my new job as a mule…

Paros Parikia cobblestone streets Greek Islands

Its been a while, hasn’t it? Typical of me. I start off all keen and eager and promise I’ll post regularly, then things just run me over.

On the good news front, things are moving along on the house purchase. I hope to be able to get in there before the end of the month cause there’s work I want to do on the place – ideally before I move in.

Paros Parikia cobblestone streets Greek Islands

You know… essentials like air conditioning, making sure there are enough power points for a power hungry lifestyle, figuring out how I can update the bathroom economically so I can fit in a washing machine… buy stuff for my new place… spending money is always such great therapy… making stuff for my new home is even better!

Its exciting and I just can’t wait to have my own space again so I can do things like make the doily curtains I’ve wanted to make for the last 10 years or so… create a private back patio retreat, just nest

Work is going ok. Its still a mystery to me how a lot of stuff works there… its not like there are hard and fast procedures and it does my head in. But I’m managing. So far… Soon the candy store next door will open and I’ll be able to hype myself up on sugar.

Paros Parikia cobblestone streets Greek Islands

My cousin Zefi and her family, plus more uncles, aunts and mom are all on Paros now for Easter (that’s Greek Easter – next Sunday) so my life has become a bit more fun, full and complicated.

I’ve been having lunch with mom and her sisters every day – the only real meal I eat so that’s good. And now that Zefi is here I spend a fair bit of time up at her place just catching up and enjoying the company.

Paros Parikia cobblestone streets Greek Islands

Its been a bit cold here lately (again). We had a bout of gorgeous spring weather which lulled us all into a sense of security, then it turned cold and windy again. I almost packed away my coats! Eh. That’s ok. It’ll be HOT soon enough. Enjoy it while i lasts.

Paros Parikia cobblestone streets Greek Islands

Other than that I’ve been busy making stuff on the days when I’m inspired and not too tired to do much of anything but take naps in the afternoon. And let me just mention how great it is to nap in the afternoon… I’d never been able to do it before this last year. Maybe its a sign of getting old, but I love having a lie down if not a nap in the afternoon.

I’ll be sharing some of my finished projects on here so beware!

As for the new job I mentioned in the title, now that I have a car and Zefi is up at Souvlia* I’ve become the mule for my aunt. Its like ‘I’ve got some STUFF for you to take to Zefi’. ‘Here’s the STUFF.’.. Its like doing drug deals on the cobblestoned streets of Parikia. ‘Did you get the STUFF?’

Eh. (greek expression) Its ok. I’m used to it. I have mom who’s always giving me stuff – lemons, eggs, home made ricotta, small yogurt or butter containers filled with leftover food… ‘Here, eat this. It can’t go to waste’ and ‘Here’s a little cake I got at a funeral/memorial.’

Then later ‘Don’t eat too much. You’ll get fat.’ and ‘ Don’t eat sweets. They’re bad for you.’

Ah the joys of greek mothers!

Its great to have my mom here. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

z

*Souvlia is home to the Famelis family on Paros. Its more a village or commune that a home as it consists of a whole lot of separate houses or rooms for all the people who go there every summer.

catch 22

I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Do I want a simple life? Do I want to be self employed? Do I want to be a full time (working, making enough money to eat) artist? Do I want to have a regular job plus a life plus another 3 part time jobs to make ends meet?

sigh.

It seems that even if I try to have a simple life, I just can’t do it. Its not in my DNA.

For instance… There are times when I feel so tired and overwhelmed by all the things I do/want to do that I don’t know where to begin or when to stop.

I thought maybe I should just concentrate on one thing this year, my first year in a new country: A job, a home, a life.

Sounds simple right?

Then I think ‘well, I have to add in a hobby’ so I add ‘make things for myself only‘. Cool. I can do that. Find and fix or make things for my own use and my own home. (Cause, hell, I’ll do that anyway, even if its not on the list!)

Then I think, but what about my art? Ok, so I add ‘make art. For myself’. Set up an easel and work on it.

Done.

Then I think of the craft supplies I accummulate and I have to add ‘make stuff when I get the urge’.

