Living on Symi

It is a clear spring day on Symi with a chilly north breeze riffling the water in the harbour. The gulls have been wheeling, squabbling over scraps of bread and fishermen’s cast offs, since early and the water boat is slowly rising on her marks over by the clock tower. Occasional low white clouds drift by, taking with them the last lingering hopes of any rain.
Yesterday I had cause to go to the dentist. An unremarkable event in any place but Symi. As is usual in Symi, I did not have an appointment and headed down to Yialos shortly after 9 when the surgery on the Kataraktis opens to find out when he could fit me in. The door was unlocked so I went in, calling greetings, and sat down. The sounds of wistful guitar music and low singing drifted down the stairs. A few minutes later the 9.30 appointment arrived, a visitor who had gone through the formalities, and the music stopped. The dentist came down, greeted me enthusiastically and told me that he could attend to my needs as soon as he had finished with the visitor. We both complimented him on his singing and playing and asked him if this was a new hobby. No, just something he was rediscovering from his student days. While the dentist was treating the visitor one of the fishermen popped in, hands laden with bags of fresh fish. Would the dentist be wanting anything today? No thanks came the reply. The visitor departed, saying that he was off to the ATM to draw some money to pay the dentist. No problem said the dentist, patting his guitar. My turn next and the necessary repairs were made. A quarter of an hour later I departed, the hesitant strains of 1970s Greek popular songs following me back down the lane.
It is incidents such as this that make living on Symi infinitely preferable to living elsewhere.

Have a good weekend.



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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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