Thursday, 12 July 2018

QUIZ! So you want to live here...

First things first: Greece's tourist numbers here have crashed through the ceiling. People are dying to come here for a holiday. Among those, there is now a growing number who want to stay longer than their planned holiday. Greece is now looking like the last bastion of paradise on earth. Many people are now looking into retiring here - and they aren't even Greek. If you are one of those people, can you hack the pace?

The Venetian port in Chania, earlier this month

This all sounds quite paradoxical since we are still hearing/reading stories in the mainstream media that many Greeks are still trying to find a way to leave the country due to unemployment and lack of opportunities. Just last week, it was predicted by the Greek statistics office that Greece's population is projected to fall by 30% by 2080. Sounds about right - if one presumes that absolutely nothing will change. Yet, we should all know by now that nothing remains stable these days and everything does actually change so quickly. Add to this the extremely negative reporting on the part of the global mass media about the end of the Greek memoranda - few want to believe it (such misery poos that most people are these days), even though Alexis Tsipras wore a tie, as he promised he would when this happened, after his party grabbed power in January 2015.

The conclusion: Greece remains an enigma at best. Such an outcome will not be very helpful for those non-residents who are trying to find a way to make a decision on how and when - and if - they can live here on a more permanent basis.

I've devised a little FUN quiz to assist you in your decision-making. The quiz is intended to give you a Greek idea about wanting to spend a long period of time in a country you do not know very well but have obviously been attracted to. I stressed the word FUN: remember that I am not a life coach; I'm just having a bit of fun. Keep in mind that I am living live in  a place where many people dream of retiring.

The quiz is not intended for young people looking to take an extended holiday here, or wondering if they can start their career here. If you have money, you can take all the holidays you want; otherwise, Greek employment opportunities are all about low paid contract work or government positions which only Greeks can apply for, generally speaking, or you work for yourself and you take what you can get. Nor is this post intended for people who have are greek or have a Greek spouse, and/or have inherited property here. If you have money and family in Greece - an added bonus is to have Greek heritage - then everything is possible.

SO: Are you (really) one of those people who can hack the Greek pace of life? How (really) likely would you be able to live here long-term?

1. What are you most looking forward to when you retire? What do you think you will be doing in Greece most of all?
A. spending time with the family
B. experiencing the good life at retirement age
C. living a low-key lifestyle (cooking, gardening, hobbies, staycationing)
D. socialising, eating out, joining clubs, etc to keep active

2. Where do you want to live in Greece when you retire?
A. in a villa-style large purpose-built house with a pool and landscaped garden
B. in a comfortable apartment with all the basic amenities and a good sized balcony
C. in an old home in a mountain village (I will be renovating the house)
D. in rental accommodation - I don't want to buy property

3. How long do you want to be in Greece continuously throughout the year?
A. all year round - this will be my permanent home
B. most of the year - I will travel in and out of the country for various reasons (work, family, holiday, etc)
C. 6 months here and 6 months there (where I used to live)
D. less than 6 months here, and more time elsewhere

4. How well do you know the Greek language?
A. I'm Greek heritage and I speak it with family
B. I don't speak or read Greek at all
C. I can understand signs and some headlines, I can order food and do my shopping, but I can't read a formal document and I don't always catch what people are saying around me
D. I don't really understand spoken or written Greek but I studied Ancient Greek at school

5. What kind of people do you get along best with?
A. I get along with everyone
B. I'm a bit of a loner
C. I like to be around friends
D. I like to be close to family

6. How worried are you about getting ill while living in Greece?
A. I'm quite healthy so I don't think I'll need to use the local healthcare services.
B. I'm quite healthy but if I need medical care, I'll go back home for healthcare services.
C. I prefer private healthcare services.
D. I will use public healthcare services wherever I find myself.
E. other: ..................................................................................................................................

7. What is your preferred mode of transport?
A. I always use public bus services
B. I always own a car
C. I prefer to be driven
D. I like to walk

8. How important is weather to you?
A. Very important - I don't like the cold.
B. Not so important - I'm used to cold weather.
C. Insignificant - I'm not migrating for better weather conditions.
D. Extreme temperatures make me very uncomfortable

9. How much money do you believe you will be able to spend per YEAR and per PERSON while you are living in Greece?
A. €8,000-€10,000 at the most
B. no more than €15,000
C. at least €20,000
D. more than €20,000

10. Where do you want to be buried if you die?
A. Knock on wood!
B. I don't care - I'm dead.
C. I have taken care of that aspect.
D. I expect my family to take care of that.