Then of course I end up with tons of stuff I’ve made which I should sell… so the equation begins looking a bit more like:

A job, a home, a life, painting, a bit of craft work, some remodelling, some sewing, selling stuff on etsy, why not re-make a doll or two cause I enjoy it, how about the odd grooming job if it comes along, a life… if I have time for that…

See? I’m impossible. I can’t just BE. I get bored if I don’t make things. So I make things. And in my defence, if I ever want to be an artist, I mean a REAL one, I have to paint. And if I ever want to make a living out of my art and crafts, I must sell. And in order for it to be a full-time job one day it has to start as a part time job now and I must dedicate hours to it now…

Catch 22

But before I go off the deep end any more, I’ll share a quickie project I just finished today, for my own use.

I found this 3 compartment box at an antique store on Paros a week ago. It was bright yellow but a bit of chalk paint fixed that quickly.

I then painted labels on the front with black chalkboard paint, and voila. An organiser.

I don’t have anywhere for it to sit in my grandmother’s old house but in my own home it will theoretically live near the door and serve as an organiser and reminder to take certain things with me when I leave the house. I always thought something like that would be really handy so here is version 1.

Sorry about the terrible photos. When its in the ‘right’ spot I’ll get better ones. For now I just hung it on the bedroom door. The idea is that every time I pick something up that I need to take with me tomorrow or the next day or later in the week I put it in the box in the right partition. Then each night I move them over accordingly.

Last thing each morning before I head out the door I make sure I have the contents of the ‘today’ box with me.

Done.

Easy.

I hope I remember to use it.

z

you’re such a girl!

Its funny, but that’s what my cousin Maria said to me yesterday at the book/stationery/office supply store. While she got some photocopies done I walked around and explored all the goodies. I love shops like that. Those and hardware stores… I can happily spend hours wandering the aisles going “Ooh, look at that! I didn’t know you could buy that! And this comes in all those colours!” etc.

I was in my element. I left there with some air dry clay and 4 pens in various colours.

First colour choice: pink.

She said “you’re such a girl!”

It wasn’t cause I’m a girl. I just already had light blue. So I got pink and orange and green and purple.

But the main thing about the comment is that I’ve never ever in my life considered myself to be feminine. You know… a girlie girl.

I mean, I occasionally have feminine flashes – like I’ll buy a flippy skirt or a floral dress… but in general I’m the girl in the work out gear and sneakers, the chunky boots, the loose fitting baggy jumpers. I rarely wear make up. Always forget to wear perfume. Never get my nails done… Nails and sandpaper just don’t mix well.

In fact I don’t think I so much sway my hips when I walk as I stride purposefully… Mind you, its easier to sway in heels, which I never wear. Even if I could walk in them (which I can’t) I can’t even stand in them since I broke my ankle and had plates and pins inserted.

In fact, yesterday I noticed that one ankle is thicker than the other. Hm.

Funny thing is that sometimes I do have girlie leanings. Cause you know what, sometimes I like being feminine.

I love asymmetrical layered tops, lacey underskirts, leggings, cat eye liner, Jean Paul Gaultier in the woman’s bust bottle.

I think being girlie can be nice and I think I’m finally starting to enjoy it.

I say wear makeup (then remove it again at night), de-fuzz your hairy bits, wear perfume so you smell nice to yourself, wear jewellery, buy that nice dress, make an effort with the hair! Its never too late to start a shoe collection. You only live once.

Sure its a lot of effort (and not cheap) but you know what? I plan to spoil myself and do and wear things that make me feel nice.

Life is too short.

z

a little walk and a little talk

I did it again. I disappeared for a while. I always think I’m going to post regularly but then things happen. You know. Life. Relatives. Coffee out with friends…

Or rather not coffee. This morning I had my first coffee in 3 days. I’ve been avoiding it. Tea too. Not voluntarily I might add.

It seems like lately coffee decided it doesn’t like me any more. Neither does tea. Or milk. Or chocolate.

Or just about everything. I’ve been reduced to eating bread sticks, bread and, strangely enough, panetone… So many other things just come straight back up.

Life sucks.

