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Advice needed on life dilemma

  • Thread starter AliceTheDivided
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Kannon

Kannon

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@AliceTheDivided Haha, employment issues and hypocritical nationalism was the give away XD. I know plenty of people from the Balkans, and they all sure do hate each other!
 
AliceTheDivided

AliceTheDivided

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@Kannon unlucky for me, the hypocritical nationalism extends all the way to western Europe too XD.
The Balkans are a place filled with...passionate people (that's the polite term).
 
Kannon

Kannon

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@AliceTheDivided No doubt. What do Balkaners view of Brits? I've always been curious, I doubt its positive though considering our meddling in different parts of the world. Don't expose your country of origin, but just name the country and give reasons. It would be funny to know. One thing that has always confused me is the Greek hatred for Albanians, they are from the same tribe historically so I don't understand the beef.
All I hear from Greeks is their beef with Albanians, yet I've never heard an Albanian talk trash about Greeks. Very weird one sided conflict, I think the Greeks are just a bit loud and insecure in that respect. At least from my experience with a lot of Greeks online. Love the food though, and the music. Went to Crete a while back and when you're not meeting online assholes, obviously they're very lovely people.
 
AliceTheDivided

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@Kannon You've obviously met the wrong Greeks :p.
Now where to start.... Let's go a little back to your comment about the Greeks and the Albanians sharing a tribe. I'd say no, that's not the case. Albania is mostly a mixture of moving people that settled on a very troubled land, that has been in the middle of war conflict since, well, forever. You have a lot of Muslims (which triggers the Greeks because a huge part of their national identity is being Orthodox Christian - ah there's nothing like listening to a priest with a long black dress and a weird beard tell you that you when you should stand up and sit down during a church service!), gypsies/Roma (who are a whole tribe on their own in the Balkans, tough people the lot of them mostly due to their unique characteristics as a social group) and then the locals, who were farmers on average. The Greeks were a whole different lot. Not better, as many say, just different.
The beef came later. If you want more details, I can explain, but since I have a tendency to digress, we can put a pin in this.

Since I come from Greece (obviously), I can't tell you what other people around the area think of Brits. But in Greece, there are very mixed feelings flying around. The whole Royal Family drama is still fascinating to many, and there is an appreciation for the job opportunities offered in England. But there's a huge issue with the Parthenon marbles, making the hate sort of palpable. Greeks do love anything coming from northern Europe because they tend to think it's for some reason better than theirs and that includes England. Still the main image isn't exactly positive. A lot is being said about personal hygiene not being adequate with the Brits, pompous attitudes, racism and many more.

I have visited London, and I have friends living there. The city was ok, I guess. I mostly wanted to see the museums and go hardcore tourist sightseeing. But the people were surprisingly unfriendly, and I must mention the following: I was there with a student exchange program just for 1 day, and the first thing the mother of the family I was to stay with said was this "I expected you to be...darker. There's nothing for you to steal, we're opening our house to you, you should be grateful". Lovely people after that, her husband was mortified, god bless him he choked on his coffee so hard that I got over her little welcome speech fast. I'm sure there are a thousand cases of welcoming people there too, I seem to have a magnet for the peculiar ones. Though the Brits do ride a high horse for the majority of the time. That's why it's weird to me that they don't like the Greeks all that much. We also seem to love our high horses :p
 
Kannon

Kannon

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@AliceTheDivided It was nice for you to open up more about your experiences, again, my personal experience with Greece has been relegated to online spheres. So you could imagine what sort of guys playing competitive games can be like.
Again, I have nothing but admiration for Greece and will say my personal experience visiting (though it wasn't the mainland) was nothing short of spectacular. I would say it comes second, my first being Italy. But the nature of our family holiday in Crete was sort of a relaxation stay, which wasn't what I would've preferred. I would've preferred to be on the mainland seeing more museums and architecture. But we did get some amount of that in Crete.

My impression, was that Albanians and Greeks came from the same tribe of Illyrians and split along borders and cultural separation, Albanians favouring Islam.
However being so far separated from Europe as a whole, well, there is a certain experience to being on an island removed from the affairs from mainland Europe. You end up being raised in a culture that is sort of reserved and ambivalent to the histories of other countries. I'm consistently trying to remedy that fact.

In fact, I do have one Dutch friend (who unfortunately we've been on recently bad terms) but regardless, opened my eyes to just how little we know of the Netherlands despite having so much in common linguistically and culturally. But people only know them for drugs and the red light district, at best clogs and windmills; me being no exception.

With regards to your experiences in London, well, I don't particularly like London either. Either you feel like you aren't in England at all, what with all the foreign enclaves that have formed down there. Or you walk among obnoxious rich people who live in their own little world separate from most people.
The comments that woman made... are fortunately not common. That would be considered particularly egregious elsewhere. My experience living in suburbs somewhat close to larger towns, people are fascinated by foreigners here.. particularly ones from other parts of Europe. However this is slowly changing as I would say there are far more foreigners now and people are starting to almost grow tired of it. It isn't pleasant to feel foreign in your own homeland.

