Living in Greece

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

My first laiki agora receipt

For the first time in history, farmer’s market vendors in Greece are obliged to provide receipts for all sales from October 1, 2010. But how many are actually doing it?

At my neighborhood laiki agora, not many. Many have registers but claim the machine is broken or will not automatically give a receipt.

Despite asking for receipts as the “crazy xeni who doesn’t know how things work here,” and irritating vendors to the point of bruising my produce and being on the receiving end of some gesticulating, this is the only receipt I’ve been given. Protos kai monos, much like my view toward marriage.

I didn’t even have to ask for this one; he handed it to me with my change and a smile. Because I believe in rewarding moral behavior and doing the right thing, I’m happy to give him my repeat business.

And in case you’re curious, I bought two white peaches. They were guiltlessly delicious.

Related posts

VAT rates in Greece
A brief guide to collecting receipts in Greece

*Note: Receipt was intentionally Photoshopped to protect the vendor’s privacy and mine.


  Zoe wrote @ October 22nd, 2010 at 04:43

congrats on getting a receipt. I would be too timid to hear the tirade of disdain to even attempt such a thing.

  Jess wrote @ October 22nd, 2010 at 10:48

I’m glad to know that somebody’s asking for receipts! I don’t ask, but I’m getting them at about half of the vendors at the market in my neighborhood.

  Constantinos wrote @ October 22nd, 2010 at 12:41

I think, I’m gonna cry… :-)

  maria wrote @ October 22nd, 2010 at 14:21

I got a receipt from everyone, without asking! they just popped it in the bag!

  Kat wrote @ October 22nd, 2010 at 20:07

@zoe After living in Greece for 12 years as a non-Greek woman fending for herself, I learned to be a bit more vocal and persistent. Tirades don’t upset me and are easily ignored ;)

@jess I always ask no matter where I am – periptero, pharmacy, gas station. I don’t see why I should pay more tax at the end of the year because someone else is breaking the law.

@constantinos You always remember your first. Miracles can happen.

@maria That’s excellent. Some people in other areas of Greece, such as Thessaloniki, say they haven’t gotten a single one.

  FMS wrote @ October 23rd, 2010 at 00:08

LOL, i wonder if receipts are required for some of the shadier things, like… you know,,, ladies of the night

  Curtis wrote @ October 23rd, 2010 at 02:42

So I take it that you are back in Greece then? I thought you left for other adventures. I’m glad to hear that you are back there so I can hear about all the new happenings.


Kat Reply:

I’ve been notified that there is off-site speculation about my whereabouts, and people are free to make assumptions — right or wrong — based on this receipt. But my private life will remain fiercely shielded, and readers are encouraged to have their own adventures.

This website has always focused on practical information pertaining to Greek bureaucracy and news not otherwise covered in English, not my life. Consider following the Twitter feed to learn what’s happening.

  Christopher wrote @ October 24th, 2010 at 20:46

Hi Kat! Long time no talk!

I just wanted to jump in and add that I was at a laikh agora at plateia attikhs a couple weeks ago, and each vendor that my friend and I made purchases from automatically handed us receipts without needing to be asked. No smiles, however :-p

Kat Reply:

Hi Christopher! LOL, a Greek woman once told me that frowning is cool — which is why she does it — and Americans smile because they are stupid, which is apparently the reason I do it. Well, alrighty then! Sometimes a smile is even harder to find in Greece than a taxpayer. I’m reminded of Big C’s post called, “Smile, or at least fake it.”

Well, at least you got your receipts. ;) And thank you for the info.

  andaman wrote @ January 22nd, 2011 at 00:02

“…and Americans smile because they are stupid…”

Reminds me of people telling me that Americans chew gum, and are therefore stupid…
I used to think this was the reason that Greeks didn’t chew gum. Now I’ve concluded that gum would just clog the straw to the Frappe…
Great blog. Congrats!

Kat Reply:

And if Americans didn’t smile or chew gum, no doubt we’d be called something else. Just can’t win. ;)

Thanks for stopping by!

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