Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Day 3 - Out of Date

We visit OTE, to get the internet for the flat. The shop/bureau is five minutes walk up the road and looks like a 1960s British tax office. As befits the national Greek telecommunications agency, the calendar on the public office wall is attached to an icon of the Virgin Mary and proudly displays August 2006. To organise the internet we have to go to the office of the Proistamenos – the man in charge. He is more on the ball - his calendar says it’s Tuesday 3rd July 2007.

Ordering the internet requires two employees, eight signatures, two faxes, three queues in two separate offices and a total of one and a half hours. And we wonder why it’s more expensive to phone Greece from the UK than it is to call New Zealand.

In the afternoon we clean out the flat which is crammed full of bona fide dusty old shite: books, diving equipment, Christening presents. All total gack. Tomorrow we clean.

Later I learn that if you see a priest you must hold your balls or it is bad luck – especially if you’re going fishing.

We are invited for dinner to the house of Michael’s cousin, Irini. She is 74 and delightfully mad. After finding out that Paul likes seafood, she gets up and pours 20 fried fish onto his plate, slaps his back, and insists that he eats them. She then tells a story about the time two dwarves stayed at her house. They were so small that she thought two of them asleep in bed were just one person, and then searched the house high and low for the 'missing' dwarf. She cackles so much she nearly chokes on a fish bone.

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