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An Interview with British Expat Brian Duckworth

Brian Duckworth owns his own bar and works as an entertainer on the Greek Island of Kos. Brian has lived in Kos for seven years and in this interview with Quest magazine, he tells us all about his life in Kos compared to life in Middleton, where he is originally from.







 Where are originally from Brian?

 I am originally from Northern England, Middleton, North Manchester.

 What made you decide to move to Greece?

 After visiting the island of Kos in 1993 and enjoying the relaxing atmosphere, I got the chance to visit again in 2000, this time I stayed at the Ilios Hotel in Tigaki on the West side of the island. Whilst I was there, I made friends with the owners of the hotel and they offered me work and a place to stay, so after a few more visits after this and with a lot of thought, I accepted the offer and moved here in 2003.

 You were very lucky to have such an oppurtuninty given to you! Have you always lived where you are now, or have you relocated within Greece?

 Yes, I have always lived in Tigaki. It's a family resort in the summer time and a peaceful village in winter.

 How do you spend your days and nights?

 My morning are spent doing the usual, mundane chores like cleaning, washing and shopping. In the afteroons and evenings I work at the bar it's called Old Blue Eyes Bar/Mastichari.

 Is it easy for foreigers to find work there?

In the summer months, foreigners can usually find work fairly easily in the bars and hotels, but it is seasonal work which lasts from May to October. Finding work throught the winter or all year round is difficult unless you can speak fluent Greek.

 You have lived in Greece for 7 years now, how well do you know the language?

 I understand some of the Greek language and know enough to converse be it only the basic chit chat. I've been learning from day one, but I have a long way to go before I can speak it without problems.

 Is Greek really that difficult?

 Yes. Greek is a difficult language to learn, especially if you start to learn it i later life, like myself!! On the other hand, younger people seem to be able to grasp the language easier.

 What language do you usually communicate in when you are working at the bar?

 I speak in English most of the time when I am at the bar, because most of my customers are either tourists or English expats. I speak Greek to Greek people and the Greek customers that use the bar.

 Who uses your bar most, locals or tourists?

 Mainly tourists and expats use the bar, but locals pop in from time to time.

 What do you miss about England?

 The only thing I miss is my family, apart from that I rarelt give it another thought.

 What are the advantages about living in Greece?

 Apart from the laid back way of life and the way of life, not much financially.  Although the climate is much healthier and the people are wonderful.

 What are the disadvantages about life in Greece?

 The disadvantages about life in Greece are the mounds of paper work and the running around you have to do, even for a simple trip to the doctors. Clothing is quite expensive too, but apart from that there are very few disadvantages.

 How easy was it for you to settle in to Greece?

 After spending my first winter here and seeing the difference of the hustle and bustle of the summer season, I found that adapting was quite easy.

 Was it easy for you to make friends? Are your friends mainly Greek or expats?

 Greek people are the most friendliest people that I have ever met! I also have many friends who are expats too, not just from England, but from Holland and Germany as well.

 Is there anything you would have changed about your move to Greece?

 I wouldn't change one thing about my move, it has been the most exilerating experience of my life!

 Do you find that there are many cultural difference between Greece and England?
 There are many cultural differences, but most of them are good and something that England could learn from.

 Do you visit England very often? How do you feel when you return to Greece?
 I don't go back to England much, but that doesn't mean I don't love where I was born, because I do. There have been so many changes over the years, that it has changed my out look on life.

 Finally, what advice would you give to anyone planning on moving to Greece?
 If you are thinking of moving to Greece do your homework first. Visit the part of the country where you think you would like to live, check for job oppurtunities, if possible secure a job before you come. Try to visit in the winter too, so that you can see how it is out of season, because the out of season life doesn't suit everyone. Speak to other expats in the area and ask advice on the area and the Greek system, they can be a great source of help and information.

Thank you Brian for your interesting interview!