Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Beginning of a Beautiful Headache - episode I

Ever since I came to Greece I don't have a job and that drives me nuts. I'm used to being useful, to doing things that mean something, overall of having a purpose. As nice, sunny and touristic as it is, in Greece I fell totally purposeless. And no, hobbies don't count as purpose.

A few weeks ago I decided to create a site, a meeting place for buyers and producers of any kind. It wouldn't be much of a job since it wouldn't be payed but it would at least give me purpose since it would be useful to others.

And thus the epic story begins...

I started scratching the surface by finding out where the Laikes (the producer's markets) are every day. So what better place do to that than to ask at the town hall. This is how I found out that there are 14 town halls that I need to address. You think they are many? Apparently they use to be 45. The overall  population of Thessaloniki's Metropolitan area is only about 1.000.000 inhabitants. 

Since the only source of information that I have available is the internet, I started looking for town hall sites and email. To my great disappointment, some don't even have a site while others pride themselves in giving you 10 pages of small written phone numbers as contacts so they would make sure that you won't know whom to address and give up asking whatever you wanted to. 

After a few days of intense search I found emails to most of the town halls so I wrote to them asking for info. In the next two weeks I received four answers out of which three told me that it's not their job to know that and I should ask someone else and only one useful answer. Overall I sent more than 20 emails since I wasn't sure whom to address so the response rate was of about 20%.

Three weeks, a tone of frustration and several headaches later I managed to build the list that I was looking for or at least have a good start at it.

The more I looked into it, the more I understood the quantity of work this project requires so I asked around for people that might be interested to help. My lesson was harsh. Everyone I talked with was very enthusiastic about the idea up to the moment when they needed to actually do something. Then, nothing happened anymore.

Another lesson I learned is that here in 5 out of 10 cases when you want to buy something the person from the shop will have better things to do than attend you. Maybe it's just my  luck, who knows?

One morning I wanted to print some contact cards so I went to the paper store to get some thick paper to print on. At a 9.45 the store was still closed even though it was supposed to be open from 9. Hoping that the printing store will have some paper fore sale I went directly there. Well, the good thing is that the guy was there, the bad thing is that he could not be disturbed because he was having his coffee.

Super Lazy

I don't know what your opinion is but for me this is not ok. So I made this drawing that I intend to print on stinky paper and whenever I'm going to go to a store that ignores me or is closed when it's supposed to be open I'm gonna stick that to their door.
Hmmm, I'm thinking that might not make me very popular...


  1. What does the sticker say?

  2. It's translated underneath the picture. It means "SUPER LAZY"

  3. After reading this (and other) posting, I am very sure you are a foreigner living in Greece!

    Craziness is a native Greek characteristic...

    The other day, a Swiss guest asked me: "Why do you, Greeks, plant trees and shrubs on the sidewalks and pedestrians are forced to walk on the street?"

    What would you answer? I just said: "Exactly, so that pedestrians do not walk on the sidewalk"...