Week 25 - Lockdown tourism... Cemeteries!

Adventures in Greece as we pursue the dream of buying a boat and cruising the Mediterranean.

Week 25 - Lockdown tourism... Cemeteries!

Adventures in Greece as we pursue the dream of buying a boat and cruising the Mediterranean.

I’m officially over lockdowns.

Cases bumped up again here (1,200 a day) so the government has taken swift action, we’re now at a 6PM curfew on weekends, with a 9PM curfew during the week. They closed high schools again, they’ve rolled back shopping and we’re in this endless, never ending lockdown where they tease us with progress one day and rip it away the next. I think we’re all looking forward to some sort of normal in the next several months, hopefully they continue aggressively here with the vaccine roll out and we can get there.

We were doing “photos of when we were little” the other day, I have this one (me on the right) of the very first time I was in Athens — I’m guessing this is 1980 or so.

We managed to get one last round of shopping in, this time the mission was to buy Monopoly. Of course it’s in Greek, but with Monopoly that shouldn’t really matter. It’s been interesting seeing all the little differences however. I’m sure many of these have less to do with “it’s Greek” and more to do with “Monopoly has been modernised since the set we played with from Karina’s childhood some 40+ years ago”.

One obvious difference is there are new tokens (a dinosaur) and some retired ones (no Iron!).

We went to the bank to collect our credit card that we’re now eligible for because we’ve stayed here long enough. After a 30 or so minute wait to get into the bank, Karina was told we need to come back with a translator to read all the terms and conditions for us as they are written only in Greek. This is fair enough, but at the same time, tedious. After asking around with friends, we found a lovely law student who was willing to come with us and she sat and read 6 pages of fine print T&C out loud to us in front of a witness at the bank, translating it all from Greek to English. That was a very dull hour.

We went back to Athens First cemetery for a walk, this time to show Ester and Jake from the Habibi Center. The weather here at least is generally very nice with lots of 18C — 20C days.

Later in the week, Erik asked us to come visit a new park we hadn’t explored before in Athens northern suburbs, Ester came along as well. We discovered a very nice bakery on the way. The park itself was fine, fun because it was green and new, but in normal times, you’d never consider it a tourist attraction. It was a destination at least!

It was an adventure getting there however, the entrance wasn’t clearly marked and there is a lot of construction going on for a new football stadium so we had to scale a fence to get in and save ourselves an extensive walk around the outside. Such is life in Athens, there was a handy constructed step and a worn path both sides, so we were definitely not the first to cross there!

Typical greek bakery. They made good coffee.

More walks, more killing time. It’s pretty much the same old grind week in and week out, interspersed with some delightful outings with lovely people to keep our sanity. I even succumbed (after a 6 month absence) to downloading a game for my computer again — it’s fine being productive which I have generally continued to be, but frankly losing a couple of hours to a mindless simulation game is also refreshing.

My French studies are going well. Of course anyone who knows a second language will recognise the challenges, but it’s been interesting for me (who never really learnt one properly) to experience them as well. It’s so much more than just knowing the words, really the challenge is the grammar and construction of sentences — I’m often told (correctly) I sound “too English” and that the sentences I write are all backwards.

I’ve actually had a couple of dreams in French recently too which has been a little strange. In one I dropped my phone running from a hotel and the concierge yelled after me “Ton portable” (your mobile). I then tried to explain I was coming back and I’d get it later. I could clearly remember what I said in the dream and when I woke up and translated it, it was kind of correct, but I could do better when awake. In another, I dreamt I was standing in front of a group of French people all yelling at me in French but I couldn’t understand anything they were saying and I was really frustrated because I knew I should be able to understand at least some of it!

We’ve extended our lease while we continue to pursue boats so we’ll be here in Psyrii at least until the end of March now. We may yet have to extend it again!

Until next time!

Tim & Karina