banks, post office and what the hell?

I just got a call from my mother. My package has arrived from Australia.

That would be the one full of things I forgot to include in my over-priced shipment and couldn’t fit into my limited baggage allowance on my flight. The package which cost me $250. The one I sent Express Post on December 18.

That one.

It only took a month to get here. Good thing I sent it Express…

The PO called mom this morning, they’d be delivering it between 9-12 today. She called me at 4.30, still waiting for it to be delivered, to let me know they wanted 101 euros in order to hand it over.

101 euros. That’s $160.57.

WTF????

I PAID postage. Threw the nose actually, but I paid nonetheless.

What can I do? They’re holding my stuff hostage. I have to pay it. And no, it can’t be customs costs cause its all used clothing and shoes and stuff.

I’m gobsmacked.

Welcome to Greece.

Have a great life.

I’m not looking forward to banks and tax and other such fun things.

Example:

A friend, I’ll call her Sheila (haha, aussies will get the joke), an Australian who lives on Paros part time, went to the bank last Friday. The automatic teller sucked in her card and refused to return it. She went in and asked to retrieve it. The teller got the card out of the machine and said she couldn’t hand it over. Cause there was no way to prove that Sheila was Sheila, the rightful owner of the card. Sheila had other cards, both her australian driver’s licenses and her passport with her, “See? Its me! I’m her! Its my card!”.

“Sorry” said the teller. “Its for your own protection. This card must be destroyed and we will order you another one. Come back in 10 days.”

“But its me! You can see my passport! Look at the ATM camera! It was only 2 minutes ago, you’ll see me put the card in the machine!”

“Sorry, this is how it has to be. Its for your own protection.”

I walked past the bank later that day and overheard this conversation:

Young lady walks out of the bank. Her waiting boyfriend asks “So… did they tell you you needed to go to Santorini?”

Another Aussie friend has been running back and forth trying to open a bank account. Finally got it sorted today. It only took a week of “come back tomorrows”.

Oh boy, I’m so excited about opening my own bank account.

And the mobile phone data thing…? Well, that’s a whole other can of worms. I’ll go into that in another time cause it really does deserve its own post. You’ll see.

On a positive note, I got a new greek ID card today. New photos, quick. New ID, instant! 15 minutes and I’m the proud owner of a new ID card with both Greek and English on it and a much less flattering photo.

Ah the joys of living in Greece.

z

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