds, or all the money that COULD be spent on promoting tourism is going into the pockets of the countries richest politicians.

  Dora wrote @ May 1st, 2008 at 15:38

The Turks have an unbelievably WOW ad campaign with great music that hooks you in to gorgeous views of scenery that could be Greece. And now Greece has this dopey ad. Makes me feel like I should visit Florida. It’s so disappointing.

  Pete wrote @ May 1st, 2008 at 16:11

The GNTO is running some nice ads on major TV networks in USA. These ads may be dopey, but it seems as though they are part of an overall approach. I don’t need any ads to go to Greece either, but it takes some persuading for the average family of four in USA to drop $5200+ on airfare alone.

  photene wrote @ May 1st, 2008 at 16:12

Wow, these are incredibly lame – just take-offs from all the cruise ads I see. Perhaps Greece is just getting as homogenized as the rest of Europe. Do folks still fly kites on May Day or have I totally confused this date with another?

  GANIG wrote @ May 2nd, 2008 at 01:20

NBC’s “Today Show” was broadcasting live today from Constantinople (Instambul ( spel)).

Kat, Greece is beautiful. You just happened to live in Athens, a shit hole by Greek standards. There is so much beauty, green, nice sea, rivers that Athenians only get a chance to see a few days per year.
But then again I do not know if you would be happy there as you seems to be very career oriented ( even if you did not have to work and had a nice modern house and a few kids 🙂 ).

You may delete now 🙂

  GANIG wrote @ May 2nd, 2008 at 03:42

It must be the hormones I am taking for the $ex change operation 🙂
I do love your site and if I were too intrusive, I apologize.

  The Scorpion wrote @ May 2nd, 2008 at 08:14

Kat – I believe that you probably love Greece more than Greeks. Remember, you CHOSE to live here. Unlike many Greeks who HAVE TO live here. So, in the end, it’s you that people should admire.

Plus, every time I see a Greek throw garbage in the street and pick up what they tossed, I remind them that I love their country and don’t want to see it trashed. I love the reactions I get, because what can they really say to a foreigner who picks up their garbage and asks them to keep their OWN country clean? 99% are embarrassed and have nothing to say to me!!!

Greece would be a more beautiful place if it wasn’t for the apathy.

Just my two lepta…

  Elundin wrote @ May 2nd, 2008 at 10:56

I said I wouldn’t post again, but I just have to say this. I liked those videos. I found them joyfull and cheerful, even if they were a bit cheesy, and the product they present can be found in many many other places on Earth too, and all of our rivers are polluted. Maybe my taste in things sucks, and maybe Greece doesnt need to be “sold” as a destination. I liked that guy that was laying at the beach inviting people over with his finger, and I liked how people were having fun at Boidomatis (think thats what that riverpool was). I can’t really see what’s wrong with them, honestly.

  thundera wrote @ May 2nd, 2008 at 13:06

Kat you are absolutely right But..Those places exist , without cars…and without pollution in the rivers.And Im saying that because i have been in these places. The bad thing is that tourists dont get to see the places the ad shows because the travel agencies dont send them there. They sent them in places that they can get some more money…What can the profit be for them if they sent them to an unknown village in the north or in a small island with 200 people and no clubs and restaurants ? The travel agencies get A LOT of money from sending their groups to specific hotels, restaurants , Bars , Tours , etc.

  Kat wrote @ May 2nd, 2008 at 13:50

P – I agree with you, I think people who want to come to Greece don’t need to be sold on it. They just do.

J – Hey! Nice to see you here. My guess is Italy doesn’t really need to promote itself because it has approximately 40 million visitors per year, which is 3 times what GR has. Plus, we’ve got all this debt from Athens 2004 when people wouldn’t buy tickets after seeing unfinished stadiums. OK, they pulled it off at the last minute, but it didn’t change the path already laid.

D – Turkey does have a nice ad. Florida is lovely, but the best time to go is December-March when temps are not stifling and humidity isn’t oppressive. The water is comparable to GR, nice beaches and it’s cosmopolitan without the delays, high prices or long flight. 😉

P – You’re right, any EU destination is a hard sell these days with the strength of the euro against the dollar.

