Award-winning Author: “Greek Disaster Could Have Been Avoided"

When Patricia V. Davis, author of Harlot’s Sauce: A Memoir of Food, Family, Love, Loss, and Greece was a divorced, foreign woman living in Greece she ran her own imports and education business there. But she says that was only doable because she discovered three basic things that banks never bothered to learn before loaning money to this small nation.

Patricia says, “In order to conduct business in Greece, I needed to quickly learn about and work around the following three things:

• The Greek ‘slave mentality’ which basically means that the less work an employee accomplishes in one day, the better he feels about himself.

• Something the Greeks call ‘klopyright’, a made up word which combines the Greek word ‘klepto’ which means ‘steal’, with the word, ‘copyright’. It signifies that stealing something, whether it’s someone else’s idea, or even monies obtained from government or other big institutions through false claims of eligibility or need, is actually a clever and praiseworthy business practice.

• The conviction that foreigners, Americans in particular, are naive, and are therefore easy to fool and deserving of being tricked.

Davis adds, “Banks, corporations, and governments that want to do business with other nations continually make the tragic mistake of assuming that business all over the world is conducted in the same way that it is conducted in their homeland. American corporations in particular take for granted that the business owners everywhere have the same value system as business owners in the United States. Neither is the case; and that goes doubly so for Greece.”

The author and entrepreneur spent seven years running her own imports and education business in Greece and as she puts it, “survived to returned home (to the USA) and write about it.” Her experiences are catalogued in her award-winning book, Harlot’s Sauce: A Memoir of Food, Family, Love, Loss, and Greece.

She hastens to add that the younger generations of Greeks who have traveled outside Greece do not feel this way, and are struggling with the old ideas of the very outdated business practices and elderly government officials, which they rightly believe are destroying any progress the country has made through its membership in the EU.

About Patricia Volonakis Davis

Patricia Volonakis Davis is the award-winning author of Harlot’s Sauce: A Memoir of Food, Family, Love, Loss and Greece,hailed as “a cross between Under the Tuscan Sun and My Big Fat Greek Wedding]”, and as “an inspiring women’s empowerment story”. She is also the editor-in-chief of Harlots’ Sauce Radio, an e-magazine and podcast at She’s published a broad spectrum of short literary works and poetry nationally and internationally, and is a popular speaker throughout the USA and Greece.


  1. The implicit racism in this article is disturbing. Furthermore the cliched description of the lazy, lying citizen is not only shallow and insulting but it's as wrong as wrong can be. Sure – as with ANY country there may be folk like that…but Davis obviously hasn't attracted the remarkably hard working, kind, honest, dedicated people that are EVERYWHERE in Greece.

  2. After reading

    the whole article, allows me to opine that she has a problem….. It seems that her expectations from living in Greece were not fully satisfied….. This is the impression I get. It is a typical reaction of a “dramatically” dissatisfied woman. So, she may have her own reasons to hit back by mixing (in one pot) all the dirty thoughts & syndromes she carries against Greeks…. What makes me “boil over” actually, is the first of the three things…. “The Greek ‘slave mentality”. Such insults deserve to be answered with no mercy…. Besides, very recently it was announced by EUROSTAT that Greeks work very hard and much harder than many northern Europeans…. Very probably, this lady has experienced something unforgettable from a “Greek Slave” which she could not withstand, but same time she remembers that “with nostalgia”…..

    Some women’s brains tortured by such a sense of nostalgia for something they liked it so much, but lost it, make them behave revengefully…..

    Thanks for reading me

    A "slave of Greece"

  3. @ Jack:

    You need to read my other commentary about living in Greece, and the positive things I've also said about Greeks before you judge me as a 'racist'. In fact, on my Facebook page only recently, I was defending Greece and Greeks against a young native Greek who is thoroughly disappointed with living there. Didn't you see the last paragraph? At any rate, sorry that you feel upset by this…

    Best wishes,

    Patricia V. Davis

  4. what about the ‘slave mentality’ ????????????????

    This is a "shame"

    Stamatis (a slave of Greece…….)

  5. Apart from the insulting "Slave mentality" "clopyright" and the rest, I don't see where Ms Volonakis Davis explained to us how the "Greek Disaster Could Have Been Avoided" in the article above; rather, she has used the space to express generalizations and hate. A pity!

  6. Mrs Davis, it's the first time that I hear your name and after reading your article, I felt a big surprise for all those things that you have write for my country and the greek people.

    What you mean when you make mention of "slaves", "clopyright"!!! and the rest?

    I can understand that you may have your own reasons to be dissatisfied, but you don't have the right to describe Greeks and our country, by this way.

    For us (and not only for us), Greece is synonymous with the meaning of democracy, liberty, history, culture and complimentary.

    And we are proud to be Greeks and believe me, we work hard, we are not lazy, we are kind, we are honest, we don't have nose rings and the only purpose of our life is not… to make dirty tricks to Americans!!!

    You give me the impression that maybe you had a bad experience in Greece from someone or purposely… you have a nose for scandals.

    Concerning your title of this "article" for us, there is no disaster and during 4.000 years of civilisation, of cource we met difficulties but we are still alive!

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