Many Poles today leave their home country to work abroad. But, for some in the world, Poland is the land of opportunity. The current social and economic situation in Greece has led many of its young people to seek better fortunes here. Effie Eleftheriadou, a member of Krakow’s thriving Greek expat community, reports on their experiences in part two of the Krakow Post’s exclusive three-part series. (Part 1)
Greeks are generally very satisfied with their life in Krakow. Green spaces, punctual public transportation, rich cultural life, beautiful architecture, a variety of museums, sophisticated bars and cafés, summer festivals!.. What’s not to like in this vibrant city with such an interesting mix of people?
“I can be at work by bike in 30 minutes!” says Lina, the adventurer of our team who enjoys her free time traveling (just returned from backpacking in South Africa) and dancing Lindy Hop. “I can find cheap tickets for flights abroad!” says Eleni, who is planning her second trip to the Americas in the near future.
The good quality of life that we enjoy in Krakow is recognized by everyone. We are respected at the work place, have good relations with our colleagues and supervisors, and we appreciate the healthy work-life balance. I feel we are all more relaxed living here, but I can’t help thinking that this feeling is only superficial, because our hearts and minds are on those who are left behind fighting their own battles at home.
When the honeymoon period is over…
…you realise there is no sea in Krakow! That’s a common whine among the Greeks, but not much can be done about it. The harsh winters can be a big minus, too (pun intended). Another complaint is about the high rents that sometimes could even be compared to those in the capitals of Western Europe. At the workplace now, many people consider the chances for promotion very low if you are not Polish.
“And what about those long lines to get ice cream?!?” We, Greeks, are an impatient people. Witnessing those long queues outside some Lody Tradycyjne during the warm summer days is beyond us. I hope someday I will overcome my shyness and bring up this topic when I chat with a local…
ALKOHOLE 24! The relationship that Polish people have with alcohol can only be compared to the one that Greeks have with food. I think this is quite straightforward, so I won’t elaborate on that. I just wish I had the power to somehow transform such a sklep that I have at walking distance from my place into SOUVLAKI 24.