“Everybody Out”


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The roughly cemented lane way, that masquerades as a road, in front of our house, throws up the voices of villagers that are standing in the street calling to each other in exasperation. Normally it is only the unwary who attempt to drive up the narrow stretch, lured by a promise of a view to die for or a visit to the saint’s cave. I have only attempted it once, being too lazy to park the car in the square below and drag the suitcases up the short steep hill to the front door. The car came to a standstill between the goat lady’s house and Gramataki’s side steps with millimetres to spare. Unable to open the door I tried to reverse and despite the frantic directive gestures of the priest, friends and neighbours, who had all been awoken by now, found it impossible to reverse the car down the hill without hitting something or falling off the edge into the valley below. Possibly because they were shouting different advice, waving hands in all directions and then having a discussion about it! I wriggled out of the car window hot, embarrassed, and pissed off because everyone could see the joke apart from me. Eventually a local drove up the hill who wanted to pass and after also having a good laugh, skillfully backed the car down road back into the square. But not before I made sure that the luggage was unloaded!

It’s been 7 days since the bank debacle and we still haven’t managed to unlock our account thanks to an impromptu strike that has lasted several days.  I’m in mind of the carry on films where at the slightest sign of dissent the union rep called ‘everybody out’ and the whole factory downs tools and walks out . This strike is by the civil service, banks and anyone who feels like joining in. The government is going to axe at least 15,000 jobs and people are not happy.

We have endured a week of water and electricity being cut without notice and have had no one to call to report it to. Digging out the candles and placing them strategically around the house and filling every available container with water I resign myself to salty sea water baths until the fresh comes back on again.

Two days ago I woke up early, twisted faucets in the vague hope they may gush forth and did indeed find that my taps runneth over –actually it was a trickle – but enough to wash several days of dirty dishes, throw a load of laundry in, clean the kitchen, shower and refill all the pots by 6.30am. I woke Mitch at 7.00am, sure that he would not want to miss out on the party and just as he was about to step into the shower the water was cut again.

So this morning hearing my Greek neighbours calling to each other with frustrated voices I knew that they had all been interrupted yet again in the important business of preparing breakfast. Yet another power cut. Well it has to be said the one good thing about our ancient cooker is that it only has one electric hob the rest of the oven is powered by a gas bottle. My bread was already cooking and throwing out mouth-watering smells that promised of a hot slice covered in half melted butter. I added the aroma of eggs and bacon to the mix and wafted it all towards the open window. Hopefully it would motivate them to call someone in charge and get things sorted out, but since there is a general strike planned it seems that no one will pick up the phone!

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15 thoughts on ““Everybody Out”

  1. This really brings home to us what life is like for ordinary citizens in Greece. Our news programmes concentrate on the high finance of it and forget the impact the problems have on people trying to live their lives.

  2. I feel your frustration and isn’t just so human the way you just get on with it. We are so adaptable! I’m sorry you are having to go through this, hope it gets better:)

  3. Great post. I am sitting here with no water myself, due to a plumbing problem. I see how i take luxuries like running water for granted. At least you have that mouth watering bread to look forward to!

  4. Your bread looks beautiful. I loved your earlier photos of the sunrise. Life there is a real adventure, it seems, but you manage to get the best of it.

  5. Thanks for posting this. I had no idea things were affecting people in this way. At first I thought you were writing a piece of fiction.

      • Apparently it is a UK issue, recent replies suggest it will take a WEEK to resolve, and even then there is an IF attached. And please keep checking as I have found that even unspammed I start going back to SPAM after a day or two 😦

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