Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Things I need to get used to in Greece - Part 2

- There is a pharmacy on every street corner, how many sick people are there here? *sprays herself with swine flu preventing stuff*. Pharmacies are like petrol stations, they aren’t open all the time or even until late. They work on a rotational basis – if your pharmacy is closed it will have a notice on the door letting you know which pharmacy in the area is open (please note you get an address not directions so for emergencies go straight to the hospital, do not pass the pharmacy and do not collect R200)
- The shops aren’t open all day every day. Mondays and Wednesdays they close at 3pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays they close at 9pm but are closed during siesta time between 2pm and 5pm, Saturdays they close at 3pm, and they don’t open on Sundays, even most supermarkets are closed on Sundays!

- 80% of people don’t wear helmets when riding a motorbike or scooter (I have a feeling it’s a Kool Kid thing), 10% ride them with their helmets hanging on their arm (I don’t get it either). Quad bikes are also allowed on the road. It’s the norm to see more than one person on a bike at a time, even 3 is not unusual (I saw a family on a bike, dad in front, mom at the back and little kid squished in the middle, yip just like that e-mail you saw once)
- Most robots have poor people waiting to wash yo
ur windscreen, all you need to do is shake your head or finger once, only once, and they will go away. No need to scream NO NO NO and put the windscreen wipers on as a deterrent. And I haven’t seen any pamphlet people, imagine stopping at a robot and not having a pamphlet shoved in your face!
- The effing dustbin collectors (in Galatsi) wake me up at 05:50am every morning, they make so much noise that it sounds like they are demolishing the building next door! This white south african girl has a little heart attack every morning at 05:50am
- I’ve been here for a month and I still worry that someone will have broken into the apartment while I was out, I still worry that someone will break into the apartment during the night, I still get a bit panicky when I hear strange noises…. But I do feel a lot braver here *lifts her fists and starts weaving* bring it on motherfuckers! *said in her best gangsta voice*
- Most people park their cars on the road at night, and find them there in the morning! In SA I parked my car outside for half an hour and it got broken into. I parked my car inside, activated the beams and the alarm, and it got broken into!
- Greek rap. Enough said
- Paying 11 euros for a cocktail. R130 for one freaking cocktail! And no, not a lethal concoction that will have you dancing with your arms in the air shouting how much you looooooove this song after a few sips….. just a plain old mojito. When you say you’re going out for a drink you really mean just ‘A’ drink. When I get back to SA I am going to throw alcohol down my throat until the cows come home, until then guess who is going to be nursing a couple of bottles of cheap vino before going out? Oh and no one dances here….. no wonder, cause they’re all sober!!!
- Restaurants, coffee shops, clubs etc serve the entire table water as soon as you sit down, even if you don’t ask for it, and they keep refilling the glasses even if you don’t ask them to.
- At a coffee shop or bar, as soon as you order a drink the waiter brings you the bill, which does seem just a tad bit rude but apparently you aren't actually expected to pay it right away. When you are ready to leave you add up each bill from each round, no such thing as running a tab here
- The showers are tiny. I’m not just saying that because my daddy built us the mother of all showers. In hotels, if you stand in the shower and close the shower curtain it touches one whole side of your body (the feeling of a wet cold shower curtain clinging to your body is enough to make you see the merits of a Portuguese bath. Not? Just think how many thousands of random bodies that same shower curtain clings to each holiday season). In homes, the shower head is attached to the taps in the bath with a pipe just long enough to lift it over your head, there is no hook on the wall to hang it from, try washing your hair with one hand and holding the shower head in the other! When I get home I am gonna shower 5 times a day *thinks of her fabulous shower back home and imagines she is featuring in a Timotei ad*
- The lift (elevator) door doesn’t automatically open when you reach your floor, you actually need to push it open. The lifts are roughly the same size as most showers, not unusual for a lift to only fit two people at a time (and it’s a tight squeeze, shoulder to shoulder)

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