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Greece: The Convenience of Kiosks

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pretty kiosk
photograph by Kaymaria Daskarolis

Thank goodness for the kiosks dotting Greece’s landscape. Who doesn’t at one or another point absolutely need one of the items hawked at all Greek kiosks? After all, consumer wares like chocolate bars, packs of cigarettes, celebrity magazines, condoms, maps, phone cards, and bottles of water are among the most essential tools of daily life.
True, some of the items on sale at kiosks cost less at supermarkets and gas stations—for example, a candy bar at a kiosk goes for €.70, whereas at a supermarket you might pay €.45—but other wares, including bottles of water and phone cards, have identical pricing. No matter where you go, you will pay €1 for a 1.5 liter bottle of water and either €5 or €10 for a phone card.

So, when in Greece and in urgent need of something or other, do as the Greeks do. Go to one of your neighborhood kiosks. Most “periptera” are open from the wee hours of the morning (granted, for Greeks “early” morning business hours might begin as late as 10 a.m.) until 11 p.m. Some remain open 24 hours per day.

About the author

In order to keep a promise she and her brother had made to their grandmother (and to simultaneously fulfill one of her own dreams) Kaymaria left her beloved hometown of Oakland, California and headed to Athens in time for the 2004 Olympics. Today, she continues to work and play in the Greek capital, where you may find her writing atop Lykavittos, road-tripping with overseas guests, enjoying Athens cafés with friends, dancing to Greek hip-hop music, or reading Greek subtitles in an outdoor cinema. The daughter of two life-long educators and enthusiastic travelers, Kaymaria has explored North America, Mexico, and Europe. It was not until she spent a year as an exchange student at The University of York in England, however, that she discovered that she does not actually speak English.

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