Greeks and Personal Space
Our friend, the ornithologist Milica Ivovic, has lived on Crete for several years. She told us something which we had been noticing on a subliminal level: While the personal space of an average westerner (the radius of empty space they need between themselves and someone else in order to feel comfortable) averages at about 50cm, it tends towards zero for most Greeks!
Being touched on the arm or shoulder, even by someone you’ve just met, or even getting a friend-of-a-friends legs resting over your thighs as people lounge around, is simply the way things are. Whether you feel offended, or that your personal space is being encroached, or whether you feel made particularly welcome and like part of the family – well, that’s really up to you. Our tip: Don’t push things, just be true to your own nature and culture, and respond to events in a friendly and honest way.
We were there for two weeks, and did our utmost to be respectful, helpful guests – and because of that ended up more than just guests. Do please remember that such a good relationship cannot be expected as a right, it must be earned and built – a natural process at Taverna Koulieris!
The Koulieris Family
Georgios Koulieris was born and raised in Anopoli. In Mytilene, Lesbos he met his rumanian wife Mirela Tsoumenis, while they both worked there; after a whirlwind romance she accompanied him back to Anopoli. Together they have an unbelievably winning daughter Sofia – a real angel!