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#1 sel

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 10:10 PM

:huh: evening everyone thought i'd join this site as me, hubby and kids are relocating to crete in the next 2 months so have couple of questions!

first one being - what do the cretans think of dogs???? i have 2 (small) boxers that i'm taking with us an want to know, as we're renting first how easy will it be to get somewhere that'll accept my two dogs.

also where oh where do the greek kids go to school???!!! i know of the international school in heraklion but what about in elounda - thats where we'll end up (my mum relocated there 2 years ago) i want to work part time but i also want my 12 year old to go to a school (even though he will be home taught part time aswell as i know that the schools only go on til about 1 in the afternoon!)

anyway hello to all again an many thanks for replies in advance

#2 Tim

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 10:45 PM

I'm not sure that any of our regulars here live or are really familiar with Elounda at the schools level sel, is your mum not able to check for you? Many expats have views on what is best for children, some say their kids cope far better than the adults.
The Cretan attitude to animals is not the same as exists in the UK, I think fewer Cretans would keep dogs as pets than in the UK. Dog poisoning can be a problem in some parts and I've seen advice to keep pets muzzled so as to prevent them eating scraps that may make them ill. There will be owners who may not object to pets but I am guessing they will be fewer than in UK, again maybe your mother can do some research for you.

#3 sel

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 11:44 PM

Tim, thank you for replying, my mum has been asking about the schools, there is a greek school there, we could be headin to heraklion due to the international school there, plus hubby possibly doing his dive master course there, as we both plan to work, as for the dogs, i know about the greek attitude there an the poisoning there, can't believe that, my dad lives in turkey an they take the strays in an spay/castrate them then tag them to keep an eye an all the hoteliers feed them, i've never seen such well fed strays! but i do realise it's an issue, thats the greek way of life an something i would have to get used to - and be extremely careful!

i replied to your post bout the animal cruelty vid earlier not realising it took place in greece anyway i went off on a bit of a tangent so, i'm sorry about that.

how long have you lived in crete?

#4 lshall05

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 10:19 AM

Hi Sel

Welcome to the forum!

Has moving to Crete been something you've been looking into for a while or is it something you've decided fairly recently?

The Cretan view of animals is slowly starting to change and more of the younger generation are being brought up with pets (either kept in the house or in the garden/yard). I personally haven't seen any cruelty but know that it can and does happen. The Cretans I know tend to go for the smaller lap dogs rather than bigger dogs (these tend to be working dogs) so when they see people taking 'larger' dogs for walks and playing with them they do sometimes give you strange looks (we have a Heinz 57 puppy that we think is going to be about the size of a small labrador). Our landlord allows pets but I know someone who got a puppy, took it back to their apartment and when the landlord found out they were given 24 hours to find it a new home or leave it on the streets. The only way you will find out if you can keep a pet is by asking the landlord.

Greek children go to school, just like everywhere else! There might not be a secondary school in the village that you live in but there will be one somewhere fairly close. I would guess that if there isn't a secondary school in Elounda the closest one will probably be in Ag Nik but that's something your mum could find out for you. I'm guessing your son isn't fluent in Greek so he is going to have major problems at school as all his lessons will be in Greek and they won't make allowances for him. We know a couple who brought their 15 year old over to Crete with them and she was made to sit in the classes and try to work out what was being said. Even in the English class, she was told that her homework wasn't right, that she had written the wrong pronoun or verb etc. She was so sure that the work was correct that she asked a friend in the UK to get the English teacher to look at it and she had got 100% versus something like 45 or 50%... Needless to say as soon as she was 16 she dropped out of school. There are people who have brought younger pre-school age children over and they have picked up the language fairly quickly, however, when it comes to homework the parents struggle to help them so have to pay someone to help the child with their homework or hope that the child understands enough to do it themselves and maybe get a Greek friend to check it over.

I know that there is a member on another forum who sent his child(ren) to the international school in Heraklion but I have no idea if he is a member on here and if he is, when he was last on. From memory, I don't think they have every secondary school year yet but as the children move up an academic year, they are gradually adding the next level.

