Greetings from Assini.
We finally moved to Assini on the 25th of August and although we are here three weeks today, we are still trying to fix some unexpected mishaps.
Σας χαιρετώ από την Ασίνη.
Επιτέλους μετακομίσαμε στην Ασίνη στις 25 Αυγούστου αλλά παρόλο που είμαστε εδώ τρεις βδομάδες σήμερα ακόμη δεν έχουμε τακτοποιηθεί γιατί μας συνέβησαν πολλές κακοτυχίες, που δυστυχώς δεν έχω το χρόνο να μεταφράσω πιο κάτω. Οι Κινέζοι λένε ότι μια φωτογραφία αξίζει όσο χίλιες λέξεις, γιαυτό έχω βάλει πάρα πολλές φωτογραφίες και εσεί θα καταλάβετε ότι ακόμη υπάρχουν πολλά προβλήματα.
Παρόλο που δεν πιστεύω στο μάτι, φτου, φτου, γιατί φαίνεται ότι μας έφαγε το μάτι!!
Do you believe in the evil eye? The Greeks believe a lot in it and although I am not one of those persons who believe in it, yet I am having second thoughts after everything that’s been going on.
On Tuesday before moving, we visited Assini in order to clean up the house. Our contractor told us that he would arrange for it to be cleaned but still in order to put some of the boxes with fragile things we had brought along with us, in the closet, we at least cleaned the bedroom.
We confirmed again with him that we had arranged to move on Saturday and he told that there would be no problem.
After his instructions, we went to the electrical outlet he told us and chose sockets, plugs, lamps, exterior lights, door bell and anything necessary for the wiring and his electrician would pass and pick them up.
Old train station near telephone company
We then went to the telephone company in Nafplio to apply for a telephone land line and we were told that as it is out of the village, it would cost us 500 Euros in order to put the poles. That was a real disappointment as we could not afford to pay that amount, so there would be no way we would have a land line and internet for a long time.
The truck came on Friday morning, as agreed, and they told us that our furniture would be delivered the next day around noon, so we left on Saturday morning.
We arrived at the house before the truck and when we unlocked, we nearly had a heart attack: The mess was removed but the house was not cleaned, there was no electricity and the only source of running water was the bathroom sink and the toilet. The shower was not working and the sink had not yet been installed. Mind you that the temperature those days was over 40 degrees C for weeks and of course without electricity we couldn’t have cold water to drink and couldn’t shower after sweating all day!
There was so much dirt and dust in every corner of the house that I was cleaning for days and each day there was more dirt as the workers were either drilling, scrubbing or making holes where necessary.
At the end of the day, we had to go to the beach to swim in order to have a shower at the beach! We then returned to the house to dress while there was still light and went out to eat. We returned back only when it was time to sleep, although we had bought a camping light, so we did have some light until we slept and a thermos to have cold water.
The painters were painting the house next door and started ours a week after we arrived. Since then, they have been scrubbing the exterior of the house for days and are now adding the second layer of paint. Hopefully they will finish early next week unless it is raining all the week.
The electricians were working about 3 days to install all the plugs and lights. After installing the exterior lights, when they finished and the painters started painting, we realized that they would get dirty, so we had to remove them again and will put them back when the painting is over.
The kitchen counter had to be cut in order to install the stove top and the sink but the person we ordered the kitchen cabinets from was not reachable on the phone. As August is the month everyone is on holiday in Greece, we assumed he was on vacation but until today he has disappeared. He had miscalculated the cabinet above the stove top where the ventilator should be installed and it was at least 10 inches lower than it should be. After innumerable calls to him, he finally answered one of our many calls and told us that he was in Northern Greece as his father-in-law, who was sick, died.
We recently found out that his business didn’t go well so he went bankrupt. Don’t tell me to sue him because Greece is not the place for lawsuits, as we will need to pay a lot of money and the case will take years to finalize.
