Each time I move, I face the enviable task of changing all the bills to my name, updating my address at the eforia, waiting in vain for OTE and getting the air conditioning guy to install and give freon to my hace frio friend.
We thought we were ready to go this summer because our AC unit was installed and serviced last winter when we moved. Apparently not. I turned it on and found nothing but warm air, which only caused me to wilt further under this uninsulated top-floor apartment house registering 39°C in the shade. For those of you that don’t speak Celsius, that’s 102°F. At night, it only gets down to 31°C or 88°F, and it’s humid.
Needless to say, I’ve not slept well for several days in a row, usually waking up in a terrible panic from sweating in my sleep and not being able to breathe. The outer door of the bedroom faces the now noisy-all-night-club-until-dawn-blast-my-music-because-I-don’t-work beach access road, and it isn’t constructed properly so light floods in at 5:00. But even if it were quiet, we can’t leave the door open because mosquitoes want to show their love for me in spite of two tablet/liquid machines and being doused in DEET, plus the house is covered in dust and dirt within a few hours when the wind blows. Sleeping in a bathtub full of cold water wrinkles my skin after an hour and makes me feel like white trash, so I try to make do with a fan blowing hot air on me while I cook, clean and work.
Add to this our water being turned off in the morning and afternoon, throw in some power cuts and that’s my “affluent” Athenian life. You want to be me, don’t you?
I waited eagerly for the klimatismo dude to show up today sometime after noon, looking forward to a full evening of sleep and restoring my sanity by morning. Well, it’s after midnight and he no cometh. Never mind that I waited all day in the house, sweating myself to a sticky, salty anxiety. Never mind that there was no wind. Never mind that there was no phone call to reschedule. It’s not the first time.
It once took me nine appointments, three different services and nine days off from work over 40 days to get a man to come out five years ago, and it was only upon befriending someone who ran a heating/cooling shop according to business etiquette he learned in America that I finally got it done. Too bad we now live in an area that is some distance away, or I’d call him.
Tomorrow my Greek counterpart is going to find me a portable air conditioner. If he doesn’t, I’m thinking of sleeping on the marble floor like I did in desperation five years ago. Is that crazy? Maybe not since I told this story to Tino’s modern Greek-American mom, and she told me she did the same thing when she lived in Greece.
Plakakia slumber party anyone?
Photo from cartoonstock.com