And no, I’m not pregnant. (I have been asked!)

Its this whole stomach/hiatus hernia/GERD thing I have going on. I’d rather have gorgeousness going on but what are you gonna do? You get dealt the cards, you gotta play them.

Other than that whats been going on?

Well my dearest darlingiest cousin Little Zefi (aka known as the Little Usurper who came along and stole my name) came to Paros for a long weekend. We went for a lovely long walk to the other side of Parikia bay, and spent hours just talking which is always lovely.

Since she left I’ve been up to my ears in creating stuff. I’ve been inspired to make Easter and spring themed items to sell. I’ll share those when they’re done, but suffice it to say the place looks like a herd of rampaging dogs went through, pulling everything out of cupboards and spreading it around the living room/kitchen area.

My aunt came up to look at my teabag dress with a friend of hers yesterday and I heard her explaining as she came up the stairs: “Zefi is creative, so when she works she has everything out”… ie don’t get offended by the mess!

My teabag dress at the Art From Trash exhibition a few years ago.

Over the last few days, due to being newly inspired to create, I also visited an antique shop, a junk yard shop and various general stores and bought bits and pieces I need (or want or think I need or can use one day). Its always good to visit all the stores in a new place just to know where you can buy what.

I really can’t wait to get into my own home. All this accumulating and nesting in someone else’s house is getting too much. I buy stuff, lug it up the steep stairs, all the while knowing that at some stage I’ll have to lug it all back down and into my car to take to my own place.

Things are moving slowly on that. The sellers of the apartment I’m buying will be in Greece at the end of April for Easter so I hope we can settle things then. Fingers crossed. It would be good to be in there before summer and I have to work longer hours.

z

roundabouts and driving on the wrong side

Well, I survived my first two drives in Athens. On my own. With google maps in the passenger seat.

Yes, I’ve done it before, but somehow this time it seemed like a bigger step. It had been so long. I mean I drive mom’s car on Paros when I’m on holiday, but its been years since I drove in Athens. And let me tell you, Athens is a whole different kettle of fish to Australia.

Narrow roads, people driving up and down at full speed. Cars parked on both sides and in wierd spots, odd angles, all over the road and footpaths. Traffic signals are merely a suggestion.

And the area I picked up the car from seems to have its own rules for roundabouts which defy logic. Apparently, its the only place in Greece where the people entering the roundabout have the right of way.

Uhuh.

You heard right.

Certain words come to mind: illogical, irrational, idiotic, foolish, impractical, unreasonable, ignorant, stupid…

You enter the roundabout, then get stuck there cause no one will let you out, and the more people who enter the roundabout the more packed it becomes till in the end no one can move.

Wonder who thought that would work?

As for me, I’m getting there slowly. I still get into the car on the wrong side and reach for a steering wheel that’s not there, but I’ll get used to it. I did look like an idiot the first few times it happened though.

I’m also back to a manual car after many years with automatics. Not that that’s a problem. I had manual cars for most of my life. Its just another thing to get used to. Gears on the right…

Anyway, I’m back on Paros again and life can start to get sane again. Its good to be back on the island.

z

another day in psiri

I’ve said before, many times, that the best thing about Athens is the old centre – Monastiraki, Psiri, Plaka. I’ve been in Athens 3 weeks now (way longer than I planned) but I’ve finally been well enough to go out and that’s where I choose to go.

Every time.

Monastiraki is full of shops selling everything a tourist could want (or not!). Psiri is full of cafes and bars and tavernas and cute little shops selling anything you can imagine. Clothes, power tools, rope, fresh fish or meat, nuts, fresh bread, antiques, high end jewellery, ice cream, shoes, army surplus… its just wonderful!

And having someone who knows the area is even better. Last night my cousin Peter showed me places only those in the know know about. Go down some stairs, through an arcade and through a non-descript door to a hidden bar here. Go up some stairs through an iron gate to a secret little cafe there. Even to the door of a little old lady who will cook you home made meals 3 nights a week using what she has in her fridge!

