Posted by: nikusjka | June 24, 2013

Service in Greece… and Cyprus

I thought for a while about how to start this post. But after it took almost 30 minutes and several nerve cells for my Fredo Espresso to reach my hands this weekend, I can`t keep it any longer only to myself.

Living in Greece makes you spoiled in a way. It gets you used to great coffees, delicious food and, most importantly, fast, polite but at the same time casually nice service. Most people think that Greeks are lazy, slow and not willing to work. Well, my dear friends, it depends with whom you compare.

There is this Greek word φιλοξενία (filoksenia), that literally means “love of strangers”. In official translation it`s “hospitality”, but in reality it`s much more than that. Filoksenia is a generosity of spirit, a joyful kind of the-best-of-what’s-mine-is-yours attitude in which Greeks take great pride. They enjoy it. Why did I bring it up? Because that`s a part of a character of every Greek. Therefore when you go to taverna, cafeteria or a restaurant, you many times feel like home. Waiters are not stiff or serious, or too giggly and distracted. They are doing their job with knowledge, pride, but at the same time willing to make you happy. And it all flows so natural that I really think they don`t even make an effort… 🙂 I generalize here a little bit, so don`t start throwing rocks at me straight away. But overall that`s what kind of feeling I get after living in Athens.

So imagine now me, being in Cyprus. A small island country in Mediterranean. Most people would think that it doesn`t differ a lot from Greece, or some people are even sure it`s a Greek island. But you know what? Since I`m here I start to feel that Greek word “filoksenia” doesn`t really mean the same in Cyprus. Or sometimes I even think they don`t know about existence of this word.
Cypriots are nice people, kind and all. But when it comes to service….. OMG. Like really. From the places I`ve been to, there are very few which had nice service and a waiter was Cypriot! From the meaning “filoksenia”, that I`ve mentioned above, feels like Cypriots took the word “pride” and forgot everything else. In the beginning I thought it was only me being so skeptical. So to be fair I`ve asked several friends of mine, who moved to Cyprus as well, and everyone had a very similar experience.

So my dear Cypriots, you`re nice and all, but the only good service we can get on this island is from foreigners. I think there is really something you forgot to learn from Greeks.



  1. With the turn of the millennium, PRIDE saw ups and downs in its businesses and management. PRIDE attempted to redefine the business model by creating management-holding, inmate placement and business development companies. In June, 2004, the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) and the State Attorney General recommended that all relationships with these companies be severed. This controversy led to the resignations of PRIDE’s CEO, Pam Davis, and President, John Bruels. PRIDE ended its relationship with its service provider and brought all management and corporate functions back in house.

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