10 Things You Should Never Say In Crete Greece
Hello there my dear reader, I hope you and your family are safe, healthy and doing well. As the COVID-19 crisis, is slowly getting under control, we here in Greece will start seeing some visitors, and especially on the islands like Crete, Kefalonia, Mykonos, Santorini, and many other Greek islands. It has been announced that Cafes and restaurants will reopen from the 25th of May. In today’s article, I would like to share with you 10 things you should never say in Crete Greece as a tourist.
If you have never been to Greece before, this article will be super helpful to you, so sit back grab a cup of coffee/tea and Let’s get started. So just recently our dear neighbor had a visit from one of her nieces, the niece had a beautiful little baby with her, and I went to say hello as I could see them from the balcony where husband and I were sited, I said let me go and say hi to the baby ( I love babies)
So I said hello and complimented the mother on her beautiful baby, then I asked what the name of the baby was. I am sure you are wondering why I am telling you all this and what this has to do with the article. I promise I am not wasting your time, I know time is precious, I am trying to give context to the number one thing that you should never say in Crete, and that is, you should not ask the name of a newborn baby.
Never Ask The Name Of A New Born Baby
When I asked for the name I was told for now the baby is just Moro ( means baby in Greek) and then I was told that I will be notified of the name after the baby’s christening, it’s not allowed to say the name until the baby has been christened. To be honest I was not aware of this fact prior to that day.
So if you happened to see a cute baby and want to say hello, do so and compliment the parents but refrain from asking the name especially if the baby is very small, because chances are the christening hasn’t taken place yet. So avoid that awkward situation.
Can I Have A Turkish Coffee?
OK, this one is a no-no, and not only here in Greece but in any Greek restaurant around the world, thou shalt not order a Turkish coffee in a Greek restaurant. Although the coffee is quite similar, you should not call it Turkish coffee, it’s Greek coffee.
If you don’t want your coffee to end up like the one in the image above, do not order Turkish coffee in a Greek Restaurant and vice versa lol.
Can I Have A Serviette?
Updating the article on November 9th, 2020. I know the list is supposed to contain ten items but I had to add this today because I just learned it. Although in English A serviette refers to a napkin or a towelette used for wiping one’s face at the dining table, In Greek it could be translated as a sanitary pad.
It’s funny because, in Kenya where I am from if you ask for a napkin in a restaurant, it could be translated as a baby diaper. The parents who use reusable cloth diapers on their babies in Kenya, they call them napkins. so in Kenya, we say serviettes, but in Greece, it’s better to say napkins or paper towels.
So Do You Guys Still Think Zeus Is Like The Coolest God?
Although Greece is very famous for its Mythology and ancient gods, you should not bring up the subject of worshiping the ancient gods. Greece is a highly religious country with Christianity being the dominant faith Greek Orthodox is the main denomination, here in Greece and there are Churches everywhere.
To be honest I have never seen a place with so many churches, of the same denomination. So by bringing up the subject of ancient gods, you could offend some people. I actually think the best thing is to just avoid the religious topic altogether.
All This Oil In Food Can’t Be Healthy, How Many Calories Does it Contain?
Now, before you start planning your vacation to Greece, you need to understand one thing, the reason why Mediterranean cuisine is so special is because of the use of olive oil in cooking and in almost everything. So when you order food in a traditional Greek taverna, keep in mind that you are going to consume a considerable amount of olive oil.
As a matter of fact, when they bring you the bread, there will be no butter and don’t even bother asking for butter. In Greece the bread is eaten with olive oil, I actually have a Greek neighbor who told me that she only buys butter if she is making something that needs butter, like cake.
Otherwise, she uses olive oil on her bread even on toast for breakfast.
When you order Greek salad, it will have a good amount of olive oil and feta cheese, you will also have extra olive oil on the side just in case you want to add some more.
As A Tourist Or A Foreigner Living In Greece Never Say Malaka
Although this word is used a lot among Greek friends ( mainly guys) You as a tourist should never use this word because it’s extremely offensive. Even the Greeks who use it among themselves, it’s people who are very close friends and are sure that they will not offend one another.
Even though it’s the most used word in Greece, it’s better to avoid it because it can be easily be taken out of context, and cause trouble.
