Week 41 - Boat licence and new shoes

Week 41 - Boat licence and new shoes
Shoes on the left, at the innovation museum on the right.

Adventures in Greece as we cruise the Mediterranean on our boat, an Adagio Sundeck 44 Trawler

There is a lot of mundane life that goes on between updates and this week has been more mundane than most. Really, not much happened at all. I will try to make it entertaining, but fair warning, this really is the entry about nothing.

With an intro like that, I’m sure you can guess the progress on the boat. Wait for it… yes, that’s right. Nothing happened. We continue to wait for the de-registration in France to move on to the next step. In the meantime the person who is supposed to be pressure testing the Fire Extinguishers (and absolutely positively was going to pick them up Friday last week), still hadn’t picked them up on Thursday this week and said that they might pick them up this Friday. I suspect they have not been collected yet.

This is our last weekend in our apartment here in Psyrri. It’s been a wonderful place to live and explore the city, but it’s also time for a move. The fact that it’s getting noisier and noisier at night is not helping. We’re OK with the general street and restaurant noise (ear plugs help). But several night this week we’ve continued to have people playing live music on the street, singing and banging drums until 5.30AM. We’re ready to move somewhere quieter. The temperature is getting up around 30C+ many days a week now too, so time to be near the beach!

On Wednesday morning at 9AM I received a phone call from the Speedboat School asking “Where are you?” to which I responded, “In bed”. Turns out the course had started but they failed to actually tell us when, where or give us any details when we paid the fees the previous week. We are now starting the course on Tuesday next week.

As part of the course they’ve given us the translated test materials. It’s going to be an adventure! Here’s a couple of the questions:

Q1: Owners of speed boats owe to:

  1. To have recent gear and equipment with valid date on board.
  2. To have on board irrelevantly if gear and equipment of the boat have expired.
  3. Keep them at home.

Q2: If collision course doubt exists the operator appreciated that:

  1. This exists.
  2. He/she is not sure.
  3. Does not exist.

Generally we can work out what they are asking, but there’s definitely a few that are a real challenge. Answers at the end if you’re interested.

We’ve noticed that translations to English here are often very poor, which is fine of course, we appreciate that there’s an effort made for tourists at all, but it just seems that so many Greeks speak excellent English that they are going out of their way to find those that can’t to make the translations!

The other major activity this week was sorting out my drivers license. There’s a department here called KEP, which is a kind of all-in-one government office for citizens. It handles everything from police checks to drivers licenses to property taxes.

I needed to go and apply for my Greek drivers license (exchange my US one for a Greek one). The frustrating thing about KEP isn’t so much that it’s frustrating — you KNOW it’s going to be frustrating and take time, that’s just how these things go. No, what gets me is that it’s inconsistent. On several occasions now we’ve gone there to do things and they insist on an appointment, except when they don’t. They’ll print the forms needed for Karina, but can’t do it for me. They let me in without an appointment one time and 15 minutes later when I returned with a missing document THE SAME LADY THAT LET ME IN 15 MINUTES BEFORE, insisted that they never let anyone in and I need an appointment.

Similarly with the bank — KEP don’t take money (why??) so they send you to the bank with the forms to pay. Karina took the forms to the bank last week, they helped her pay them, I went this week to the same bank, and they insisted that they NEVER help people pay them, you have to do it online. Anyway, I survived the process and now my drivers license has disappeared into the system and I will find out if I can get a Greek one sometime in the next 2 months.

On Wednesday I had dinner with the Habibi Teachers — it’s funny how we’ve adjusted to the later pace of life here. The idea of meeting for dinner somewhere after 9.30PM would have been horrifying to me in the US, but in Greece, it’s all normal and the tavernas are still shutting “early” having to close at 12.30AM.

My new (custom made) shoes were finally finished. I’m very happy with them — it’s one of the first pair of shoes I think I’ve ever worn where there’s literally no pressure points or rubbing. It will be interesting to see how they wear in, but with full leather inners they should last a long time and I can bring them back for a touch up if needed!

We did visit Heraklieidon museum and their Eureka exhibition of Ancient Greek Innovation. They were a clever bunch including building some automated “servants” and an automatic slot machine to dispense holy water. We watched a video that demonstrated that the Greeks had all the technology to build steam powered water pumps. There’s no evidence that they did necessarily, but every component required has been found and documented in use in other machines (steam boilers, converting direction of force, belts, pumps etc.) although many of these machines were considered almost “religious” in function so the leap to something as mundane as mining might have been a bit much.

Of course no mundane week is complete without killing some time in a cafe. We visited one (Underdog Roasting) which was excellent having just re-opened recently from the lockdown. There’s an amazing coffee culture here in Greece with great coffee and an increasing number of really good roasters appearing.

Well that’s it. We start the speedboat course this week and hopefully the de-registration in France completes so we can move on to waiting for the registration in Poland to be finalised. 🤣.

Until next time…

Tim & Karina

Answers: Q1–1, Q2–1