My favourite Greek phrases, and a note about Greek waiters

I learned these 2 phrases from Greek waiters, and I love them:

“No problem”
“Of course”

A note about Greek waiters – they are much more polite than North Americans are used to, and so this can cause problems. You see, mostly they will not bring the cheque or bill until requested. This is because they don’t want to seem to be urging you to leave the restaurant, an important cultural difference when you are in a country where the evening meal can take hours to enjoy. In North America we expect the bill to arrive close to the time when we finish eating. In Greece, it will never arrive until you ask for it. If you don’t understand this, you can get really frustrated. Some corollaries – you have to signal a waiter if you think you want dessert – they won’t automatically come and ask you. You also have to signal and ask for a refill on your coffee. Warning – it’s treated, and billed as another cup of coffee. Finally, once you have received your bill, the waiter will not come to pick up your payment until you signal them, even if you think that your money or credit card is in plain site. Just give them a wave or the universal sign for paying, you know, imitating a signature. If you don’t learn this, you may never get out of the restaurant…

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