Living on Greek Time; How Greeks Know What Time it is

Greek Time
Greek Time

τι ωρα ειναι?

Ti ora einai?

What time is it in Greek.

Greeks seem to have no sense of urgency, everything will happen in its own sweet time.

Some people may say, their laid back lifestyle, is laziness, no, not at all, they just know how to live life right, enjoying every minute, they get things done, without the worry and stress of clock-watching.

On hearing the shepherd and his sheep, passing by our house this morning, I realized, that I know approximately what time it is, without looking at the clock.

What do the shepherd and his sheep, have to do with the time? 

They pass by, at the same time every morning, at about a quarter past nine.

Sheep passing by our house
Sheep passing by our house

I hear the shepherd making his strange whistling sounds and hear the tinkle of the bells, which, hang around the sheep's necks.

So, I know, it's a quarter past nine!

This got me thinking of other times of the day, that I know, without the aid of a clock.

Sunrise, now, at this time of the year, is half past seven.

The first thing I do every morning, is to open the shutters, and, by the height of the sun, I know, more or less, what time it is.

Sheep passing by our house
Sunrise over Loutraki

This is the time MGG (My Greek God) gets up, I am usually up before him, so,while making my coffee, if I hear him moving about, I know: 

It's half past seven!

In summer, I leave the beach at half past one.

 I hear the church bells of Saint Marina's, in Loutraki.

They only ring once a day, at one o clock!

When I hear the bells, I know I have just enough time for a last dip in the sea, and time enough, to dry off, before heading home .

Greek church bell
Greek church bell

Sometimes, on my way back home, through the open window of a house, I hear the theme tune of the two o clock news.

This means that I am late!

We have our lunch at two o clock.

Greek house
Greek house

In general, the Greek people, are very laid back.
Especially about the time.

If they arrange to come and visit  you, they are likely to say:

 " I'll come in the morning" or " I'll come in the afternoon"

 Which could mean any time between nine and midday in the morning, and, five and eight in the evening.

They don't actually specify a time.

This means having to be ready for them, early on, and then waiting about for hours!

A laid back Greek Photo Hipsters in stone
A laid back Greek
Photo Hipsters in stone

When you ask a Greek the time, they more often than not, tell you to the nearest hour, or half hour,so, if it's twenty past ten, the might say: 

"It's half past ten"

MGG does this, it annoys me no end!

More instances of knowing the time, without a clock are; when I am down in the town and see the school children waiting for the bus to take then home.

It's about a quarter to two.

Or when, with MGG in his local coffee shop, when all the older men start leaving, it's nearly two, they are going home for their lunch.

Greek kafeneion
Greek kafeneion

If we stay there for a while, and see them returning, it's about five o clock.
They have had their lunch, had their siesta and are back for their afternoon coffee.

The same when I see men heading home from the bakers, with the day's bread under their arm.

It's nearly two, lunch time!

Taking home the bread
Taking home the bread 

Sunset, one of the most beautiful times of the day, happens now, around five thirty, we see it setting over the bay of Loutraki every evening.

Sunset over Loutraki
Sunset over Loutraki

I don't know why I still wear my watch, I really have no need for it at all.

Oh,sorry, must leave you here, there's the postman.

It must be half past eight!


  1. How lovely to not need a watch to tell you what time it is! Sarah x

  2. It is Sarah, I have a nice watch, sometimes I do wear it, I don't know why, because, without my reading glasses, I can't see it!
    Happy's here again, doesn't time fly?

  3. Susan, just catching up with your posts, as my daughter arrived yesterday, and before that it was non-stop cleaning, decorating and baking...and in the spirit of this post, running out of time, as I usually am, when I have deadlines to meet! The procrastinator in me does not jive well with the perfectionist, who is very strict about being on time for all her appointments, expecting the same from others, (after 25 years here, I just cannot accept the Greeks' 'casual' relationship with time, especially with regards to my dinner parties!), and a little obsessed with the notion that 'we'll never have this moment again, so make the best of your time'!

    I so enjoyed reading about your own sense of time, and being guided by nature's schedule, as well as the hustle and bustle of your locals' agendas.

    Have a lovely Monday!


    1. Good morning Poppy, it's beautiful here in Loutraki, cold but very sunny.
      You must be so happy, having your daughter with you.
      Christmas, is a busy time!
      Like you, I procrastinate!! I have my personal Nike....jJust do it!
      As they say, a job started, is a job half finished!
      I'm quite used to the Greek casualness, it does annoy me, at times, though!
      Have a wonderful time with your daughter.


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