Christos Ghiotsis came to work in Finland from Crete Island where he worked mostly in cocktail bars in five-star hotels. He also trained people to become waiters or bartenders in restaurants. He had a Finnish girlfriend at the time, and she said, “we’re always working in Greece, let’s go to work in Finland.” They both knew it would be easy to find work in Finland since there is a huge shortage of restaurant workers. They both ended up working in Saariselkä in 2019. The relationship ended but Ghiotsis stayed in Saariselkä Northern Lights Arctic Village and has enjoyed working in the international resort.
The biggest challenge?
The language. In general, everybody knows English here, so it is easy to communicate. When I started to learn Finnish and then talking with someone based on what I had learned, it was impossible. Also, the first week I was here, I was trying to figure out where the roads and the sidewalks were because I couldn’t see them through the snow.
The best thing at work?
There isn’t so much pressure and if you are doing something well, the supervisors appreciate it. I also love to work with international colleagues and customers.
Your favourite Greek dish?
Souvlaki with Greek salad and Tzatziki. Even though Souvlaki is more like street food, I miss it the most. It’s a pity you cannot get it in Saariselkä. When I go back to Greece, I eat Greek salad every day. I can’t get enough of it.
The best feedback you’ve received?
In general, I like it that my Finnish supervisors are straightforward. They don’t beat around the bush, and they just say it how it is. In that sense it is easier to work here compared to Greece.
I bring to the work community…
I bring my calmness. I’m always calm in tough situations. If someone gets mad, I always find a way how it will be okay. It’s good because as the head waiter I must take more responsibility in general and to see things are going well in the customer service.
What is the strangest Finnish taste?
At first, it was salmiakki. I couldn’t even try it. After a while I started to like the drinkable version of it with Koskenkorva, but I still cannot eat the candy. What I really like is Sautéed reindeer. I had never tried reindeer before, but I love poronkäristys with mashed potatoes and cowberry jam.
- Head Waiter
- Workplace Northern Lights Arctic Village Saariselkä
- Born in Greece