Today, after my Greek lesson,I went into our nearest town, with my teacher, expecting much doom and gloom after the referendum; the banks are still closed and the Greek people can only take 60 euros at a time out of the bank machines. But the Greeks are still smiling and helping each other Then I went to the pharmacy to buy some medication, worried that the rumours about shortages of pharmaceuticals are true. My pharmacist did not want me to pay the full price for my meds and said that he would fill my prescription earlier for me so that I would pay the subsidized price. Then at the butchers, customers were drinking Raki accompanied by snacks with much joking and laughter. I was introduced to a Greek man who now lives in Montreal, who assured me that the Greeks will survive and will still enjoy life with their usual good humour and kindness. I was then presented with a bottle of Raki and proudly reassured that it was home made. Then off to my favourite kafeneon for a glass of wine where the customers were being serenaded by a young boy, seated with his proud parents, playing a traditional Greek instrument, a Baglama.
So life goes on in Greece although “This ain’t quite the way we planned it!” I have to say that I know there are many Greeks suffering, especially in the big cities, but here on Crete life is more rural with most people growing large vegetable gardens, keeping chickens and rabbits and they all say they will not starve and that in the villages people look after each other even newcomers like us.
Kent and I have not been directly affected, so far, by the troubled times but we do worry for our Greek friends. As foreigners, having foreign bank cards, we are not restricted to 60 euros a day but if the banks run out of money we may have trouble accessing funds through the bank machines. At the moment we are taking life one day at a time and withdrew all our money at the beginning of the problems so we have enough to last the month. Our bank has become the cookie jar and the mattress!
I think I have become more Greek than Kent as I am ever optimistic and Kent does all the worrying for both of us. We do however have an emergency plan B but for the moment the sun is shining, the Greeks are smiling, Raki is cheap and the music is free.