New to Greece
When my husband and I moved to Greece in February 1996, I had to adjust to a different life in a country where I was not able to verbally communicate, as I didn't speak the language. To this day, I am not able to carry on a conversation. I have tried, believe me, to learn Greek. I have gone to four classes, for three months each time, learning the structure of the language, hearing tapes, doing workbooks. I did very well on the written exercises and tests, but when it came to hearing and understanding what was said and speaking in reply, my tongue and brain would not cooperate. I had found this to be true when I was in high school and college when I tried to learn Spanish.
I also had to learn that when my husband and his mother, Maria, were yelling at each other it didn't mean they were fighting and arguing. If she would go into her room and slam the door, it was a fight. If they both broke out laughing at the end, it was just a normal discussion. I never knew which it was until the voices stopped and there was a reaction. I have since found that a lot of the Greeks seem to shout as they speak in normal conversation, both men and women. It makes life interesting sometimes.