Tuesday, November 15


I warned you I wasn't finished.

Friday I came to Athens for the day to complete the simple job of taking a tax paper from the central tax office. Monday, I'm still here, and tomorrow I will try again.

Okay, so the office had moved 6 months ago and seemingly told no one, including Directory Enquiries and my local tax office. That's just a glitch.

In a spanking new, 4 floor, office block one hour later I hit the queues, and while waiting made some new friends standing waiting with me. Forms, forms forms. An M1, followed by an M7, followed by an E1 and an A5 so I could get an A7.

My passport, my driving license, my ID card were not enough to confirm my identity. Could I show them my tattoos, would that help?

Dizziness with vertigo. Queue at the counter on Floor 1, take the form to an office on Floor 3, get it stamped on Floor 4, come back to Floor 3 office for a computer print out to take to another office on Floor 1, collect a fax from another office at Ground Zero, back to the Floor 1 queue to rejoin my new friends.

2 o'clock - close down time - was approaching uncomfortably fast and I was still speed elevatoring between various Floors and offices. Resigned looks were appearing on the faces of those further back in the queues.

But humour and helpfulness was everywhere. Everyone knows the processes are badly broken, but everyone from office clerk to member of the public, dealt with it gracefully and with a smile.

But I timed out. A hand with a stamp within it was actually hovering over my papers when an eagle eye spotted a minor error. I was in the wrong office in the wrong location because my Α.Φ.Μ was 'attached' to a different area of Athens.

So tomorrow, at 8am sharp, I will do it again.


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