Unless you are extremely lucky, you will find that you will only get work during the tourist season (full time hours here tend to be 8 or 9 hours per day, 7 days a week. You can pick up part time work, but whether you afford to if you only have work for 5 or 6 months of the year, is another story!). You will have to fund yourselves for the first winter (or in your case as you are moving soon two winters), before you would get winter payments and that would only be if you have enough 'stamps' over 2 years. This season has been really bad and many people (including myself) have either been laid off, not taken on at all by their usual employer, or have not been able to find work at all.

There is very little to do in the winter as the vast majority of the 'tourist attractions' are closed, the number of tavernas and restaurants that are open drops drastically. Unless you have Sky TV (or Nova or something similar) you will have very few English language programmes to watch (and more and more of those seem to be getting dubbed into Greek).

#5 Tim

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 11:19 AM

Sel,
I don't live in Crete but have been visiting for coming up twenty years - a drop in the ocean compared to some! I did think very seriously about it, spent time there experiencing the different seasons and so on. I've also researched Crete, and a small period of its history for many years, and like most here have many friends in Crete (one of whom I was particularly thinking of in relation to the dog issues- they loved dogs but their neighbours didn't!).
My wife and I decided that we would rather visit Crete as and when we wished rather than settle there. Time has shown that it was the right decision for us for many reasons. I notice a lot of those who did go and settle are now trying to sell up and get back. Finding work is a real issue for those who need to work, many seem to live off providing services for their fellow countrymen- that area seems saturated with those wanting work. Getting a Greek job amongst locals will often demand at least fluency with the language in many cases.
To be frank, issues about animals never figured strongly in my thinking about Crete. I don't approve of cruelty in Crete or in the UK but don't see it as my job to tell the Greeks anything about the way they ruins their lives in their country. I'd rather focus on the things we can learn from them-which are many. Had we moved there it would have been to live amongst them, not in an ex-pat community.
Like Ishall05 I would urge you to do as much research as possible and not be so blinded by all that is wonderful about Greece that you fail to spot the hardships that you may face. But don't let them stop you going if that is what you really all want, just be better prepared to take the challenges on.

#6 sel

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 09:46 PM

thanks Tim an Ishall for your replies there, to be honest everything you wrote there didn't surprise me at all, my mum keeps saying bout how hard it is as she works an she doesn't want us uprooting an then regretting it, my hubbie has been offered diving work out there . . seasonal though but he is prepared to travel for the winter diving thats been offered too (he's a rescue diver) he is also a class one driver so he would be prepared if need be to pop back here for a couple of months to get some funds, but an offer has been made for him to maybe work on the bin lorries! would be handy through the winter period.

as for me i have been in touch with the oxford home learning which means i can teach dan at home while being in line with the national curriculum back here an my son can do online learning sending his assessments back to be marked etc, still gets to do his exams to, an he'll be doing his padi courses from 12 too, i am qualified to work in the beauty spa's so i thought maybe have a look around the big hotels, again i appreciate its seasonal but thats also something i can do from home part time an my mum will mind my son, but i plan to put him through a proper greek class, i know it'd be too cruel to dump him in a greek school.

i think sad as i sound the only thing to stop me would be my dogs, they're from our own litter an i couldn't part with them, i've always said you get a dog it's for life not til they're inconvenient then get rid, so they're with me for life my mum said they shouldn't be a problem she knows people who rent apartments with dogs so fingers crossed.

i think if it didn't work out i still wouldn't come back to the uk, with hubbies diving could go elsewhere, do you think the seasons bad cos of the recession?? surely it's picking up now though, i remember the last one and that didn't last long.

so ishall - are you a greek national or expat??

#7 Tim

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 10:37 PM

Good luck with your plans, I hope they work out for you. You do seem to have given it more thought than some, I think a few of us feared the rose coloured spectacles from your first post!! The 'season' this year is argued about it seems. Some say there is plenty of business from countries other than the UK. For sure though the exchange rate is a problem for a good number from outside the eurozone.

#8 lshall05

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 11:14 AM

Sel

I'm an expat. We spent years researching our move and finally made the move at the end of January this year.

I think a lot of places have been quieter than previous years. The pubs and restaurants in Malia have definitely been quieter but there are still a lot of people around. The problem though is that people are eating and drinking more in their apartments before going out so aren't spending the money they previously would have in restaurants or bars. We have friends who come over on holiday and they used to go out for meals every night and spend 3 or 4 hours in the pub but this year they ate out maybe 50% of the time and would have fewer drinks (although they might spend the same amount of time in the pub).