The Greeks & The Chair

The average chair in Greece, the ones in the tavernas and the cafenia, are very beautiful, but uncomfortable, and unfortunately have no arms. This obliges the average Greek to require at least 2 to 3 chairs at any one time, when having a coffee or a meal. One for his bottom, one for his arm, and at least one other for his hat or his feet (his cell phone is always on the table).

Greece has a population of over 10 million people, which means about 40 million chairs, approximately, to seat the whole country comfortably and in the style we are used to. We also have about 12 to 15 million visiters each year, so another 50 or 60 million chairs are required for them, assuming they want to sit like Greeks. Since we expect more tourists every year, we had better have enough chairs for them, if and when they come; let’s put that at another 20 million chairs, more or less.

We are now at about 120 million chairs, not taking into account the remodeling of tavernas and cafenia; the updating of these establishments, as well as the new ones opening every day, brings the total figure for chairs to new, astronomical numbers.

This does not include the chairs in cinemas and churches. 

The Greeks have some wonderful statistics of which they can be proud: we have the highest per capita consumption of Scotch whiskey. We also have the highest number of second houses in the common market, not to mention the highest number of luxury yachts, but none can rival the per capita number of chairs. Even in actual figures, perhaps only China can top us!

The chair in Greece is not just something to sit on, it is something to rest, lounge and entertain on, to observe from and  to socialize at. Nowhere else, that I know of, does the chair have such an exalted role. Even the ancients had the need to lounge and seemed to require a large number of chairs and sofas on which to carry out their daily lives; the more things change, the more they remain the same. 

Long live the Greek chair, and the Greeks who really know how to use them!

This leads us to the size of tables in Greece, but that is another story...