Expat zone
Posted on: Jul 18, 2014

Greek vs Greek


This post is also available in Greek

Us Greeks consider our selves quite liberal, open minded and not at all racist. That is due to the mini brainwashing that we have been submitted over the years. We gave so graciously so many things to the world, democracy, sports, language, mathematics, medicine, the theater, philosophy, what more do they want? We are heirs and we have inherited our ancient ancestors super genes, which unfortunately in the end, don’t quite perform miracles just by being there.

And all of us that managed to escape this story came here filled with pride to make a difference, get paid better, live like Europeans, have free time (!) and “teach” them how its done! We came with our “Greek attitude”, they only thing they taught us back home.

And it might sound bad, but I realized that I am not a direct descendant of Pericles or Leonidas, but of my grandpa and grandma that came ripped by war from Mikra Asia & East Turkey, and the slap of reality was strong.

It didn’t came from the locals, but from my own people. “My people”, the people that have not learned to set their differences aside.

I don't hang out with Greeks

I hear daily from Greeks that happen to live in the Netherlands.

Because I am better than them

they think to themselves.

Because I had to sacrifice a lot to come here, become a European, travel the world and get away from the label of “lazy fraudster” that people have stuck on me.
Becuase here I have the option to forget that I am Greek and I can re introduce myself as a European.

I’ve caught myself lighting up a cigarette, standing in front of the window, looking out, feeling great satisfaction that I managed at least so far to stand on top of things and consider myself proudly a “European citizen”. I’ve caught myself forget how everything was back home, all the crap I went through, the countless work hours, the money that were never paid even thought the work was done, the behavior that was so many times unacceptable, the vacations that were never taken due to no time and no money.

A lot of complexes which in combination with the anxiety and the requirements for living here, are just becoming gigantic.

I don’t work with Greeks because they don’t pay and they are cheap

they think with their current experiences.

You are Greek, why do you need the same amount as a Dutch to do the job?

I was once asked by a Dutch

I need advertising for my business but i can pay you with drinks and food, cause i do not have any money
I will pay you whenever i have the money, do not press me

The same story. You think that just because you got here, you automatically earned the right to participate in a market that works better and get paid according to your skills? Wrong! Here, you have to prove that you are worth it, that as Greek in the Netherlands, you have something to offer. And you know you can do it, you’ve worked countless hard hours, hours that the locals cannot even imagine, for less money, horrible conditions, no lunch breaks and no vacation, just work and more work.

Really, is your problem other Greeks? The only people that can realize your situation and all those “bad” feelings you have since you left your country.

I know that it bothers you that you didn’t find a Germany or a Belgium here with organized communities that help and inform new arrives. We are a bit unorganized and selfish here. So, you are her alone, realize that soon. You will look for a home alone, nobody will find you a job and very few will really help you with your issues. Welcome to the updated Greeks of the Netherlands in 2014. The word Filotimo (sense of honor), most times has a price, usually, in Euros.

And yes, there are a lot of fraudsters Greeks here, in the HORECA sector that has been talked about so much but also in other sectors. Many people will try to take advantage of you, but don’t be afraid. You’ve seen this movie again. In Greek, in Turkish, Egyptian, but even Dutch and American.

And yes, I know that it bothers you that this is being done to Greeks by Greeks in such a difficult time.

I don't want Greek customers. I keep Greeks around to “help” them out by giving them some work some time

I was once told by a Greek restaurant owner in Utrecht, that was immediately removed from my client list and from my esteem.

I don’t want these kind of friends or partners. I want all those beautiful Greeks that came here with an open heart and mind and are trying to be themselves. These are the people I want to become my friends. To try and build with them small Greek corners, where everyone can bring their international friends and all can become one big great company.

Because all of us Greeks were born with a huge hug and a heart so sensitive that no one can understand how we feel these difficult days that our country is being sold out, no one, but people like us. And the story doesn’t end here, thing will be harder when the last pennies are gone. We need to find our balance in order to “survive”. We need to learn to respect, learn, forgive and set our egos aside. Because if we all try, we might be able to change something. We are not 1.000.000 here, we are, at most, 35.000 lost souls, dipped in loneliness. Lets finally do something about that.

The photos were taken from my good friend & photo-ninja Thrasos Panou.

Born in Volos in 1980. As a kid was filled many concerns about life. Sports lover, naturalist and big fan of travelling. He has majored in multimedia development and the past few years he's grown passionate for photography and photo editing. His purpose is to offer the world the best images one can shoot and edit. Believes that everybody has an artist inside. It only takes for one to believe in himself. You can find about more at Thrasos website: Thrasivoulos Panou Photography


Designer, marketer & a social media karate kid (No 4). When she grows up, she wants to feed the world with Greek food & Frappe. Admires the yellow angry bird because it strikes its targets with power and precision.