But at least in secondary school, if you had anything different about you in the fact you could speak another language, or were born elsewhere, people took a natural affinity to you. So maybe if you decide to visit again, try to find somewhere away from the larger cities. Our countryside here is nice, but in all honesty England kinda sucks; but I guess it's my job being English to tell you that (even though at least in heritage I'm not actually English to any significant degree haha).

You're sort of already living in one of the cultural beacons of Europe with far better food, music and architecture. Definitely more nuanced history as well. So the only benefit of England is if you like living in a bland island that's cold and humid.
 
AliceTheDivided

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@Kannon I do think England has many other things to offer. Classic literature, awesome colleges, picturesque little villages in the countryside... I'm not a fan of fish and chips, but there were some good restaurants in London.
I do want to eventually travel there again, but I first want to see the places I've missed due to Covid. I haven't gone to Italy yet, which is a big regret for me, Ireland, Spain... But any travelling seems like a distant dream at this point for me.
I know all too well the feeling of being overwhelmed by foreigners in your country. Greece has been flooded the past decades, so much so that the greek language is changing and deteriorating faster than ever. Some places have managed to keep their identity though, Crete being one of them. I absolutely adore this island. And even though it doesn't resemble Athens, I find that its' museum and architecture are closer to the authentic Greece. If you manage to find a passionate tour guide, you'll hear so much about history, both ancient and modern, that you won't believe. It's a great place for outdoorsy stuff too. And the beaches...oh God the beaches!!! Anyway...I digress again.

Illyria did exist, but disintegrated pretty fast historically speaking. The area was a refuge for nomadic people or for people who were relocated from other countries or banished because of their political or religious beliefs. It held a geopolitical significance, but not such that affected the mainland. In other words, it did belong to ancient Greece but it was also at the same time a distinct city of it's own. Not in any case the size of the Albania as it is today.

The beef came in recent history. At first the Albanians took Turkeys' side when the borders when being set, because they have always wanted access to the Aegean Sea (something they were promised by the Turks). Still, Greeks and Albanians were doing ok up north, until 30 or 40 years ago when they opened the borders. The Albanians opened up their prisons and all the unwanted, the criminals and the black sheep, flooded greek rural areas. There were thefts and murders and it was unpleasant altogether. Later followed the immigrants who were looking for jobs, needed money (much like the Greeks have always done). The numbers were extremely high though, and the state didn't handle things very well in my opinion. To this day many families have to legal documentation, and even though they have lived some decades in Greece, they can claim no pension or health insurance. Those Albanians are find to be hard working, dedicated, family oriented and generally good people. Some are nationalists, which perplexes me because they are racist against other Albanians at the same time. The fact though remains that these people, albeit through hard work, got a significant amount of the money in Greek circulation, and (as expected) sent it back to their homes in Albania. Said money was invested so that they could build houses and open stores there where of course it was much much cheaper. Albania had just started to recover from an oppressing government. They needed money stat. But Greece was just beginning to set a new system, entering the EU and the international stock market. We also needed that money, quite a lot.
In any case, criminality rates sky-rocketed for a while, the people thought the immigrants were taking away their jobs and money and tale as old as time, the big bad foreigner is at fault for everything, yada yada yada... I admire them for fighting to build better homes and working so so hard against all the hate they got. They learned the language, they learned to play by our rules...More Albanians can now speak flawless Greek, but very few if any Greeks can speak Albanian... It's just a stereotype being repeated at this point, at least for my generation.

The take away is that people don't like people, in every social group there will be assholes and good souls, and you can't have one without the other. The goal would be to show respect to the country that feeds you, and to try and invest back in it, make it a better place too. And as an economic immigrant myself, I support this view.

As for the online gaming community, they use it as an outlet for rage. The same people can be very different IRL.

Where did you go in Italy?
 
Kannon

Kannon

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@AliceTheDivided I went to Rome and Venice, so the most commonly visited spots. I preferred Rome over Venice though, there was much more to see and do in Rome. However my experience may be tainted again because it was a trip with family, who aren't going to always be interested in visiting places involving history or walking around Museums.
So perhaps there are more things to do in Venice, but Rome was the preferred spot for me. Southern Italy also interests me more, because there is a lot of French/Austrian intermingling in the north and they sort of have the same ingredients used in most northern European cooking involving dairy.
Whereas that's more different in the south I believe.
So Sicily and Calabria are definitely of interest for me.
 
AliceTheDivided

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@Kannon The north has a lot in common with Germany and Austria, but still holds Italian character. The south is Mediterranean through and through, it's where I plan on going. I hope you get to travel soon, and to be able to visit all the places you want ^_^. Milan is also nice btw...
I don't quite get the cooking issue though... Not a fan of dairy?
 
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