In North America, the “let’s go to the bar and have fun” doesn’t exist anymore. Unfortunately everywhere you go, with very few exceptions, bars, cafés and restaurants are just like retail stores that offer their product to consumers.
Mandatory tipping, charging for everything extra (restaurants find creative ways to charge customers for almost everything – I was once charged extra to put Greek Feta in a Greek salad!), the disappearance of “on the house” i.e. treating drinks or shooters from the bartenders, the constant “would you like another drink?” or even taking away your glass before you’re done, picking up the plates (especially when half the group is only done and the other half is still eating), or asking you if you are done over and over again, bringing your bill once you dont want anything else, and of course the high cost for dinner at a nice restaurant, has made me not enjoy the bar/cafés/restaurant scene anymore.
Again, this is not everywhere in the world, nor do all bartenders or waiters do this. But when management has the notion of “turning tables” then you are treated as a customer that goes to a retail store to buy clothes: Come in, find what you like, pay for it, and leave. Simple as that. You are stressed to eat fast, drink fast, order more drinks, pay on the spot or open a tab, and get out. I understand that restaurants and cafés need to make money, but I sometimes feel that we are just suckers that subside the waiters and bartender salaries.
Again, it’s not everywhere and it’s not everyone. But the majority is. I am not blaming the bartenders or waiters for this behaviors since this is the new system of business.
Too stressful for my liking. Other people don’t mind, but I do.
In Greece, things are different. Things are more relaxed. You enjoy your meal, your coffee or your beer. You can sit there for hours, and have a nice long conversation with friends without the constant waiter over your head asking you if you want another beer. “Dude, when I want another beer, I’ll call you!”
This is all good, but what is Greek Life?
Greek Life is just chilling and having a good time! Enjoying your time, with no stress.
Do things and visit places that the locals would. Don’t just visit places that are in the Tourist books, they are great, but those are for tourists. You want to visit places that the locals visit. Go to trendy cafés and bars, amazing restaurants, bouzoukia, visit places and neighborhoods that don’t exist in books.
Make sure you live as a local.
Anywhere you go in Greece, try and enjoy the time to the fullest. No one is chasing you. No one will ask you to leave a table or bar stool, no one will ask you to order another drink. (You will most likely be treated a few drinks if you are a good customer – and they wont do it for tips). Have fun, speak to the locals, understand the way of life.
It’s not about being lazy, it’s just about relaxing and enjoying life… Greek Life!