This was a reflection I noticed while I was sitting at my laptop today, captured it:
I had been sitting there writing this at the time: About 3:30 pm, the power just went out for the 2nd time today, that’s the 5th time since I’ve been here that the power has gone out… and aside of the day they replaced the powerlines on my street (lane), there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. Oh, just came back on again. Sigh.
For 3 days now the cash machine at the grocery store has been “temporarily unable to dispense cash”. I wonder how long temporary is here?
The jar of clementine orange jam (which I wrote about here) turned out to be something else. They had canned fruits in the jam section, but this was with the jams, so I figured…. Anyways, it was rather bitter, yet horribly sweet, in some kind of sticky honey sauce that left a waxy feeling in my mouth. It was marginal on cream cheese on bread, and it didn’t do much to nicely flavour some yougurt. Perhaps its meant to be some kind of chutney? Anyways, one of my less successful “I wonder what this is, I will buy it and eat it to figure it out” experiments”… heh….
Oh, ordering my first souvlaki here went something like this:… I ordered lamb. Nope, did I want pork? How about chicken? No. How about beef? No. How about pork? Yes, 1 pork souvlaki coming up.
Now on the subject of my self-hair-cut (which I wrote about here), I laughed at these 3 girls coming out of a hairdresser's in the new town... I guess that was the cut of the day, and would I have got that? heh.
Now, on the subject of transportation here....
There is a bus service into town, but figuring it out is rather amusing. The bus stops are very clearly marked, and there is one right near by. And a very detailed schedule is posted, showing the busses running every 10-15 minutes or so. Um, that must be the summer schedule…. I have heard everything from 30 minutes to 60 minutes between busses, and both versions of that were from transit people… so who knows when they actually run? I got a schedule from the manned transit kiosk in town, but it is, well, in Greek!! And even if I study it really hard, and make educated guesses, it’s still unfathomable: the only English on it says “West Coast Bus Information, Saturday Sunday Hollydays” and, besides which, it is dated “7-11/2009-8-11/2009. Going into town means going to the bus stop and waiting patiently, and just hoping it won’t be an hour, and deciding that anything less than that is good luck. Yesterday I went into town for lunch and to poke around for a bit, and I was on the losing side of the bus lottery: I must have waited 45 minutes. So maybe that means that the bus gods will give me just a 5 minute wait when I go into town next… heh.
It may be possible to flag a taxi from the bus stop, but this has mixed results. One day a cab pulled over, but he already had a passenger, so I waved him away… why did he stop? I began to wonder if there is some kind of shared taxi system, the lexicon of which is only known to locals. I wonder this again after twice I see taxis drive by me, with passengers already, who flash their lights… is this the signal? One day when I do get a cab - by myself - on the way into town, I ask the driver about this; he has very good English so I think he understands my question, but he says, no there is no taxi sharing here. I got some kind of mumbled response to my question about why the flashing lights? I am guessing now it’s some kind of “you look hot” signal that can be given when the driver can’t honk, as they sometimes do. Sigh. Heh.
Once IN town..... they have this machine. I didn't try it. I already know I'm hot. Ha!!!
Coming back from town on the bus is also possible, but it’s a cheap taxi ride (8E) so that’s what I’ve tended to do at the end of a long day in town.
When I go to the airport from here, it should be interesting. The bus goes to the airport (the opposite direction from town), but when would it arrive? Maybe a taxi will go by, but maybe it won’t? Oh, I can’t call a taxi, as I have only a cell phone for emergencies here and now phone book, and no wifi to look up a number to call even if I knew that the cell phone had minutes and I knew how to dial it…. If I wasn’t on the main drag, I could go through the rigouramole (sp?) to figure this out and arrange, but I figure I’ll just go out to the road a few hours ahead of my flight and see what happens.
And, no, I did not stumble on a photo-shoot and try and squeeze in a shot... this really was a girl I came across in the new town. I tried to pretend I was taking a picture of the nothing-interesting-about-it building behind her (I'll bet she was thinking, "silly tourist")...
Now, a couple of old town pics... a typical street...
A square in the old town....
How they manage the sun in some parts of the old town... I got some neat closeups of this.