How would you feel if:
11. you saw a limping cat on the road?
A. I would feel sorry for it but I wouldn't do anything else.
B. I would report it to the local authorities.
C. I would take it home and look after it and then I'd ask someone to foster it.
D. I would try to locate the closest SPCA.

12. a gypsy woman asked you to buy a rose while you are dining at a taverna?
A. I would check that my purse isn't missing.
B. I would ask her to leave.
C. I would buy the rose.
D. I would ignore her.

13. you see your neighbour hosing down her balcony if every day?
A. I would suppose this is a sign of cleanliness for him/her.
B. I would be shocked that s/he is wasting so much water.
C. I would worry that s/he thinks I'm not as clean as her/him.
D. I don't see what the problem is.

14. you suddenly feel you're having breathing difficulties/you broke your leg and you are alone?
A. I'd start screaming and call for help.
B. I'd wait until help arrived to explain that I need help.
C. I'd try to find my phone to call someone.
D. I'd be very worried.

15. you are at someone's house and they ask you to dine with them - and they present you with a dish of snails?
A. I'd try them.
B. I'd place the dish as far away form me as possible.
C. I'd tell them I don't eat snails.
D. I'd leave the plate in front of me but I won't eat them.

16. you are driving along in the countryside and you come across a pile of trash on the roadside?
A. I would suppose this is a local dumpster.
B. I would be shocked that rubbish is being left on public spaces..
C. I would go and check out what has been dumped: one person's rubbish is another's treasure.
D. I don't see what the problem is.

17. you bought an ice cream from the canteen at the beach and you can't find a recycling bin to throw the wrapper into it (there is only an 'all-purpose' trash bin)?
A. I'd chuck it in the all-purpose trash bin.
B. I'd be shocked that the council/business did not think of placing a recycling bin in the vicinity.
C. I would ask the canteen where the nearest recycling bin is.
D. I don't see what the problem is.

18. you saw a neighbour pulling up a flower bed that you had planted on the roadside just to brighten up the area?
A. I'd ask her why s/he did that.
B. I'd plant some more at a later time.
C. I'd be horrified that someone could be so callous.
D. I'd ignore him/her.

19. you've run out of gingernut biscuits?
A. I'd order some more off ebay.
B. I'd buy some cinnamon biscuits.
C. I'd ask other people where I could buy some.
D. I'd ask someone to bring me some when they next came to visit me from abroad.

20. it's a 40-degree-Celsius day and you've got friends visiting from abroad who had planned to walk from Souyia to Loutro that day because they are leaving Greece the next day (they live in Alaska)?
A. Wish them luck and wait for them to return.
B. Warn them about heatstroke/fatigue in overly hot temperatures, and let them decide what to do.
C. Tell them to come back next year to do the walk and suggest something else to do instead.
D. Tell them to stay at home in the aircon or go to a beach or visit a pool.

How important to life quality are these things to you?
31. noise levels?
A. Extremely important
B. Quite important
C. Not very important
D. Insignificant

32. a holiday once a year away from home?
A. Extremely important
B. Quite important
C. Not very important
D. Insignificant

33. seeing family regularly?
A. Extremely important
B. Quite important
C. Not very important
D. Insignificant

34. drinking alcohol?
A. Extremely important
B. Quite important
C. Not very important
D. Insignificant

35. fast removal of unwanted graffiti?
A. Extremely important
B. Quite important
C. Not very important
D. Insignificant

36. following health and safety regulations?
A. Extremely important
B. Quite important
C. Not very important
D. Insignificant

37. road safety?
A. Extremely important
B. Quite important
C. Not very important
D. Insignificant

38. paying taxes?
A. Extremely important
B. Quite important
C. Not very important
D. Insignificant

39. maintaining a flower garden?
A. Extremely important
B. Quite important
C. Not very important
D. Insignificant

40. swimming pools?
A. Extremely important
B. Quite important
C. Not very important
D. Insignificant

Finally, what would you do if:
41. a war involving Greece broke out?
A. get on  the next plane out of the country before the airports close.
B. stay where I am.

42. your partner died?
A. I'd feel very lost and lonely in a foreign country.
B. stay where I am

(Hope you had FUN doing the quiz; my analysis in my next post.)

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