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Goodbye To Pitsidia!

Posted by Dinny, 11 May 2007 · 3,080 views

Some of you might have been following this blog to get to know about what it's like to live in Crete. I regret if I haven't been very informative, I've only posted whatever came to my mind when something special was happening.

Now, something special is happening again, because I have decided to leave this little village where I have rented a house. Nothing wrong with the house, it's all you could ever ask for, but when signing the rent agreement I didn't take into account that I would have neighbours!

When moving to Crete as a foreigner there is ONE thing you should consider before anything else: In MY opinion, different rules apply whether you are Greek or whether you are of any other nationality! The things that the Greeks are allowed to do don't apply to you, be sure of that and dont't try to fight it, because there is no way to do it unless of course you are very stubborn and insist that Greek rules apply to you as well. By law, of course they do. But in daily life, forget it!

I'll get back to my little corner of Paradise to explain. My house is situated in a village in the countryside in Pitsidia, South of Crete near to Matala. On my left hand I have a small pension, "Isabella Rent Rooms" and on my right side a German neighbour living here some months during the year. In front of me is a field with a ruin of an old house, sheep use to graze there during all the months of spring, then suddenly disappear around Easter. They all end up on our dinner tables...

When I first came here some one and a half year ago I immediately received the visit of five little kittens, the offspring of a cat living on the ground of my neighbour's mother-in-law, she too living in a house attached to mine. The kittens were starving, I guess that's why the mother thought it would be a good idea to bring them to my terrace, and naturally I immediately started to feed them. A five-day penicilline cure brought them back to life and they were quite happy running around on my terrace as I was happy to have them there. The food on the terrace obviously attracted other cats and soon there were far too many for me to feed. Greeks don't think it's necessary to feed cats, meaning they are all hungry all the time. After a month or so my neighbours made their first complaint: They had counted 16 cats on my terrace! Excuse me, maybe you should concentrate on your own business instead of gazing into my terrace to count the cats - but still, I understand your concern. The wife of my neighbour suggested that I stopped feeding them since cats would eat leaves if they were hungry. I looked at her for a moment and then decided that no civilized conversation could take place with a women of her level of intelligence.

Every possibility of communication stopped when one of my small cats went outside my gate and was crushed between the wall of my neighbours and a big pot they had outside. It took only one impatient push on the pot from somebody outside to crush her hip bone and it took her 2 months to start to walk on her four legs again instead of three.

Later that year I got Bella, my beautiful dog. When you live in the countryside you are obviously allowed to have a dog, aren't you? Well, she immediately chose who could stay on the terrace and who could not, so she reduced the outdoor cats to 3.5 - meaning that 3 were great friends of hers and the 0.5 was allowed to TRY to get some food but was not allowed to be seen walking on the terrace. Obviously, she just waited until Bella was inside for the night and then she would come forward to eat whatever was left.

Having the dog immediately caused some new complaints from my neighbour: When she was a puppy she would go out in the morning and pee whereever she wanted. I would then run out to clean the mess with the waterhose trying to send the water stream towards the little corner of soil where the wine plant was living so that the water stream reaching the driveway (the terrace is all pending towards the driveway) would contain only water and not pee. Obviously, my negihbours were there to complain every morning that the water running down the driveway might be dirty. We have BIG problems with you!

Well, Bella soon learned that she was not allowed to pee on the terrace tiles but would rather be complimented when she did her needs directly on the ground. Brava, Bella! The lastest complaint goes on that my neightbour, when gazing through my gate, can see that a dog is leaving her poopoos on my ground... I've not quite catched what the hell she is complaining about, but maybe she wants to pay my rent, so that she can tell me what to do here?

But a dog barks sometimes, doesn't it? It's her job and she has to keep the strange cats out of the terrace, so Bella barks sometimes. Well, not that it would be a big problem since Bella is sleeping inside during the night, meaning that she would be going outside (during wintertime, with no turists around) at 8 o'clock and during summertime at 9 o'clock. Her first barking - the duration would be about 30 seconds to 1 minut - would happen around 9.30 usually. And immediately my neighbour would come out like a spider from its hole to make her tedious "shhhhhhhhhhhhh", this at whichever hour during the day. And she would at any occasion tell me about what a BIG problem she had with the dog, since she would wake up the tourist which would be sleeping. At any hour.

Now, you would think that neighbours who are always complaining would be a picture of perfection themselves, wouldn't you?

Well, unfortunately my neighbours think that they own Pitsidia and especially whatever is around their own 'territory'. So, the driveway to my house is usually the parking place of my neighbours car (although he has something like 15 other choices of parking), meaning that whenever I come back from big shopping I cannot drive to my gate to unload my car but have to carry the many and heavy bags the 30 meters from the street to my house. Lately, I HAVE asked him to stop it, to park somewere else so that I could get to my house, but naturally he couldn't care less. I'm just a foreigner....