My first day here, hearing someone calling out a message, over and over again, on a loudspeaker, driving through the neighborhood. I thought at the time, if I was in Turkey I’d be freaked out (not sure why), but I’d felt safe on Greek soil when I’d arrived, so just pondered…. Could it be: warning of an impending disaster? A mobile news agency? Messages from a political party? A message from the government? Something for sale? Didn’t know.
But later, reading Dinner with Persephone, I thought of this when I read a passage, something about how Greeks sell things from cars.
Sure enough, last week, I heard the same sound. So I went out on my deck and stood up on the riser by the fountain (which doesn’t work) and peeked over. There was an old truck or van moving along the “street” I live on (it’s more like an alley) with rolled up rugs in it. Here, you don’t go to the store to buy a rug. Just be home at the right time, and the rug comes to you.
Not something I’d see at home, but sure seems logical. What would happen if someone did this at home? Would they be forced to get a business license? Or not be allowed?
Here's a little something I found on the beach, thought it was rather iconic...
What are you having for lunch lady, and can I have some?
Loved the signage at the laundry place in the old town...
This cactus was so HUGE I had to take a picture of it. It was way taller than me. Never seen anything like it...
Last week I hear some cheering and chanting, kind of a mix between the voices of youth fooling around at some game, and a protest, wonder what it is, and let it go. But then I hear it getting louder, and I realize it is coming down my street. Once again, I go up on the fountain ledge and peer over. By this time they have passed by, but what I see from behind is a small group of children, maybe 20 of them, and maybe 12 years old? (I cannot see their faces and, come to think of it, they may have been all boys)… walking, shouting, with a couple of placards. This is early afternoon otn a weekday, maybe 1 or 1:30. Shouldn’t they be at school? Or maybe this is some aspect of school, learning how to protest? As I am living on a tiny lane, I do wonder, though I guess there is a chance that there is a school down the road. I don’t know, but it just strikes me as interesting. And not something I’d see at home.
Only interesting thing today was that my doorbell rang. Or, should I say, my patio bell rang. First time since I’ve been here. Fortunately I had my sundress on. This was maybe about 11:00. By the time I put my glasses on and walked outside and opened the door, there was a guy starting to walk away. I said “Hello”, he said “Sorry, I don’t speak English”, I said, “and I only speak English” and he walked away. WTF? LOL. But he was young (35-40) and hot. I was so baffled I didn’t know what to say, I just closed the door. Who was he, and what did he want? And would he come back? LOL.
And, finally, a few bits I found interesting in browsing the weekly English rag (Athens News)...
Homes for rent (with some interesting descriptions):
- “Paleo Faliro, seaside two room apartment, just painted, all virgin new furniture, air conditioned, fourth floor”
- “Ekali, lovely 4 bed single house of 300m2 standing in own private garden. Logical rent.”
- “Spetses island, 22000m2, without forest, fended, amphitheatric, panoramic views to the sea, Peloponese, round islands, 5 minutes from the harbour. Real opportunity.”
- “Adams Agency. Butler man, live-in is needed by old lady. Necessary to have driving licence.”
- “Assistant wanted by international shipping company for it’s offices in Likovrissi / Kato Kifissia, Athens. Candidate must qualify only and strictly following requirements: Global class and thinking / No family obligations / Able to travel anytime / Age 35 years old max. / University graduate in Chemistry or Business Administration / 3 fluent languages: Greek, English, other / Computer Expert i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint / Experience needed in similar position. The appropriate candidate must be flexible, smart, pleasant, communicative, able to complete tasks within strict deadlines, willing to work. References necessary. Please send CV with recent photo.” (there is a gmail address to respond to)”
- “Filipino young woman, cook & maid, who speaks english, for yacht”
- “Doctors, Canada has a doctor shortage and encourages all International Medical Graduates (IMG) to apply for an IMG kit which will establish a medical competency and Practice Ready Assessment (PRA) to practice medicine in Canada. There is a fee. Doctors only please.” (there is a hotmail address to respond to).
- The ads that include a phone number ask the person to “ring” rather than “dial” or “call”. Just a simple difference that says I am somewhere new.
- In the area where things are offered for sale, there is a Yachting section.
- In the Lessons section there is a language training school called “An Other Langue”
- Words like “harbour” are spelled with the “u”… presumably the expat newspaper is British driven, rather than American? Just a guess.