For me the beauty isn’t just the narrow streets and the shops and cafes with outdoor tables on the little squares, or the crowds of people from all over… its in the graffiti on the closed shop fronts and on the falling down neoclassical buildings which are slowly rotting away. The colours, the artwork (or lack of art) makes the place special.

Its the crumbling buildings and their junk shops next door to the restored buildings with expensive shops. Its all just right there, all mixed together.

There’s a real seedy side to the old centre of Athens, the homeless sleeping on pallet mattresses in alcoves they’ve converted into bedrooms, the tourists wandering around, the locals sitting at cafes drinking coffee. I mean, even the grungy dirty-ness of it is part of the experience.

And I love it. Which I never thought I would.

In fact, if I had the money and I didn’t have a home in Athens, I’d be tempted to buy an apartment in the old centre just for the times I come to Athens. Imagine it… I’d never need a car, the metro is right there, a short ride from the port of Pireaus or the airport. I’d never have to cook or have coffee at home, I’d just wake up and go downstairs and I’d have a million choices at my doorstep.

Sure. Its not clean. Or quiet. And a million light years from living in country Tasmania, but man… there’s just something about it!

But I have a home in Athens, so its not an option… still, I love going down and wondering around.

Today I met another cousin (I have plenty of them!) down there for a coffee and catch up and afterwards I gave in to the temptation to visit some of the many antique shops. Drool. I plan to visit them again once I’ve got a workshop and buy myself some stuff to restore and remake.

As it is I controlled myself. I bought some cotton threads cheaper than I could have got them in a sewing shop. I got some rope (not from an antique shop) to make another basket or two. And I got some chandelier crystals and a gorgeous antique plate.

I didn’t need the plate, given I don’t yet have a place to display it, but I couldn’t resist when the price became something I was willing to spend.

A pretty good morning actually. I’m definitely going down there next time I’m in Athens with a budget and a shopping list. I found sources for most of my junk4joy needs: cotton rope, leather, fabric, rusty stuff, upholstery goods, tools, beads… anything and everything.

Yeah. I like that place.

Meanwhile, on the other fronts what’s going on? Well, things are finally moving along on the purchase of the unit I’m buying. More details on that as things progress. And the car is now officially mine. I just gotta go pick it up in the morning, pay for the insurance and take it to the mechanic to get it serviced.

Cause apparently a service on Paros will cost a whole lot more than it will here.

To be honest, I’m ready to just go pick up the car and get the whole bloody thing over with. But given this whole adventure has cost me a ton more than I expected with no end in sight yet, I should go ahead and get it all done before returning to Paros… every penny saved…

Sigh…

Plans are that as long as the guy can do the service tomorrow I’ll go buy a ticket, pick up the car when its ready, pack it full whatever time I get it home and leave for Paros on Thursday morning. I just wanna get back to my life and my routine. As much as I love the city center I’ll be glad to leave Athens.

Just in time for the bad weather too. Till now its been glorious spring days (complete with itchy nose and sneezing) but now its overcast and drizzly with more to come. Wonderful.

It was bound to happen. Then again, summer will be here soon enough and cool weather will be a distant memory.

Things are falling into place. A car, a job, a home… Hopefully once I’m back and into a routine again the stress will abate and my digestive system will get back into line. I’m over feeling ‘not quite right’ and having a permanent cold.

z

Disclaimer: none of the images are mine. They’re just great ones I found on the internet.

jacket – a work in progress

You know those boho jackets and stitched patched jeans you see everywhere on Pinterest? Well, you see them if you’re me and you love them and actually look for them…

Something like the images below (all from Pinterest):

So pretty… so messy and beautiful…

Well, I decided to make my own. And since I didn’t have an old jean jacket to alter, I had to go buy one. I found this very cheap one at Millers while in Tasmania last year. Its pretty plain, no breast pockets, no fading, no rips or worn bits… I had to create my own. No rips (yet), but I frayed the edges where I thought a jacket would get worn by use anyway.

I did that by running over it with a razor blade to ‘shave’ off bits of thread. It worked, but obviously it needs to be washed a few more hundred times.