In other words, if two Greek guys are not close friends, they will not use this word on each other. I have observed when my husband gets too comfortable and uses it, I can see by their body language, that they don’t appreciate it but they just let it slide, because he is a foreigner and he has lived here for many years. So I guess they figure he is just trying to be one of the guys lol
But I can still see that they are not totally comfortable with him using it. Click Here to learn the full definition of Malaka, because I cannot list the meanings here as the post will have too many bad words and Google might not like seeing that lol, but I will say this, one of the meanings suggest that one has pleasured himself so much that his brain has gone soft.
And also a woman should never call a guy a Malaka, no matter how close they are and vice versa, basically it’s safe to just avoid this word, just leave it to the Greeks because only they know how to use the word. I have never used the word ever, apart from today on this post.
When I leave Greece My Next Stop Is Istanbul, No It’s Not.
Your next stop is Konstantinopoli. This is another sensitive subject, the Turkish city known by most as Istanbul, here in Greece is called Konstantinopoli, and, actually Here In Greece no Greek calls it Istanbul unless they are talking to a foreigner.
The name has strong ties to the Christian faith, and Greek Orthodox Church so that is why they would rather call it by its original name which means the city of Constantin. As a matter of fact, don’t be surprised if when flying from any part of Greece to Istanbul, you will be informed that you are flying to Konstantinopoli. Generally, all topics concerning Turkey and Greece should be avoided by tourists because they are quite sensitive topics.
And the same goes for Macedonia, the Republic of Macedonia and the Greek region of Makedonia, has raised many disagreements so as a tourist just avoid this subject altogether and stick to fun subjects, so your vacation can be pleasant, and you don’t offend your hosts.
Can You Teach Me Some Greek Words?
OK, so this one is not gonna get you in trouble as such, but Greeks like it when tourists ask to be taught a few words in Greek. In my opinion, Greek is one of the most difficult languages in the world. Some Greek words are quite long and quite complicated to pronounce.
So if you ask a Greek person to teach you a few words in Greek, rather than going for words like Gia sou (hi) kalimera good morning they will probably find the most difficult word to pronounce and then they will sit back and enjoy as you struggle to say the word lol. By the way, did you know that the longest word in Greek contains over 170 letters? I hope they don’t make you say that one lol
They might go for ilektroenkefalografimatos(electroencephalogram)
Do We Have To Eat Feta All The Time In Everything?
In Greece Feta Cheese is used in many recipes, I actually wrote an article about desserts that you should try in Greece and believe it or not Feta Cheese found it’s way to my desert list. So don’t be surprised to find Feta in many dishes, by asking why is Feta in everything could be offensive because This Cheese is the most famous Greek cheese so it’s better to say you don’t eat cheese than to insult the king of Greek cheeses.
Which Island Should I Visit Next?
I think the best thing to do is to go to Google and find which Greek islands you would like to visit because if you ask a Greek, they will probably suggest you visit the islands where they are from or have friends or relatives. Because to them that is the best Greek Island lol.
They will also suggest that you visit a particular taverna and mention their name, that is because the taverna is owned by a cousin, or even a brother, so they will want you to visit there because it’s very nice.
I Love Your Shoes/Hat
When you compliment someone, they might take it that you would love to have the object, and therefore, there is a chance that they could just hand it to you. I remember once I told someone that I liked her shoes and she gave them to me. I tried really hard to say no but it didn’t work.
One thing you should keep in mind is that once a Greek person decides to give you something, you might as well just take it because you will not be able to refuse lol. But I have noticed when I try to give someone something, it’s very hard to convince them to take it. I think they like giving but they don’t like taking, it’s quite interesting.
I remember on my birthday last year, I was given a very beautiful gift by a Greek lady friend of mine, then when it was her birthday, I decided to get her something, it was very difficult for me to convince her to accept the gift, I even told her if she doesn’t accept my gift, then in the future I will not accept her’s, that worked.
When visiting a country, it’s wise to learn a few things about the people and the culture, so you don’t offend people or be insensitive to sensitive matters. And for that reason, I think today’s article could be very useful to someone who is planning to travel to Crete and Greece at large.
I sure hope you enjoyed my post, if so why not drop me a line or two in the comment section? have you ever been to Greece, and if so have you ever found yourself in awkward situations for saying the wrong thing? I look forward to your answers.
Thank you for your time.