As you walk through the village of Kavadades in the north western part of Corfu, map in hand and looking hot and lost, a local man smiles a toothless grin and asks you if you need some help. Notice that in the above experience he asks you if you need help as our pride usually gets in the way of such transactions.
One of the family
Second snap shot. Whilst holidaying in Corfu for a week the owners of the apartments in the village of Agios Georgios you are staying in invite you to share their very best olive oil, homemade wine and sugared fruit. They show great concern for your wellbeing and make you feel like one of the family. When my husband moved to Corfu he got invited to a funeral, a baptism and a birth all in the first ten days of living here.
It touches your heart strings and opens you up for more
If you have experienced any of the above scenarios or cherish the idea of living scenes from My Big Fat Greek Wedding you might have an idea of what Greek filoxenia feels like. It touches your heart strings and opens you up for more. Filoxenia literally means the ‘love of foreigners’ but is revered as a concept exclusive to the Greeks from ancient times.
Your best bet in experiencing such energy here is to keep things local. Whilst on holiday in Corfu venture out beyond your villa swimming pool. Eat Greek, buy Greek and think Greek. Visit in-land villages like Kalafationes and Spartillas and learn some Greek phrases. Whilst making sure you ask for instructions Greeks will feel your intention and will certainly reward you in kind.