When I began letting word out that we would be living on the Greek island of Crete for a few months people always said “oh you must like it there, who do you know there?” I don’t know anyone. I’ve never been there. “Well how in the world did you choose it?” This is how;
- Affordability, long term housing was cheaper here.
- I’ve always wanted to go
- I thought my husband would be making port on this island (those plans have changed)
- My mother brings study abroad students here every year for 10 days (those plans have now changed as well)
- Chania (on the other side of the island) has a U.S. naval base and I’d like to scope that area out for a future rental property/retirement home
Let me tell you where I arrived to; the last two days have been rather difficult. Mostly, because our rental house has been majorly lacking in some big departments. I had very high hopes for this house and although things have improved drastically I am having a hard time adjusting my expectations and swallowing the amount of money I’ve had to spend to make it into a long term home. When we arrived there were only two pillows for four of us to share, one bath towel for four of us to share, no hot water, the “second bed” as advertised was a broken futon couch that didn’t lay down all the way and within 12 hours the septic had backed up into the atrium marooning us in the kitchen like the Gilligan’s Island Crew. That on top of no markets being open because it’s the Monday after Easter and our first 24 hours without Grandma were just a little more than I could emotionally handle.
Things have improved with communication and patience though I spent most of the last two days on the verge of the largest entitled American girl fit you’ve ever seen. After near begging, our land lady brought by a couple more pillows and more towels. The hot water just is what it is. She claims everyone here in old town has issues getting enough hot water. Ok I can deal, barely, but I will. The other huge issue with this house is that every single drawer/closet/dressers/basement/counter top is full of the owner’s things. They basically were hoarders that moved out yesterday when I said I wanted to rent it. It is very difficult to make a house a home when you can’t even unpack your belongings because of the amount of stuff in the house, yet there aren’t 4 towels, go figure. So instead of throwing a verbal fit I moved whatever I wanted to into a few closets to make room for us to live here. The structure of the house as a whole is lovely, quaint, quintessential Greek stone house and I can and will love it easily now that we are settled.
Part of ‘settling’ for us meant finding the things I need in the kitchen to cook. There are only two pans available to me in the house, one knife, cheese grater and one spatula. We set out today to find a frying pan, pairing knives, kitchen scissors, dish towels and tupperware. At some point I’ll have to buy a whisk, which I forgot today or I won’t be able to mix anything to bake while we are here. A huge part of making a house a home for me is cooking in it. After today I now feel like we can begin to slowdown and enjoy it a bit. One massive bonus of this house is the washing machine is brand new and works like a much needed dream.
On day two we found the closest beach and re-centered. On day three we found the post office where all packages go is my understanding. We also met our first people here and enjoyed conversations outside of each other. We have a much better understanding of the area in both directions after today and the next two days we are going to focus on meeting people. There is a large language barrier despite months of my efforts to learn Greek. I expected this, Athens is different many many more tourists so English is spoken by most at least on some scale. Crete is an entirely different story, which I was prepared for, but I still need a lot of work. I speak some, I have a large vocabulary, but putting together full sentences is still difficult. We need to make some friends now though, it is really the only thing (despite daddy) that is missing and even though friends only make up a small percentage of our days in the u.s. when they are missing it feels like they left a 90% hole. We need some interaction outside of the family so that is the focus this week. Hopefully by Monday morning I’ll be able to report that friends have been made and meals have been shared.