Anytime I am travelling, I try to not only explore as much as possible being in a different country, I am also convinced that you should meet and connect to local people.
Actively approach them, get to know them, show honest interest, ask them about their culture, be open minded and always friendly. And do not expect them to approach you. You will have to make the first step. This includes trying to speak their language. Yes, it feels awkward because you are out of your comfort zone. Just get over it. I promise you, it is worth the experience.
Today I met a family in Pelion, Greece. We chatted a bit while we were waiting for the train. They loved my story that I am travelling all by myself through Europe – with Fiete of course – and they wanted to hear more about my adventures. So they invited me for lunch at their place.
Even though we didn’t communicate well in English and my Greek is limited to the following few words and sentences, I could feel the positive connection among us trying to let gestures, facial expressions and hands speak for us. I was overwhelmed by their warm and open hospitality and would not want to miss out on this unique experience. As you know already, I am a big fan of Greece and its people – even before I started my trip through Europe, and my expectations have been exceeded by far.
Long story short, here is my list of Greek words and sentences you have to know.
Thank You: Efharistó
How are you?: Pos íste?
What’s your name?: Pós sas léne?
My name is…: Me léne …
Where are you from?: Apó pu íste?
I am from…: Eíme apó…
Good morning: Kaliméra sas
Good evening: Kalispéra
Good bye: Ya su
Have a nice day: Náse kalá!
Have a nice meal: Kalí óreksi!
I don’t know: Den xéro̱
Do you speak English?: Miláte angliká?
Excuse me: Me sinhorís
How much is this?: Pósa kostízi aftó?
Where is the bathroom?: Pu íne i tualéta?
Get well soon: Perastiká
Practice and get out of your comfort zone. And have fun of course.