I did consider running over it with the car a few times, on gravel… I also considered tossing it in the sea and letting the sea beat it against the rocks a while. (I may still do that…)

Meanwhile I started working on it when I first got it. First step was to put patches of fabric on the underside of the collar.

I decided to go with reddish colours cause I like them.

I picked the colours and pinned them in place, then hand stitched them onto the collar by hand. My stitching is pretty bad which is why I decided to go with under the collar first instead of attempting that japanese boro and sashiko mending I just adore.

Didn’t turn out too bad. So I brought it with me on holidays in Greece last June… and while here I stitched the coloured bands on the seams. It was something to do during quiet times when my hands got bored.

Since then I’ve been practicing my stitching. I brought it with me to Greece again and while in Athens for longer than planned I began work on it again. Each time I sit and stitch for a while I end up doing a couple of hours while watching Netflix or listening to music. Its very relaxing and I’m loving it.

This is how it looks after about 4 sessions of stitching, maybe 5… and there’s still a blank spot on the right where I’m not sure if I’ll fill it in entirely or just scatter more french knots.

Yeah, I learned how to do french knots! I’m not great at them yet but practice makes perfect.

My stitching is still not great but this style is perfect for messy stitching. Its ideal for people like me who couldn’t make even stitches if their lives depended on it.

The plan is to keep going till I get bored, till there’s no space left, till the jacket becomes too heavy to wear or till the only thing holding it together is the stitching…

It needs more, doesn’t it? Every time I wear it it has another section added to it.

Its my learning project for this type of thing but its so much fun. I’ll add more photos as it gets more complicated…

z

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don’t hold your breath

Being in Athens I managed to do the stuff I came for, plus some that weren’t on my list. What I did tick off:

I’ve seen the accountant for advice on how to live and pay taxes in Greece

I saw friends and relatives.

I got a jumper knitted for me by an aunt.

I got sick, visited doctors and clinics, had tests up the whazoo and got a diagnosis – turns out I have a hiatas hernia. Just like mom, my aunts, my grandmother, my great grandmother and just about everyone else on the planet.

I spent way too much money on all that since I have no health cover here. Yet.

I bought a car. Well, technically, I’ve almost bought a car.

The plan was simple: I found a car I liked. I saw it, put down a deposit. My visa card didn’t work on his machine so I had to do a money transfer from my bank in Australia to his bank in Greece. I go back, he does the paperwork, I take the car and I’m back on Paros for the weekend.

Uhuh.

Don’t hold your breath.

The money isn’t in his account yet.

I showed him the receipt, the proof that the money has been transferred to his account, gone from my account, I can’t take it back. But till its in his account I can’t get the car. No way jose. No way round it. Trust me I tried every alternative I could come up with.

And its a long weekend.

OF COURSE.

So I won’t have the car till next week. If the banks are on top of things (you’d think that online transfers aren’t affected by bank hours wouldn’t you?) the money should be in his account on Tuesday morning.

Not holding my breath.

I won’t be back on Paros for another week.

Not happy!

z

PS It seems like all my posts lately have been gripes about Greece. Hang in there. There’s gotta be some good stuff coming soon. You’d think…

why do something in 1 day when you can do it in 3 months?

Seems to be the story of living in Greece. Although I recently heard its way worse in Mexico (and I’m sure in a lot of other countries).

Anyway, I’m in Athens. I’ve been here for a week today and looks like I might get lucky and be done by the weekend. Turns out that cold I couldn’t shake has turned into a saga which has me chasing tests. Fun Fun. No private health for me here. In fact, no public health really either… all out of pocket.

Hey, it’ll be worth it if I can get to the bottom of this thing.

Basically – I’ve had reflux for quite a few years – thanks to mom’s side of the family where it seems every second person has it. In your face doctors who said I needed to lose weight. All my aunts who have it are slim! Anyway… losing weight is good advice, whatever. Thing is I’ve never had it this bad before. And I had been great for months: sleeping without Mt Olympus at my back, eating whatever I wanted without paying a price. I got a cold and the cough turned me into Vomitting Veronica (anyone else seen Four Weddings and a Funeral?). I cough too much, I vomit. I eat something, I cough, I vomit. That’s one way to lose weight… I haven’t had a full night’s sleep for over 2 weeks, though thankfully I haven’t had to get up and vomit every night, just some… Its been “I’ll just go to bed and sit up a while” lately. sigh.

