A blog about nothing! A lack of adventure in Greece waiting to cruise the Mediterranean on our boat Matilda.
I feel at the moment, this has become the “Seinfeld” of blogs, a long-winded story about nothing. To paraphrase George Costanza “You know, if you take everything I’ve accomplished in my entire week and condense it down into one blog entry, it looks decent”.
And really that’s this weeks’ episode. A couple of meandering stories about accomplishing the otherwise mundane. One or two new ones that wrap up nicely within the week “it took three days, 3 hours and a form to withdraw money from the bank”, with a couple of old favourites, call backs to long running jokes thrown in “so I went back to KEP again about my drivers license they’ve been processing since May 2021” (it’s still not ready).
To be fair, I did find the form at the bank amusing.
We needed cash for the builders to start work on the apartment, more than we could withdraw through an ATM, so we went into the branch. This was the first mistake. An hour and a half later, we finally got to see the teller who then proceeded to tell us we couldn’t withdraw that much and we got bounced off to another more senior banker. It seems some of our details are out of date (the bank likes to keep a copy of your tax return on file) and they needed them updated. As we don’t have one yet (queue another long meandering story about the complexities of bureaucracy in Greece and the challenges of living essentially as nomads with no fixed abode), this required filing a formal statement. The statement turned out to be straight forward, one of the options is that “I didn’t file tax because I’m a foreigner and don’t make money in Greece”. The mildly amusing part is you can declare “I didn’t file tax because I’m a monk.”
The “I’m a monk” part feels particularly Greek to me — I’ve not lived anywhere before where “I’m a monk” would be a frequent enough option that gets it’s own choice on a form.
The builders are beginning to think we’re a little strange. So far we’ve handed them money in an empty washing powder container (“for money laundering”), an empty ice cream container that I pulled from the freezer (to deliver them the “cold hard cash”) and then a bemused assistant who wondered why Karina was emptying her shopping bag on to her desk only to pull out an egg carton (containing the next instalment of “the nest egg”). They are doing a serious job and unfortunately have to put up with us, slightly bored and doing anything to amuse ourselves.
A colleague I used to work with years ago had their instagram hacked during the week, which is obviously unfortunate for them, but I had several amusing (to me) exchanges stringing along a scammer who was sending me messages pretending to be them trying to convince me to click some link in order to help them “recover some account”. It’s a timely reminder to take care out there — there’s a lot of malicious actors — if you don’t know where it’s coming from, don’t click it! Once I’d had enough with screwing around with them (including sending Rick Astley videos), the simple question “so, tell me where and when we last met, and the approximate year” shut them up quickly.
Karina got an amazing new tattoo, she’s very excited by it — as she said, “the first one was for the kids, the second one was for us, but this one is just for me!”. It’s healing up nicely. I’ll be getting another one as well this week, so more on that to come.
Now that Ella is well settled back in the US, a lot of the week has been spent on planning travel, booking flights etc. In the podcast I did this week with another nomad we talked a bit about just how much work is involved in this planning stage these days https://anchor.fm/footloose/episodes/S01-E04---Chris--the-challenges-and-the-joy-of-a-full-time-slomad-lifestyle-e1dnb2n If you like podcasts, Chris is a very entertaining and accomplished story teller and worth a listen. Anyway, we’re all sorted now thanks to Karina’s hard work and we’ll be back in the US from the 11th of May to the 26th. We’ll be visiting the Bay Area, Portland and then Chicago.
We also went back to Aegina on Friday. We’d meant to go earlier in the week but the ferries were cancelled due to bad weather, which we didn’t find out until we were at the ferry terminal. A minor embarrassment for me purely and only because “you call yourself a sailor and you didn’t even check the weather!”. It was a timely reminder that it’s a good time for the boat to be up on the hard as the weather really has been horrible out there with extreme winds. You just don’t notice it in the centre of Athens.
Things are progressing well — the new air conditioner and water maker are ordered, the new water tanks arrive this week, the generator has now been fully serviced, the engines are almost finished (two new sea water pumps are on their way), the alternators are off being rebuilt, all the new taps are in and while we’re not sure it will all be finished on the 1st of March, I don’t think it will be too far after that.
It’s a great feeling to know that the engines in particular have been gone over so thoroughly. They were due a major service and some parts needed attention due to both a solid season and hours we’d added to them, but also just general age. Impellers (the rubber thingies that go inside the water pumps) in particular are prone to damage especially as they age and stiffen up, they lose their fins and then these get sucked into the cooling system reducing it’s efficiency and of course, the pump loses efficiency as well — you need to pull things apart properly to not only replace the impellers but also to go fishing and extract the broken fins from deep in the cooling system.
We’re looking forward to being back on our home — every visit it feels like we’re moving in the right direction and I feel that I’ve definitely turned that corner from “excited to be in the city for a bit” to “I just want to be back on my boat!”.
Fortunately this coming week is the last of “treading water” for us. Next week it’s off to Crete for two weeks in a camper van, then back to Aegina and a change of scenery with an apartment overlooking the port, then we should be ready to launch and be back on the water again! It’s coming fast.
Until next time,
Tim & Karina