Who do you call when the lights go out?

Thoughts and prayers.

A great new discovery to share! When the power fails — summer, Friday midnight, central Athens– your immediate response is to call the power company, right? Or rather, you call the number for faults on the power bill you receive (by mail still, because if it were online how would you find the number, eh?).

That is what we did. Then we called the other number the recording told us to. And then … well, it told us the service for faults was only available from 7 to 7 weekdays. And that was it. No other option. Line cuts out.

We called directory — and they directed us to that number. On the off chance that we were at fault — we live in Greece, of course we’re at fault — we called again. Same message.

There was a breeze last night so it wasn’t a complete and total emergency because, boy!, wouldn’t that be a bummer? No power in a heatwave. And if you were elderly maybe, or sick, or just alone and a bit scared, too bad, human!  We sat on the balcony sharing light coming from neighbouring buildings that were lucky enough to have power.

We checked in with the neighbours and they too said they’d called the power company and noone was picking up. We used the dregs of power in our mobile phones to check the web to see if there were online options to find someone. No.

We lit some candles. We waited. We realised how helpless we were — there was absolutely noone to call, nothing could be done.  And that, my friends, are the choices you have in this country – 21st century capital city in Europe. Thumbs up sign.

Took a couple of hours before the power came back. Just switched on as suddenly as it had gone. It’s always fun to realise how much you rely on an organization like the Greek Public Power Co., related entities and the Greek state.


Dancing on Dionysiou Areopagitou

Summer is here. When you wander a little further away from the crowds and scooters on Makriyanni St you can sometimes be rewarded by scenes like this… dancers practising at the foot of the Acropolis. It was beautiful and serene. Enjoy.

If I ran this country …. II

not only would the trains run on time but passengers could actually buy tickets for them.

Time stamp: 9:30 p.m. Place: Syntagma Sq. Metro Station

QUEUES. Everywhere. Queues to top-up or buy tickets at the 4 machines (one not working). Queue at the only staffed ticket window. Queues are at least 5 to 6 deep. We gave up waiting and walked home.

But wait – there’s more. On the way into town Damon went to buy a ticket – we had no change, just a 20 euro bill and there was no staff on at the ticket window. So we tried buying it through the automated ticket machine. Won’t accept 20s. We tried to get the 20  changed in the station. No go. We had to walk out of the station and try two establishments to get change, then go back and buy the ticket.

That was 7 p.m. at the Acropolis metro station. Not exactly the quietest of stations on a summer evening. Why is there no one on duty?

Dear Metro and Government. Above is testimony to the fact we’re trying. It’s time you did your bit too.

Another Fail.