When they had a small puppy last year they were so annoyed with its peeing and whining that they decided that placing it in a confined space on their parking lot just beneath my bedroom window would be the perfect place to get rid of the noise. They were right, they probably never heard it again, the only problem was that I had to listen to this little puppy crying all night during the rainy and cold winter months while it made my hearth breake. A lonely puppy of 2 months under the rain IS hearthbreaking to listen to....

While everything here has to be quiet like a cemetery that obviously doesn't go for when they have their grandchildren visiting or friends or relatives or tourists. Then the air is filled with screams of Jajaaaaaaa (granny!) and cin-cin and cheerio, all is allowed, who cares if I am trying to work and concentrate on my translations? The only time I actually complained was when their granddaughter chose to ring my bell outside to hear the dog get excited and start barking whereafter she would escape before I managed to get to the gate. (Of course she didn't know that I can see my gate from my office window where I am working so I saw her every time she made her little trick). She funny thing is that my neighbour would come out and hisssssssssssssss on the dog when it started barking! Well, after some 10 times I went to tell her granny to make her stop it. Naturally, they wouldn't believe that the little sweet girl would ever have done anything like that...

When you sit outside enjoying the evening and the sunset that is when my neighbour decides to cut the lawn downstairs with his motorized lawnmover. Well, of course I just go inside and forget about the quiet evening on the terrace...

Obviously, if I were Greek nobody would ever have dared to say anything about my animals. Greek dogs are barking continously from 6 am to 8 pm and even during the night, but they are GREEK, nobody can do anything about them. Obviously.

Anyway, to make a (too) long story short, now I have decided to move on, I can't live near to these people anymore. My neighbours are licking the tourists leaving a miserable 30 euro a night while ignoring that living here you might spend 2000 euros every month during the year in the community of Pitsidia for the good of everyone. They simply don't have enough IQ to realize that this is as valuable as a volatile tourist...

So, when you move here, take care that you get neighbours that ACCEPT you as foreigners. You might be able to show an attitude of WHAT DO i CARE? (how I envy you!) but if you get affected in any way by complaining neighbours then make sure you won't have ANY! Having 'neighbours from hell' like Izabella might ruin your daily life! It has surely ruined mine!

On the happy side: I will soon be able to tell you about another region of Crete, probably a very deserted one, where the sun is shining like everywhere else and where there is no annoying neighbour to ruin my life! :-)












Hi, Dinny so sorry you've been having such a bad time and I will miss sitting on that lovely terrace of yours. However, don't worry - we'll track you down wherever you decide to go!

Pam & Bob
Pam, it's not a big deal and, besides, I LOVE to change my surroundings. My next house might not be as perfect as this one, but now that I know what I am looking for I will definitely be living there on MY terms and not on those of any neighbour. I wrote this post in my blog because I have the feeling that people moving to Crete has the idea, that the Cretan people are some kind of saints, all extremely kind and all extremely generous. Well, the truth is that Cretan people are like people everywhere, most of them are kind and genereous, some of them are not so much of any of that, just like in any other spot on the earth. When coming as a tourist you are likely to meet only the kind and generous part, even my neighbour is extremely friendly with the tourists visiting his place, of course he is, anything else would be bad for business. So if you decide to move to Crete because of all these lovely people, just keep it in mind that you will be meeting the everyday people when you move here, not only the pension owners and shop owners. And when you are a 'foreigner living here' you represent no special asset to any of these people, which means that if Greeks have to respect the rules you will have to respect them 'double' to avoid trouble. dry.gif

I'm so sorry to hear you've had neighbours from hell.

I look forward to hearing all about your new place though. smile.gif
Less curious but very interested
Read the boad dry.gif

Wim
So sorry to hear your troubles. It must have been hell. I do so hope you find a lovely spot where you can relax and be happy and still care for your pets without interferring neighbours who have nothing better to do than make others lives a living nightmare!. Good luck. x
Thanks, Lil. I am actually negotiating the rent of a new house at the moment - real nice house, no neighbours, a huge fenced ground around it, not a fancy garden but only olive trees and grass, so Bella will have to help me dig it so that I can plant some potatoes and stuff like that. Besides - and this is the fantastic point: The owner, though being a Greek, loves animals and likes the idea of a big dog running around on the ground playing watchdog! (I'll have to teach Bella not to wag her tail so happily every time she sees somebody coming!! ahahahah) and cats taking care of the mice.



I dare not tell you anything more until I have the signed contract and the key in my hand. smile.gif
This is good news, Dinny - is this the one near Agia Galini? We both have fingers crossed it all gets sorted out. You and Bella will be so much happier when Bella has space to run around and you can relax and enjoy.

Pam

(not Pam & Bob - he now has his own identity!)

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