Some days ago, I texted a friend in Athens, asking to meet for a morning coffee. It was about 10:30 am. The answer was… “oh no, I don’t leave the house before 11 for coffee ever… and even then, 1 is better for a morning coffee.”
My first arguement with a friend over the term ‘afternoon’, was quite interesting. The term actually varies a bit. Here it is anywhere from 4 until 7. Some of that depends on working hours. It also has to do with daily life broken by a mid day (2-4) siesta.
So, when someone says, yes, let’s meet in the afternoon or evening… I always ask… what time is that for you? (I always get that, so you are a wise ass American right now, look).
So from what I have gathered among my varied friend’s lives here, the time of days relate to these hours:
- Early morning (6-9) Πρωί Πρωί, pro-E pro-E
- Morning (9-noon) Πρωί, pro-E
- Midday (Noon till about 3) Μεσημέρι, messy-MERRY
- Siesta (2-4 Never call anyone at home during this time)
- Afternoon (4-7) Απόγευμα, ah-POE-yev-mah
- Early evening (5-8) Βραδάκι, vrah-THAH-key
- Evening (7-11) Βράδυ, vrah-THEE
- Night (10- early morning/morning) Νύκτα, NEEK-tah
Of course not all people here do siestas, or stay up late, or wake late in the day… jobs have a lot to do with this just like anyplace in the world.
But there is a definite structure that is assumed for the most part. Banks, goverment offices, and even some stores are open from 8-2. Some stores re-open on some days from 5-9. (There is that siesta or late midday lunch thing).
Weekends are up in the air like everyplace. However, no banks are open. No Saturday mail delivery. Most stores are only open Saturday (including grocery stores!) and close around 5-8. Sundays are for the most part, family days. It reminds me of my life growing up in the US when blue laws still existed. There are a few exceptions to these. Special grocery stores that are open every day, but not 24/7, and with higher prices and less selection (think 7 11 but bigger).
How does this tie in to kefi? Well, there is a big emphasis on family time. Quality time. Time to enjoy life.
The exception is that the crisis has made many Greeks work more than one job. Longer hours. Less pay. But even with that, unless you work in a tourist area, or at an eating/drinking establishment, Sundays are not work days.