Thursday, February 9

Time for Depon

I left The Village to travel to the Big City yesterday. I need to visit a government office, talk with an english-speaking employee, about How To and What To and When To do certain things with my new (and I sense looooooong) application for a license from the GNTO for my rental business.

I don't really want to do this and remain unconvinced about the value to me in taking this piece of paper, but the local GNTO to me know of me, and are pressuring - no, insisting to me - I do.

My preliminary investigations have confirmed my worst fears, as I grapple with translating and comprehending the 'FEK' applicable to my situation. Despite the fact my property has 3 modern and fully equipped bathrooms adjoining the bedrooms I must have a small cupboard per bedroom housing toilet paper rolls. And 2 small stools per bathroom (OK, I'll remove the bidets, the vanity units and maybe the baths to accomodate them then). My dining table, seating 10 poeple, doesn't meet the rules as it's too small. (Never mind its a wonderful piece of antique furniture that, with its matching chairs, looks beautiful in the room. But I don't need matching chairs if and when I throw this out). The original 400BC walling surrounding part of the pool area needs to be......painted!! And, I suspect they will insist on controlling my prices. At a level considerably below what I currently charge, and that I currently recieve from guests who invariably on departing, insist the stay and facilities are great value. Of course, they can't confirm any of this until after I make the application which will, after I have paid for the new triplicate plans, elevations, inventories, new photographs, urban plans and topography drawings, cost around e2,000 - e3,000. Never mind that I'm the only local tourist trade in the area, employing 2 local greeks, bringing some 200/250 people annually into the area spending their dollars and pounds. Apparently, I don't know what I'm doing.

So in the hope that it's the local office that don't know exactly what they are doing tomorrow I visit the central offices. And last evening I stayed in the Big City and realised just how much I have missed the energy, buzz, chaos, and variety of this place. I visited the Banaki Museum for a launch of some paintings of Samos that will feature in the calendar of one of Greece's cement companies. The paintings (in my modest view) were average but the general company was energising, especially later as some of us danced (or tried to, anyway) the night away in a nearby Tapas Bar heaving with Latin music.
Today, I'm envigorated, up and energised, albeit my head hurts. A lot.
Sitting in an internet cafe', head in hands, reading press reports from England about the London street protests surrounding the publication of those Danish cartoons. And seething at our pc-correct hypocracy. Some weeks ago a mother who lost her son in Iraq stood 350meters from Parliament in a modest, almost silent protest against Blair. She had one placard with her sons name on it. She shouted her sons name when Blair's car appeared in the far distance. And she was promptly arrested on public order laws. But those protesting against the cartoons were allowed to parade with some of the most viscious, inciteful and vitriolic banners and placards I have ever seen, to burn the Union Jack, to display obscene images from 9/11, to call for the decapitation of the West, its leaders, its people, its democracy, its religions, its values and its beliefs. And to date, no-one, not one, person has been arrested. Freedom of Speech is a difficult line to draw, I know, and I'm not sure I support the publication of the cartoons. More freedom, less prohibition of speech is my instinct; But to live in a country, draw benefits from a country, and preach its downfall from within is an absurd travesty; And to take no action against this on the concern of upsetting these people is an obscene hypocracy.
Time for Depon.

1 Comments:

Blogger kassandra said...

Instead of all those plans, photos, renovations, etc, just try handing the guy some evro along with your application, and invite him to come stay one summer, gratis. Suddenly painting your wall might not be an issue anymore. (???) That's the way they say it works anyway. Give the local bureau a cut too, for good measure.

09 February, 2006  

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