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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

My husband and I moved to Athens a month ago with our 10 month old daughter. With my husband working all hours (is this normal in Greece?) and the unpacking done I am hoping to find anyone in the area who can give me the lowdown on Pefki/Marousi/Kiffisia and answer some of my questions on Greece in general (e.g. are there any road rules in this country? Do the Greeks really go without breakfast and first eat at 2pm? Which are the better supermarkets? Where can you buy basil and decent salted butter? How do I find a doctor for my daughter if needed?!!)

Does anyone know of any English speaking playgroups running in the northern suburbs? My daughter is keen to find some little friends.

We also want to start learning Greek so would love to know if anyone can recommend any courses/tutors/internet resources etc.

Thanks in advance.

Claire, Rikjan and Lauren
 

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Hi Claire,
Welcome to the forum and to Athens :) I'm in the center, not in the northern suburbs, but I can try a few of your questions :)

Breakfast... hehe that depends on the person - certainly it is true that LOTS of Greeks have only coffee for breakfast, a snack around 10:00am (this meal is called dekatiano), and then lunch (the largest meal of the day) in the mid-day. However, there are still MANY Greeks who eat breakfast - my fiance is very Greek, and would never leave the house for work without breakfast!

Basil: do you mean fresh or dried? Dried basil should be available at your local farmers' market (and fresh as well, in season) and of course in the supermarket spice aisle. Fresh basil is generally only available as a plant, and in season, but in the summer it is everywhere and very cheap. If you're looking for fresh basil now, I don't know where to get it, I tend to just use a ton of it in the summer and then dried in the winter.

Supermarkets: if you're looking for big ones with lots of variety, Carrefour Marinopoulos and Vasilopoulos (also sometimes called "Alfa Vita") are the two most reliable chains, especially for more international foods. I NEVER purchase fruits/vegetables at supermarkets and would recommend to anyone else to avoid them as well - the farmers' markets have much higher quality, far greater variety, and much lower prices. If you can't wait til the next farmers' market (although you'll get very good at planning how much you need of everything) rely on your local green grocer instead of the supermarkets. You'll probably notice that frozen and canned [tinned] foods are much more expensive in Greece than in other places - just get the fresh stuff instead :)

Butter: I don't know much about butter, but the popular Danish butter Lurpak is available in salted and unsalted varieties. If that's not high enough quality, I bet the high-end delicatessens would have what you're looking for (for example in Kifissia). Personally I haven't bought butter in years, we only use oil hehe.

Well, I hope you get the answers to your other questions.... About playgroups, there are a lot of posts on this forum about those - if you haven't looked in the older posts, take a look and you may find something close to you.

Again, welcome!
 
G

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I'm very close to you, in Dionyssos. I also have a ten month old! And a 3 year old daughter.
If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for all the brilliant information. I am relieved to hear that I will not have to learn to go without my breakfast while we are in Greece.

I have found our local Carrefour and have managed to find all I need. I was after fresh basil so will have to wait until it is in season. I have also discovered my local farmers market which takes place on Wednesday's in Pefki and has absolutely everything from household goods and plants to every conceivable variety of fresh fruit and veg. It is also a great place to practice my Greek!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Shannon,

Having never used a forum before I have no idea how to PM you!! Would love to make contact though....

Claire
 
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Hi sorry, I've moved out of Greece now, sudden transfer. I hope you can find some good contacts! Did you contact the Newcomers?
 
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