Photene – I kind of liked the “Explore Your…” Living Your Myth ads better, if I had to pick between these and others. People fly kites on Kathara Deftera and sometimes today, but there’s no wind (at least where I am), so I think it’s going to be difficult. May Day is usually about protests for Labour Day, and going off into the “country” to make a ring of flowers to hang above the door. We’re doing no such thing. I have the day off from work in GR, but the USA is open.

G – I never said Greece wasn’t beautiful — if I wasn’t able to see the beauty and positive side of everything, how the hell do you think I survived 10 years with all of the cr@p that has happened and what it cost me? I could have left anytime I wanted.

What I said was these commercials do not depict the “True Greek Experience.” I understand it’s PR, but at least do a good job (like last year’s ads); using a subjective word like “True” spells trouble in of itself — that’s an amateur mistake. Further, Greece is not the only place with green, seas, wonderful beaches, etc. (I don’t mention rivers because most in GR are polluted). Want me to name some? Mexico, Miami, Belize, California, Italy, Spain, India, Turkey…shall I go on? Nothing wrong with Istanbul either, but I’ve been there, been offered jobs and have friends living there, and it’s not what I want.

As I said, I don’t delete comments — they’re held in moderation. I like you fine, you know that. But what bugs me is the 180 degree swing you’ve made since leaving Greece, like you don’t remember what it’s like to live here. Also, I’m here, you’re not. You’re Greek, I’m not. You’re a man, I’m not. You have no insight on what it’s like to be me in GR, so why are most of your comments directed at me and what I do with my life, and not the article at hand? I honestly don’t get it.

E – It says a lot that you like these ads, considering you said: “I cant really understand why you felt drawn to Greece. I cant wait to get away from it tbh (to be honest).” Also, I told you that you are free to comment. All I did was warn you that when you use the words, “I bet every one of you people posting on this board are ____ ,” people are going to take it as being addressed personally because it’s very specific and not in the general sense that you later said it meant. Cheers.

T – I know these places exist because I’ve been to them also, but like you said, no one really sees them. It’s not just because of packaged tours or salesmen directing them somewhere for profit, it’s also because this country makes it hard for “outsiders” to find these places if they don’t speak/read Greek. Other than the EOT, there are hardly any places you can find information by phone or via website in English for schedules, ferries change weekly and not everyone is treated equally, i.e. Even though I live here, I’m quoted a different (higher) price than my Greek fiance for the same thing; a sketo Canadian friend of mine was quoted double price for the same cruise her Greek-American husband was taking. Plus the key to good tourism is to attract a repeat customer, not show them a mediocre time and take all their money the first time.

  Elundin wrote @ May 2nd, 2008 at 14:04

Should I take insult in your first line of reply? I don’t see how my liking the ads can be standing in the opposite of me disliking how my country treats me.

Maybe I should have known better than posting here. My bad, sorry.

Kat Reply:

All I said is it says a lot, which I thought was a good thing for the reason you mentioned just now. i.e. Liking them despite how GR treats you. I don’t see the insult, though everything I say to you is taken that way for some reason.

  melusina wrote @ May 3rd, 2008 at 00:35

Actually, ads for “the true Greek experience” should show tourists like my dad taking pictures in the supermarket.

-signed the girl who is 38 years old but can still die of humiliation at the hands of her parents

  Jennifer wrote @ January 6th, 2009 at 02:18

ahahahah. what you said about how is it that they are riding bikes without all the traffic, etc was sooo funny! lol. i hate those damn barking dogs in the morning too! and trying to go to bed while kids that NEVER sleep even when it’s 3-4am lighting fireworks/fire crackers!!

And the €6 coffee… so true. I went to Thessaloniki for the first time a couple weeks ago and for 2 filter coffees we paid €11. this was after coming from Bulgaria where 2 meals (very decent- amazing flavor, big portions, and even getting drinks) cost around €6.

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