Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Greece We Know and Love... It Happened in Athens...Yesterday!

An American couple arrived at the US Embassy in Athens on Friday 17 June 2011 at about ten minutes to five in the afternoon. 

They were supposed to embark on a cruise this morning, Saturday, and somewhere, at some point, during the day, they had lost one of their passports. 

No passport? No cruise...

He was shaking, she was crying....

In they came, and we were able to process a new passport and get them on their way in an hour or so. 

They were, of course very grateful and thanked us. 

I told them that while we can't always fix things, when we can, we do. It is our job. 

Here is the good part: when they first realized they had lost the passport, they went to the front desk of their hotel. 

The hotel called every single museum, shop, restaurant, etc., that they had visited that day to ask if anyone had found the passport. 

No luck. 

Then the hotel called the embassy to see if it was still open. 

Then, they got them a cab. When they arrived at the embassy, the cab driver offered to wait for them, to see if they could get in. 

When they got the OK from the Embassy and went back out to pay the fare, the driver refused to accept any money from them. 

He would not let them pay. 

The couple told the offficer that they would always remember the day that the wonderful people of Athens saved their vacation of a lifetime. 

So, on their behalf, 

Thank you Athens. Greece's legendary hospitality is alive and well!

"No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted!" 

We agree 100%! 

We are so glad to see that despite the economic crisis Greece retains its legenday hospitality and its sense of values.

Please feel free to share this great little story. We loved it and thank the US Embassy officer for telling it and Sharon C for passing it on...

Wish we knew the name of the hotel and the taxi driver too...


  1. AnonymousJune 19, 2011

    Bravo Ellada!!! always proud of Greece no matter what!

  2. A heart-warming story, thanks for sharing this with us. We certainly need a bit more light shining out of the dark

  3. Thanks Anonymous and Heather for the is one of those wonderful feel good stories that reflect the real values of Greece... we need as many of those as we can get in these times where the economic doom and gloom seems to have taken over our reality to such an extent that some of us have forgotten what it is to be human...

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Yes, it reflects the Greece, as well as what it really means to be "Greek," that we know and love! And let's not forget that there is an "Inner Greece" in all of us! OPA!

  5. Thank you Alex... there is indeedan inner Grece in all of us, we just need to find it...!

  6. AnonymousJune 26, 2011

    How is it Greek hospitality if the people who helped them were not Greek? They stayed at an American brand hotel where the American way of service is applied and got the passport from the U.S. Embassy in Athens, where staff are Americans. You can't even confirm if the taxi driver was Greek. I love how Greeks/Greece take credit for things that are positive and label everything else anti-Greek. Your entire blog is an example of that.

  7. Dear Anonymous,
    Thank you for visiting and for taking the time to write.

    Although we don't usually publish anonymous comments we did with this one so that we could ask whether you know something we don't since your certainty seems to imply deep knowledge of the incident...

    Thank you for the compliment about our blog whose mission, in brief, is to showcase the positive side of all things Greek.

    If you want to read negative things about Greece there are plenty of other sites you can go to...

    To read more about GGW and what we are trying to do click on About Us.

  8. AnonymousJuly 07, 2011

    Hey, Mr. Negative.

    It seems you are not Greek. So keep you negative comments to yourself. By the way what background are you? Cold Brit,Nasty French, Harsh Russian,or a total mutt? I have traveled to many countries, only on Greece have I experienced this kind of hospitality . Only in Greece when we could not find our way did someone take the time to not only explain where we made our mistake but actually took us to our destination!! Thank God for the Greeks!! As they said in the movie, while The Greeks were inventing everything, the rest of your were still scratching your behinds in the fields!!

  9. Thank you for your contribution and for confirming what we have seen put in practice many times everywhere in Greece... after all, we are proud to say that filoxenia = hospitality is a Greek word...and literally translates as a 'friend (filo) to strangers (xenoi)' :)

  10. PS There are many British, French, Russians and many other nationalities who love Greece by the way and keep coming back to Greece each or two negative comments shouldn't allow us to cast the rest of the people in a disparaging light especially as the negative comment came from someone actually reading the blog in Athens. It is a democracy and we are all entitled to a different viewpoint so long as it is within the limits of respectability...

  11. Thank you for posting this story GGW, altohugh i have an uncoditional love for the mother land, I would like to add that i grew up with the notion that when i put out my hand it is to give and not take, i thnk my mother for that and without her guidance i would be less of a man.It seems that along the way some of our people have lost their way and these corrupt politicians and the likes have added another burden that all the Greeks must carry on their shoulders both here and abroad some have lost their sense of community so i would like to add something for all of you to think of, i read on Gergios Karaiskakis monument in Athens recently, and i suggest we Greeks follow his words to the letter if we want our future elinopoula to have a chance in this world "EGO PETHENO KAI ESOIS NA ESIOE MONIASMENI KAI NA BASTIXETE THN PATRIDA" We hid our children for nearly 400 years and retained our religion and language and all our customs and beliefs,we must sacrifice again or our forefather past sacrifices have been in vain. Zito h patrida kai na mas exi o theos olous kala.

  12. Thank you very much for your comment JTZ - so so true. It is only when we Greeks are united and moniasmenoi that we can achieve great heights as our history - both recent and past - has shown. Zito i patrida mas!


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