Living on Greek Time
We had planned to go into town and purchase a phone card. I needed to have data as a backup option if the internet at the Airbnb went down during one of my classes. While Nate entertained Felix, who was busy from the moment he woke up, I scrambled some eggs and tried to get a load of laundry started. I couldn’t figure out the laundry machine, or the Nespresso machine, which seemed to swallow my Nespresso pod! It did not bode well for the day!
It became quickly apparent that we would not be buying a phone card that day. All of the stores were closed. We had forgotten that it was Sunday. To make matters worse, Nate’s bank card would not work in the ATM, and of course the banks were closed as well! Everything worked out in the end, I got a phone card the next day, the Airbnb host showed us how to use the machine, Nate rescued my Nespresso pod from the machine and we sorted out how to get it to work properly, and I managed to withdraw money using my credit card. It was the beginning of a trend of odd hours in Greece. Nothing seemed to go quite as planned, but all worked out in the end.
Greece is typically a very hot country, and despite the fact that we are here during the winter months, the schedule is Greece is still set to revolve around the siesta. This means that the hours in Greece are very odd. While most shops at home in Canada have opening hours between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, in Greece shops are open until the early afternoon. By 3:00 pm everything is closed, and doesn’t open back up again until after 7:00 pm. Opening hours for archaeological sites can be hit or miss during the off season as well. Sites listed online as being open until 7:00 pm might close for the day as early as 3:00 pm. On top of that almost everything is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
It has taken us a long time to adjust to these hours, especially since my VIPkid hours have me working until around 4:00 pm local time. We would try and go into town after work only to find it a ghost town! The shops would finally be opening up again as we headed back home to make dinner. We also made the mistake of trying to buy diapers on a Sunday. We were on our way to Olympia, and we figured it would be easy to stop in at a store on route. Every store we came across was closed! We were down to our last four diapers! We ended up finding a small family run convenience store that was open and had diapers, but the frantic search definitely added a twist to our adventure that we had not anticipated!
I don’t want to spoil too many of the stories, but keep in mind that you will see a theme of odd hours in the posts to come.