John Manuel, born in Bath, UK, now living on Rhodes.
1. Why did you move abroad?
Lots of reasons. Among them - UK is congested beyond belief, nanny state was getting on my nerves, to simplify our lives, shed ourselves of a lot of material things. The climate played a part, but it wasn’t the main reason.
2. How do you make a living?
Small bits of income from all over the place. A couple of private pensions, part-time work during the summer season, I write books (4 travel memoirs and three novels so far, a 4th novel under construction), A modest return on capital we put away in the UK.
3. How often do you communicate with home and how?
Every week, usually by email, FaceTime, Whatsapp, Facebook or Skype.
4. What's your favorite thing about being an expat in Greece?
Being able to park.
5. What’s the worst thing about being an expat in Greece?
6. What do you miss most?
Real British ale.
7. What did you do to meet people and integrate in your new home?
We love sitting in cafés. We visit a lot of people, many of whom are bored senseless and thus welcome the distraction! I’ve learned the language. My wife already spoke it pretty well, as her mother was Greek.
8. What custom/ habits do you find most strange about your adopted culture?
What the Greeks eat for breakfast. Olives, Feta, those horrible little crispy bread-type biscuits, Ham!?
9. What is a myth about your adopted country?
That all Greeks are lazy. A lot of them may not be dead keen on paying their taxes, but they work harder than most of the rst of Europe.
10. Is the cost of living higher or lower than the last country you lived in and how has that made a difference in your life?
Generally lower, but you have to shop wisely. We live on locally-produced fresh fruit and veg, Plus we grow some in our garden, with varying degrees of success. We survive pretty well without earning enough to become tax payers again.
11. What advice would you give other expats?
Well, if you mean people thinking of becoming such - do your homework, It’s never a walk in the park. Regarding those already living here - stop bitching at each other quite so much. I’m old enough to remember Peyton Place. Other ex-pats reading this will know where I’m coming from!
12. When and why did you start your blog?
Seven or eight years ago, mainly to publicize my written works, since I am an independent author. But it’s taken on a life of its own too and now I want my blog to be a source of endless useful info for people coming to Rhodes and the neighbouring islands for visits. I now keep a separate website about my writing too.
John's blog, Ramblings From Rhodes
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