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Happy Days Are Here Again!

Posted by Dinny, 14 January 2006 · 1,693 views

Remember that song? It puts you in a good mood, so even though there is no particular reason for choosing just that title for this post, I think it's a good starting point! smile.gif

Well, the weather is fantastic these days! Every morning starts with bright sunshine, and it looks like spring everywhere. All these small yellow flowers keep your spirits high! Thinking of all you people scattered all over Europe, USA, Canada with freezing noses whenever you go outside makes me feel a little bit guilty for being so lucky as to live here. A friend of mine used to say that if you HAVE to be unhappy it's better to cry in a Rolls Royce than in a FIAT 500 - he has now changed it to: It's better to have problems in Pitsidia than in Copenhagen! And I must admit that he is SO right about that!

I often read in the forum about somebody wanting to live in Crete, maybe starting a small business to make a living. This is exactly what I did. I used to be employed, having my nice although not too fat salary coming in every month and doing translations on the side to get butter (Danish Lurpak!) on my bread. After a year's trial to see how much these translations would bring in if I should decide to live only on that, I decided that I could make it, and I moved to Crete. What I didn't keep in mind is that sometimes it happens that somebody is not paying what they owe you, or maybe just postponing the payment till they (or their bankers) feel better about it. And if you haven't just inherited whatever a rich aunt in America left you, then you might experience some problems in making ends meet.

In December a client of mine was not quite ready to pay something like a thousand Euros, and this is having serious repercussions for my little business and my everyday life. Suddenly I feel these Euros missing everywhere since my budget fell apart like an old house under an earthquake! OK, it won't probably last too long, my Italian lawyer is confident that we shall manage to scare them into paying within a few days since they will otherwise run into an efficient machine of justice which will bring the amount of their debt to "heavenly hights". They are not about to go broke, so I guess my lawyer is right about assuming that they will decide to pay within the forthcoming ultimate deadline. But nevertheless, it makes you wonder if you shouldn't have had a bigger buffer for these situations.

What I wanted to get at is that receiving a phonebill amounting to 419 (fourhundredandnineteen) Euros in such a situation can make your hair turn grey over night! I just had the pleasure this morning. No fear for my hair, it's grey already, hehehheh. But it made me stare without words for a moment seeing a bill like that. Something like 8 Euros for phonecalls (I use phone cards) and the rest in some way connected to my use of the internet. I need it for my work, online dictionaries, mailsystem, search engines, whatever, so I can hardly choose to use internet less if I don't also choose to work less. The essence is that I have run into such a phone bill with OTE because I don't know the language, I managed to get an ISDN connection but nobody has informed me about which number to use to call through my ISDN subscription, so I have to pay for the ISDN subscription without having the advantage of the minor rate for the connection. Or maybe there isn't a minor rate, they've just decided to rob you anyway! OK, next week I'm going with my Greek son-in-law to the OTE office to sort things out, I probably should have done that long ago, but I thought I already had!

I'm sure you get my point: To be able to move to Crete and live on whatever small business you intend to start up you will need a heavy bank account as a buffer, and you will definitely need either to speak Greek fluently before you come or to be able to continuously lean on somebody that does!

It's always difficult to start something. But I can honestly say: Who cares, this place is the most beautiful place on earth, the surroundings and the sunshine make you smile and forget your worries, and as long as my small buffer keeps me out of trouble I can continue whistling my happy tunes: DON'T WORRY, BE HAPPY.


June 2023

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