If you have been to Greece you have probably noticed the kiosks (περίπτερα) which are found in every city. The first kiosks appeared at the end of the 19th century, as a form of financial assistance to the war-wounded. At first, the only products found in a kiosk were tobacco and newspapers. In the 50’s and the 60’s, the kiosks had telephones. At this time, the Greek households did not have land-line phones, so the kiosks played an important role in the communication of people and they became very popular. Nowadays, they are like mini-markets. Some of the products we find in a περίπτερο are the following:
τσίχλες= chewing gums
στιγμιαίος καφές= instant coffee
κάρτες για το κινητό= cell phone cards
καρτ ποστάλ= post cards
κερματοφόρα παιχνίδια= kiddie rides
It’s not necessary to have a conversation with the man (περιπτεράς) or the woman (περιπτερού) in the kiosk, unless you need to buy things which are inside the kiosk, such as tickets or cigarettes.
Ένα εισιτήριο, παρακαλώ.= A ticket, please.
Μήπως έχετε χαρτομάντιλα;= Do you have tissues?
If you want to ask about the price, you can say:
Πόσο κάνουν;= how much do they cost?
Πόσο κάνει;= how much does it cost?
When you get all the things you want you the employee is likely to ask you if you have finished. The most common phrases are “εντάξει;” or “αυτά;” You can answer ναι (yes).
Kiosk employees know the area very well, so if you are lost you can ask them for information. If you want to have this conversation in Greek you can ask:
Συγγνώμη, μήπως ξέρετε πού είναι η οδός Χ;= Excuse me, do you know where X street is?
If your Greek is not good, you can ask them if they speak English:
Μιλάτε αγγλικά;= Do you speak English?
Note that some kiosks sell very few products and that sometimes they are closed on Sunday.
If you want to see what a περίπτερο is like, have a look at this link (it is the first on-line περίπτερο!):