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

Meanwhile, Home and Away

Meanwhile, Home and Away

Well, where to start on a day like this? What with the scenes from Washington, and the dire news from the UK, and… No, I shall turn to cheerier matters, and, to start with, an important one for us immigrants on Symi who have residency and might be wondering about their biometric cards. The process has started on Rhodes, and people living there can attend the ‘aliens’ centre in Rhodes town to do their upgrades. This, as far as I can make out, involves proving you’ve been tax resident for five years (see your accountant), a CD ROM of four photos plus the prints, proof of income, job or over a certain amount of savings, and the payment of a small fee. Ah yes, but currently, we can’t get off the island for anything other than medical reasons, so what do we do? Well, a phone call to the police station for advice is the first step (thank you, Jenine), and the news from there is that they are currently waiting to be told how we on Symi must proceed. They will update us later in the month. So, unless you’re in Rhodes for a medical emergency and have time between treatment to call into the alien’s department (love the thought of that), and if you can find a photo shop that is open, it’s a case of wait and see.

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Meanwhile, in the confines of the house, the decorations are down (took me all of five minutes), and life is returning to a post or pre-Christmas normal. It was 17 degrees outside yesterday, but we still had the heater on because the house has gone from the storage heater of summer to the cold-storage container of winter, and it will take several weeks of constantly warm weather to warm the walls. No complaints as I’ve still not yet had to wear gloves while working and the long johns remain in the wardrobe. The fridge is nearly empty of the chocolate collection, one Mars bar left to go before I have to start on the cooking chocolate, but we’re well-stocked with vegetables and, in the cupboard, brown rice which is actually meant to be brown and isn’t some leftover from two years ago.

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Outside, the sea is calm, the sky a mix of high cloud and the occasional blue, there’s hardly any traffic on the road, and the only mechanical sounds I hear are from the ‘manhood to prove’ teens on their tampered-with mopeds, racing up and down the road after the 9pm curfew. Even the cockerels seem quieter these days, and the chickens peck about the lane in silence while the cats lounge in the road when a breakthrough of sun allows a warm patch. So, things tick over, life ticks on, and my keyboard clicks away at my fingertips. Perfect.

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