Maud wrote:No problem of disposing of our income either Warwick!
Friends of ours stayed in the mountains at Zaros in October. (In one of the hotels). My friend is tall and blond.....quite Germanic looking. She rang me and said that she didn't find the locals very friendly. She has smiled at people but hardly anyone smiled back. She had even found one shopkeepera bit 'off hand'. I told her to speak to people to show she was English. She went in to the same shop that afternoon and got talking to the elderly chap who owned it, - and said she was English. Whilst she browsed the shelves he had put olive soap, mountain tea and a few other bits and pieces on the counter for her. She didn't like to say she didn't want the stuff, so went to pay for everything. - He refused her money for the items he had put out and said it was 'a gift for his English friend!' (Many older Greeks have long memories!). I explained to her that everyone probably thought she was German previously, which is why they hadn't bothered to smile or speak to her. We used to have the same reaction in the late 1970's early 1980's as both my husband and I were blond in those days, (grey now!) and our two young children were 'white blond.' We soon knew it was best to acknowledge everyone in Greek....and say 'Eimai Ellhnika.'
It would be wrong for me to imply that all Greeks no longer like the Germans......but certainly there is still resentment held in various regions of Greece. I do not know Pylos, so cannot comment on that area. As for motorhomers not spending money locally, I think they spend a lot more than people on 'all inclusive' holidays! Many eat locally every night, and even if they eat in their vans, they have to buy the food and drink somewhere. It is why the 'Aire' system is set up in France.......to bring the vans to the villages so that it brings business to the local shops.......and it works! - I am not convince the Pylos residents were unfriendly just because the visitors were in motorhomes! If they were, then it is a shame, as most motorhomers 'spend well' locally, just like people in self catering holiday accommodation.
I had this in Italy all the time ! Shopkeepers and restaurant workers thinking I was German and when I asked if they had a certain item and them replying Nein or Nicht .I supposed it`s the blue eyes and lighter coloured hair .I made damn sure they they knew I was English .