When Patricia V. Davis, author of Harlot’s Sauce: A Memoir of Food, Family, Love, Loss, and Greece was a divorced, foreign woman living in Greece she ran her own imports and education business there. But she says that was only doable because she discovered three basic things that banks never bothered to learn before loaning money to this small nation.
Patricia says, “In order to conduct business in Greece, I needed to quickly learn about and work around the following three things:
• The Greek ‘slave mentality’ which basically means that the less work an employee accomplishes in one day, the better he feels about himself.
• Something the Greeks call ‘klopyright’, a made up word which combines the Greek word ‘klepto’ which means ‘steal’, with the word, ‘copyright’. It signifies that stealing something, whether it’s someone else’s idea, or even monies obtained from government or other big institutions through false claims of eligibility or need, is actually a clever and praiseworthy business practice.
• The conviction that foreigners, Americans in particular, are naive, and are therefore easy to fool and deserving of being tricked.
Davis adds, “Banks, corporations, and governments that want to do business with other nations continually make the tragic mistake of assuming that business all over the world is conducted in the same way that it is conducted in their homeland. American corporations in particular take for granted that the business owners everywhere have the same value system as business owners in the United States. Neither is the case; and that goes doubly so for Greece.”
The author and entrepreneur spent seven years running her own imports and education business in Greece and as she puts it, “survived to returned home (to the USA) and write about it.” Her experiences are catalogued in her award-winning book, Harlot’s Sauce: A Memoir of Food, Family, Love, Loss, and Greece.
She hastens to add that the younger generations of Greeks who have traveled outside Greece do not feel this way, and are struggling with the old ideas of the very outdated business practices and elderly government officials, which they rightly believe are destroying any progress the country has made through its membership in the EU.
About Patricia Volonakis Davis
Patricia Volonakis Davis is the award-winning author of Harlot’s Sauce: A Memoir of Food, Family, Love, Loss and Greece,hailed as “a cross between Under the Tuscan Sun and My Big Fat Greek Wedding]”, and as “an inspiring women’s empowerment story”. She is also the editor-in-chief of Harlots’ Sauce Radio, an e-magazine and podcast at http://www.harlotssauce.com. She’s published a broad spectrum of short literary works and poetry nationally and internationally, and is a popular speaker throughout the USA and Greece.