Squalls and Showers

Spring is in the air and typically unsettled equinoctial weather is buffeting the country with squalls and showers. Snow is expected on high ground in the north but down here in our little corner it is quite warm, if overcast. The poppies and corona daisies are already taking over in the countryside and the ground is starting to crack from lack of rain.

Greece is still in the grips of major countrywide strikes which are affecting the airports as well as banks, power, refuse collection and public transport. As journalists and state television are also on strike until Friday in effect there is a news blackout. In a nutshell the strikes are a response to proposed long overdue reforms to the Greek social security system which, like many other European countries, is suffering from an increasingly elderly population and not enough people paying in. While in small communities like Symi the demographics have changed favourably with more young families on the island as the benefits of tourism have enabled Symiots to marry younger and afford families, in Greece as a whole the birthrate has dropped, with the inevitable result that more is coming out of the pot than going in. In the time I have lived in Greece I have seen the retirement age for women raised from 55 to 65 and I should imagine that by the time I am 65 retirement will be a concept people look back on with nostalgia!

I went to Rhodes yesterday to do the usual round of errands for this time of the year and it was very quiet. One cruise ship arrived in the course of the afternoon but the Old Town vendors evidently did not think it was worth unpacking for them and the place remained closed up. The season proper only really gets under way with Greek Easter in April and for many businesses it is not worth the effort and expense of opening up for a few hours in the middle of March on the off chance someone might pass through. Even in Marks and Spencer I had to cajole the solitary salesperson to open a till so I could pay for my purchases. Browsing in the computer shops, on the other hand, I was practically mobbed by enthusiastic sales staff as the first potential customer they had seen in days!

Have a good week.


Anonymous –   – (Thursday, March 20, 2008)  

This doesn't sound at all good: (a) for my flight to Rhodes on Sunday; (b) for a ferry to Symi on Monday (when only the Aegli is shown on the timetable anyway) and (c) for the spring flowers when I do arrive!!

Anonymous –   – (Friday, March 21, 2008)  

Sounds wonderful. i wish i could say the same thing about the weather where i am. It is cold and king winter has made yet another visit.

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About this Blog

I sailed into Panormitis Bay, Symi, by chance one windy July day in 1993 and have been here ever since. The locals tell me that this is one of the miracles of St Michael of Panormitis. A BA graduate with majors in English, Philosophy and Classical Civilisation, the idea of living in what is to all intents and purposes an archaeological site appeals to me. Not as small as Kastellorizo, not as touristy as Rhodes, Symi is just the right size. I live on a small holding which my husband and I have reclaimed from a ruin of over-grazing and neglect and turned into a small oasis over the course of the past 22 years. I also work part-time for Symi Visitor Accommodation, helping independent travellers discover and enjoy Symi's simple pleasures for themselves.

This page is kindly sponsored by Wendy Wilcox, Symi Visitor Accommodation.

Adriana Shum

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