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

Friday Photos

Friday Photos

To end the week in what’s become my usual fashion, here are some photos.

Firstly, Taverna Zoi is opening tonight (Friday). I took these and other photos early in the morning while walking up to To Vrisi. The others were taken on a walk down to Yialos, as you can probably tell. Here they are in no particular order. Have a good weekend.

june 16_1 june 16_3 june 16_2 june 16_4 James May_10 May 31st_11 May 13_03 May 31st_12 June_3 june 15_2



Living on Symi, sometimes the simplest of tasks can take a terribly long time. For example, let’s say you needed to get your incoming orders from the bank and give them to your accountant so she can prepare your tax returns. This can involve gearing yourself up to head to Yialos, an event in itself for the likes of me, preparing your speech for when you get to the bank, and being forearmed with your bank book, passport etc. That done, you head off down the steps, around the harbour, and arrive at the bank, hoping there won’t be a queue. There is, and you wait in the blazing sun while the queue declines pleasingly quickly until there’s just one person in front of you, and you are being held in the vestibule, which must be the only non-airconditioned part of the building. However, the person in front of you is trawling back through their transactions since before the days of the Drachma… But you finally get in, deal with your paperwork, pay the fee and escape. As you do, you decide to call at the post office, where you wait again until you can enter, check your PO box and find there’s nothing there anyway. So you decide to drop your papers at the accountant, only to find they’re not open yet because it’s still early. So, you trudge back up the steps knowing that you’ve got to trudge back down them again another day soon.

And breathe.

june 15_1

That’s how things can sometimes go. On Tuesday, however, things ran differently. Having geared myself up for the annual visit to the bank to ask for my ‘pink slips’, which the accountant needs to do last year’s tax now the platform is open… I headed on down the steps with a self-made printout of the transaction details I needed official copies of, so I could hand it over and save the teller some time. I was early, as I hardly ever do anything late, i.e. after ten in the morning, and discovered, when I stopped to tie a lace by the war memorial, that Jenine had been calling me for the last five minutes. I’d not heard because my head was back in 1890 and the chapter I intended to write when I got home as it usually is when I am allowed out on my own. We walked to the bank, and she continued on to work, and lo! I was admitted to the vestibule straight away. There, I had to wait while someone finished some piece of business inside, which took all of two minutes, and I was released into the air conditioning to talk to the teller.

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I made my opening gambit in Greek, of course, and after that, we slipped politely into English. The paperwork was quickly prepared and handed to me with the news that not only are these things not called ‘pink slips’ anymore and haven’t been for years (I knew this) but also, there is no need for me to go to the bank to get them. I can do them via my Alpha Web Banking… and here’s how. After the demonstration, and after being told how to activate my new card, which arrived a couple of weeks ago, I was back out in the sun with a spring in my step. A quick visit, no need to bother them annually again, and my card activated to boot. So, buoyed by this, I decided to head to the post office, where there no queue, only a cheerfully welcoming George, and a delivery slip waiting for me in our PO box. I’d ordered a model from the USA back in March. It was a pre-order, due to become available at the end of May, and I wasn’t expecting it until next month. It had been posted on May 16th and arrived here on June 10th, no extra charge, all in one piece. Well, as many pieces as the kit should have because you have to put it together yourself. Result: I now had a spring in both steps.

I now have four to build when the winter comes.

I now have four to build when the winter comes.

There was another result shortly after when I started my trudge back and found Stelios already in his office. I dropped off my papers, thereby saving another trip down the next day, and headed on up the Kali Strata springing like nobody’s business. On the way, I met Panormita, who does my tax return, so was able to tell her – while bouncing from one spring to the other – the non-pink slips were waiting for her. And so, my annual admin was done and dusted within one hour of leaving home.

Sometimes, things don’t take so long after all.

This and That

This and That

I’ve got some odds and bods to show you today. These are photos that don’t seem to fit anywhere or haven’t yet found a place in one of my quick ‘catch up’ blog posts. Oh, apart from the boot which falls under my ‘things found by the side of the road’ collection.


I’ve also got a preview of what you can find in next year’s calendar, which is now on sale at (and only there). You used to be able to do an online preview at that site, but I haven’t yet found out if I still can. So, this will have to do:

Preview smallerClick here to go to the purchase page.

The glass of wine shot was just one of those moments when a butterfly fancied checking out the vintage and hung around for a quick look.

May 31st_06

This other one is there because I thought it was about time we had a shot of Yialos and the boats. It’s looking a bit busier down there right now. The taxi boats are going out, the beaches are open, there are more visitors, and there’s more activity. The same goes for the village where there are more people about in the late afternoon/evening.

Rhodes 26 4_04