Symi Dream

Living on a Greek island

A Greek island blog from Symi in the Dodecanese islands of Greece. "James’s great talent lies in his careful observation of the absurd and the amusing, the dramas and the difficulties..." Anne Zouroudi.

Symi Dream - Living on a Greek island

One Day

One Day

I took a walk down to Yialos yesterday to get my photos for my biometric residency permit. I have the appointment a week on Monday in Rhodes and have all the paperwork I need, plus some. At least, I think I do. From what I’ve been told, the Rhodes office is organised and friendly, and the appointment shouldn’t take too long. (Thanks for the additional info Louise.) The day won’t be too long either. The Blue Star is scheduled to leave at 5.05 in the morning and set off from Rhodes on the way back at 17.20. The appointment is at 11.00, so there will be five hours of hanging around (somewhere) in the morning, and then about five in the afternoon, but it has to be done. All I have to do now is obtain a permit to travel from the KEP office, get a letter from the mayor stating that I live here, so I am allowed back on the boat, and buy the tickets.


Meanwhile, I still have a few extra things to photocopy. These are things I shouldn’t need but will take with me, just in case. Things like a copy of an affidavit swearing this is my address in case my newly updated electricity bill doesn’t arrive before the 26th, a copy of my CP papers, my marriage registration at the town hall, my old IKA stamps/book to show I have been here and insured since 2002, a signed copy of the Treaty of Versailles… I don’t know. Anything to prove I am what I am and that I am my own special creation. Who knows? What I do know is, while I was getting my photos done, I took this snap and thought, ‘I can’t wait to get back there for lamb chops.’

April 14th_2

We also had a phone call from KEP yesterday checking an AMKA number for the vaccine, so things are progressing in that direction, though we’re still not 100% sure when us youngsters will be called to go and be done. Shouldn’t be long now. There’s also news in the Greek press about how certain public and private sector workers are required to self-test from Monday twice per week and to enter the results into a website, carry the papers, and can be fined for not doing the tests. This is when you’re back at work, of course, as Neil hopes to be after Easter. Yiannis has already confirmed with him, but we’re still waiting to hear when the bars might reopen. A bit like everything else at the moment, it’s a case of one day…

April 14th_1

The Same Old Sun

The Same Old Sun

Following on from yesterday’s sun-themed post, here are some photos taken on Monday as the sun was coming up. The hills turn a dusty pink colour in the first rays, though that’s not always easy to capture on a phone cam, and the low light casts longer shadows on buildings and along the lanes. I took a wander around the village, up some steps, through some narrow alleys and came out beyond the museum to the main road. From there, it’s an easy walk downhill back home, and at that time of day, the streets were very quiet.


Mind you, everywhere is very quiet. I popped my head out of the gate just after 4 pm and heard nothing apart from the chickens up the road. Things seem to be noisier at night when the motorbikes are out as, I assume, younger people look for something to do of an evening. The sound of a plane overhead is cause for conversation these days, and if you want to see something moving in the harbour, you have a choice of patrol boats, the Blue Star ferry and the Spanos catamarans. I occasionally see a fishing boat chugging about, and the other week, I saw some of those white charter yachts out at sea. I assume they were being moved from place to place by the companies that own them, or they were people who live aboard their boats all the time changing neighbourhoods. The tankers come in when needed, but otherwise, the harbour remains devoid of visiting and pleasure yachts, as it currently must.


So, quiet days, a brighter sun as spring continues, and now we are in a calmer weather period, and the temperature is back to the early 20s in the courtyard by the afternoon. There’s a sense of a clock ticking in the background as we approach the promised/possible reopening of the tourism industry, but as yet, no sign of businesses doing up their premises – not that I’ve yet seen, at least. Fingers crossed it can all start to happen again soon. We managed a summer season of sorts last year, and that was before vaccinations, so I am hoping it will be possible again, even if along the same distancing lines. Meanwhile, the same old sun will rise in the morning


Symi Sun

Symi Sun

Finally! The wind died down over Sunday night, so I thought I’d share some sunnier views today. Mind you, these were taken a couple of months ago, but we will have such skies again very soon. The sun is coming up earlier each day, so you can expect some sunrise shots once I get this mammoth first draft out of my head and have time to get out and about more.

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Talking of sunrises, regular visitors to Symi will know that on the wall in the Rainbow Bar, there is a painting of a ‘Symi Sunrise’ and the slogan, ‘Symi Sunrise is good for you.’ (It’s a cocktail.) Yiannis had this painted years ago, and it and the mural of the Symi scene still remain. I mention this because Yiannis has already checked in to make sure Neil is happy to come back to work as soon as the bar can open after Easter. Of course, he is, and we can only hope there will be customers. I know many friends from abroad are eager to get back to Symi, and who can blame them? I’m keen to get off it for a day just for a change of view and for something to do.

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That’s going to happen in two weeks, as I have to go to Rhodes to start the process of applying for my residency card. The last time I did this, in 2008, it took about three weeks of toing and froing to the police station here on Symi, phone calls, and a lot of waiting around. Hopefully, as the authorities are now having to process over 30,000 of these applications, they will have streamlined the thing. The first trip is to deliver the paperwork and fill out the forms, the second a while later is to be fingerprinted, and the third is to collect the card. That is unless, by now, they have speeded things up and arranged for Symi people to get fingerprints done on the same day and for the cards to be sent to our local police station for collection. That would save a lot of travelling between the island and save money and time. The last I heard, though, three trips were still necessary. I’ll let you know in due course.

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And back to the blue skies to finish.

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