In the meantime, we found a carpenter who came to do his job. Instead of cutting the cabinet, we decided to remove it and place it next to the kitchen window.
We returned the ventilator to buy a new one but they had to order it from Athens, so it took a week to arrive. We had it installed a couple of days ago.
When the carpenter cut the counter to fix the sink, he said that it would not fit. We had bought it from Athens and the period we were allowed to return it had expired. After calling them, they were kind enough to accept the return, so my husband had to go back to Athens to return it while I had to be at the house waiting for someone to come and fix something. Meanwhile, we bought a new one from Nafplion which was installed. After washing the dishes a couple of times, we noticed that the ground outside was wet and after checking it out, we realized that the sink was not connected to the sewage system.
The plummer had to dig a trench all way across the three sides of the house and install pipes which lead to the sewage system.
Yesterday the workers came to install the tiles around the ventilator.
A few days after we arrived, we were very happy when we got a phone call from the telephone company, who informed us that they would install the telephone poles, with no extra charge!! Wow, that was great news for a change. We were really happy as we did not expect to have a land line and internet so soon. They started digging and putting the poles successfully, four in total, and when they were installing the last one outside our house, they hit a water pipe and water was pouring all across to our house. They finally fixed it but this delayed the process of installing the line by about a week.
A glass brick window which was installed on the wall just above the stairs to the porch was filled with cement or a kind of plaster they use. When we cleaned the dirt away, we realized that the flowers had disappeared.
The workers tried to clean it and scrubbed it and not only the design of flowers was removed but the glass was badly scratched as well. That was also replaced.
I bet that by now you think our problems have ended here. Well no!! Yesterday, 14th September, 2012, our oven had to be removed!!
We had spotted from the very first day that it wouldn’t fit properly in the cupboard, leaving a gap of 5 mm below and the cupboard above couldn’t open properly. The electrical appliances store from where we bought it claimed that it had nothing to do with the oven and blamed the kitchen furniture. Eventually, after making many calls, they were convinced that the oven was defective. Although they said since this morning that they would send the truck to pick it up in the morning, they eventually came at 7 p.m. This is the usual attitude and almost all of them tell you that they will definitely be there at a certain time and of course, they are never on time. Now they have to check to see if the oven is in fact defective and fix it or if it cannot be fixed, we’ll have to buy a new one. You can realize that it will take days to have an oven again one way or the other!
On the bright side, we have met some of our neighbours who seem very pleasant. Most of them have by now left as they are using their houses only as a summer house. I have also met some locals who are kind people and willing to help.
We met the “proedro tis koinotitas”, who is the person responsible for the community. The land our house is built on used to belong to one person and he divided it into 16 plots. Two private roads divide the plots. The government does not oblige them to make roads, pavements, put electricity and water, before selling the plots, so this is something we have to do. We asked him if we could have community light poles and lights installed on the roads and he promised that he will arrange to do this soon. As regards the paving of the roads he said it would be difficult to get funds for this but he said he would do his best. Otherwise we will all have to pay to do this and it will definitely cost a lot of money.
My next door neighbour “M”, is spoiling me with fresh eggs and produce like eggplants, okra and zucchini, from her garden on a regular basis. To return the favour, I have given her Chocolate Cream Cookies, a Mixed Fruit Crumble (I haven’t posted the recipe yet but you can get an idea from similar recipes I have made) and a Savory Zucchini Cake, with some of the zucchinis she gave me.
The other day we went and picked some green bitter oranges to make “glyko tou koutaliou”, which is a fruit preserve I will be making soon.
Update: 18 September 2012
The oven was returned after being checked and there was no problem with it. The kitchen man finally returned our calls and appeared at our door step. From what he said the Italian company he collaborated with went bankrupt. The mistake now seems to be theirs and he removed the cabinet door which he will fix and bring back by the end of the week.
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi / Κοπιάστε και Καλή Όρεξη!