Mind you, these have been the most stressful 7 months of my life: making the decision to move to Greece, selling everything, finding new homes for my dogs… coming here, finding everything so difficult, looking for a house in my measley price range… Stress never helps with stomach related issues.

Add to that the fact that on returning to Greece I became a child again, unable to make a decision and feeling pushed and pressured by family at every turn. What happened to the capable take charge woman who lived in Tasmania? I really need to find her again…

Hopefully tomorrow marks the end of the tests and I’ll have an answer and, even better!, a way to fix this.

Then I can go back to Paros and muddle through my own mess there.

Other than that, what’s been going on… Well, I’ve applied for a few more jobs and am waiting to hear back from them. This is really uncomfortable you know? I applied for one job where the guy said he had others to interview and would get back to me. I didn’t hear from him for over 2 weeks and now he calls me and says the job is mine. I told him now I’m waiting to hear about 2 other jobs which, frankly, I’d prefer, and he gets angry and says “But I told you the job was yours and I told the others the position was filled”… Uhuh. Then why did you wait over 2 weeks to let me know? You didn’t do that, you interviewed everyone and then decided I was the best applicant. I wouldn’t have kept looking for work if I had a job lined up!

@#@$#!

And people wonder why I’m stressed.

Did I mention that the job is 10 hours a day 7 days a week for 67 months? Ugh. I was desperate to get a job but I did wonder why I’d want to work more on a greek island than I even worked on my own job in Australia… and for way less pay.

This is Greece. I’m still waiting to hear from at least 2 people I contacted re jobs the first week I arrived on Paros, over 6 weeks ago. If I don’t call them, they won’t call me. I’ve been advised to stop being the silly polite foreigner.

Yesterday and the day before I called a guy who was selling a car online about 6 times. We made a time to meet and I called to confirm, no answer. I was on my way and decided that I wasn’t going to go to the other end of Athens unless I spoke to him, so after more calls went unanswered I returned home.

And he was selling something! Hint: if you’re selling something you have to respond to calls from interested parties!

Ditto with the house I want to buy. I’m chasing up the solicitor and the agent and nothing seems to be happening…

My cousin has apparently been re-financing her house. She’s been doing it for 3 months now. Why does it take 3 months? Who knows. Its Greece.

Ads on FB are the funniest. You’ll see a listing for something like this:

For sale – 1 euro – washing machine xxx brand

Nothing more. So you contact them to ask for price, location, phone number. And you never hear back.

Or you’ll see the odd ad which goes like this:

For sale – 150 euro – washing machine xxx brand – Parikia

You still have to hope they’ll respond and give you a number to call, but at least the basic info is there, right? And you get a million people asking:

“how much?”

“where is it?”

“what brand is it?”

grrrr.

Ok people. Read the &#@%ing ad first, then ask the questions! And you sellers: if you want to sell something you kinda haveta get back to people!!!

Ok. I got it out of my system now.

I’m calm again now.

More later…

z

how to complicate life

Basically just move to Greece.

Nothing is straightforward here. I mean, why get a job done in one go? What fun would that be? You want to drag every little thing out for as long as possible to get every last drop of enjoyment out of it right?

Want to do your grocery shopping? Go to three supermarkets and a couple of mini markets to get the stuff on your list cause no one supermarket will stock all the items on your list. So much more fun than getting it all in one place.

Want to book a flight to Athens? Why just do it in one simple transaction when you can spend hours on the internet and phone asking why it won’t accept a card which you’ve used before on that very same site and that works in all the shops you visit? Where is the fun in that?

Want to get a drivers license (a re-issue of an old one since you remembered you used to have a greek one and they managed to find it on the system)? Easy. Just go to 3 different places to get about 4 forms filled out and pay for them, then go get photos… Arrive to have photos taken and get told you need to remove all your earrings. We’re talking small sleepers and studs here folks, nothing dangly the size of a small african country…

WTF?

