Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hospitality and Service In Greece

Fruit man Astakos

In Greece, I was really surprised that most of the people working restaurants are middle-aged or old men. In Asia and maybe in many other countries, waiters and waitresses are recuited young to attract customers but not in Greece. Most people I talked to said that these men have been working in restaurants since then were very young and love that job and don't bother to try different jobs.


Of course they are very familiar with everything about their restaurants. They know exactly what to do and where things are. Some of them were very funny. I loved talking to them as they always have different stories to tell you even though some times, I didn't really understand at all.


Unfortunately, we experienced some misunderstanding with Greece's tourist information offices, too. The problem was that because we were travelling in the season just after high season, many of the timetables had changed but the office staff were still giving out outdated information. As a result, a few times we missed ferries or buses and this also meant we had to pay for extra accommodation. Oh well, that's something we need to learn and part of the experience for the next trip.


In the shops in Greece, the shop assistants were all interested in Western people but not so interested in me. It was really funny as I was shopping a lot when I was there. A western man or woman would walk past a shop and receive very special greetings but when I walked past these sellers didn't say a thing. Some of them were quite rude but I responded by simply walking out of the shop. They lost my interest but I hope they change their attitude for their future business as Asian people shop alot when they travel as their culture is shopping for souvenirs for their family and friends.

Anyway, been there, done that, bought the T-shirt.


Anonymous said...

Very different compare to Viet Nam and Asia where most restaurants are hire young handsome guys and beautiful girls to do the job. Keep up the great work Mr Godknows.

Unknown said...

Good observation. I noticed the same too but didn't think about it. I think in the West, if you are not well to do in your old age, you'll have to work to earn a living. Whereas, in Asia, children will take care of their parents as they get older.

As for shopping in Greece, we didn't experience any discrimination. In fact they tried to lure us into their shop quite often because they thought we were Japanese. Perhaps, you're young and single, so they assumed differently?

Anonymous said...

Look at it as an advantage! You can be anyone you want while traveling especially if you are multilingual. As a student, I travelled often in Europe by Eurail and backpack. I was always anonymous among my fellow Americans who are generally English speaking only. I enjoyed it. People selling to tourist are generally interested in your money only, so you can avoid all the hassle. Your blog is one of the most informative of all the Vietnam blogs. You write like an expat but you have local understanding!!

Van Cong Tu said...

Hi all, thanks for commenting on my blog.
Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

The reason Greeks don't say hello to you in their shops because they know Asians bargain hard. Most Americans just pay the asking price whereas Asians want to buy authentic Gucci bags but pay at basement prices and that's already on sale for 50% off.