I’ve been working on some of my critters for Easter – more anti-bunnies! Think of it as stress relief…

Right now I’m living in a state of limbo, not only do all my ‘great ideas’ get knocked on the head, but I’m also putting off doing anything till I know what taxes I’ll be up for once I start a job and get paid in Greece. Seems that even if you want to visit the toilet you must speak to your accountant first in case your output vs your input affects your tax status.

Today I was meant to be on my way to Athens… Instead I spent about 40 euros going to the airport and back cause the flight was cancelled due to bad weather. Ok, I get that. But man. That wasn’t an expense I had planned for. I didn’t wake up this morning thinking “Hmmm, I might take a taxi out to the airport, have a coffee there, then come back”.

Avrio. Tomorrow. Hopefully the weather will be better or I get to do it all over again! We know how to have fun here!

The weather has been wonderful and shitty, not all at the same time. One week it will be glorious, the weather of the Paros of my dreams. The next its freezing cold and so wet I wish I hadn’t left my Bogz in Australia. Sure, the dogs (Romeo) had chewed the top off one, but they were the best boots ever.

The things I regret selling, giving away and just leaving behind – up till now (I’m sure more things will come to me as I live here):

  1. stick blender/bamix
  2. hand held mixer
  3. rice cooker
  4. waterproof boots as mentioned above
  5. industrial sized bottles of wood glue

As I said, the longer I stay here, the more I’ll realise I left behind things vital to living here or anywhere.

Other than that, things are great.

My cold has been progressing nicely. Every morning I wake up and there’s a new timbre to my cough. Its a nice surprise every morning. “I wonder what I’ll sound like today?”

I’ve almost lost my voice again but that’s ok. It means I don’t have to talk to anyone if I don’t want to. Besides talking too much brings on coughing fits. That’ll put an end to even the most scintillating of conversations.

I’m still stressing over to buy an apartment, hang out for the house of my dreams which I probably can’t afford anyway, buy a car or just walk, get a bike and play chicken with the cars, get a full time job, a couple of part time jobs (if those even exist) or try to actually live the dream and create, groom and sell things to earn a living.

For instance – I thought why not apply for a license for a stall where I can sell my own stuff? Its a job, I can set my ours hours, there’s no huge overheads, I like the boss… But the hoops I’d have to jump through (sit an exam to get some certification cause having a BA in Fine Art doesn’t qualify me to sell art and craft stuff I’ve made myself, apply to register a business for the honour of paying a higher tax percentage and no tax-free threshold and the thrill of paying all the related business expenses before selling a thing) only for a 5% chance of getting a license kinda dashed that dream onto the pretty cobble stoned streets.

It not only bashed the idea against the stones, it then held its head under the aqua Aegean till it drowned…

I won’t go into it. Let me just say that right now I feel like I’m on a torture machine that’s a cross between a spanish inquisition rack and being drawn and quartered – I’m basically being pulled in all directions by different people and expectations: my own, my family’s, and everyone who I ask the opinion of.

I know. I know. My own fault for not just thinking for myself and making my own decisions. I do. I always make my own decisions, but this is a new country and a new culture for me despite the fact that I’m greek, from this particular island. I’m not that greek. I haven’t lived here for many years and when I did I had mom and dad to lean on. Now I only have myself. So I gather advice from all avenues in order to understand things so I can make informed decisions.

The only decision I’ve made 100% so far is I need to see the accountant before I make any decisions. (You can call it procrastinating. I call it making a decision.)

This is something that annoys my friends no end. Its hard for them to understand my process:

Ask everyone you know, meet, stand in line with at the supermarket what they think. Then change my mind about what I plan to do every day, sometimes twice a day.

What they don’t understand is that maybe, perhaps, most of the time, I kinda, sorta, maybe know what I want to do. I’m just looking for confirmation or approval or a blessing. Like ‘9 out of 10 people I asked agreed that this option was the best’. They’re not professionals, so I could show you their faces, but I won’t. I won’t pull you into my nightmare.

So other than that, and that the bags under my eyes are getting to the point that they’ll count against my luggage allowance, I’m doing great.

z