Slipping into Winter Mode

A private house up near the museum. 
The triple arch motif on the pediment is unique to this part of Chorio
where several houses in the same area have it.

Symi is slipping into winter mode. The sun may be shining but there is a nip in the air. Walking to work this morning I noticed that the early morning school run which, on Symi, often entails parents transporting children on motorbikes and scooters, was a well-wrapped affair with bundled progeny in Barbie pink anoraks and red windcheaters clinging to equally muffled drivers. Greek children are given huge amounts of homework to do in the afternoons and their satchels and bookbags are enormous. Small children in the primary school stagger along under the weight of these things and often have heavily laden parents chaperoning them to the school door, not because it isn’t safe for young children to walk to school by themselves here but simply to carry the kilos of books that have to be lugged to and fro.

A hibiscus grows out of an old stone wall in Chorio.

Down in Yialos there is not much activity around the taxi boats. The big Symi excursion boat has arrived from Rhodes and is moored stern-to at the clock tower. The crew have lowered the two side ramps into the vehicle hold so one can see right through the vessel and are sitting comfortably on their deck chairs, fishing. While October might be a busy month for walkers, for the Symiots it is time to wind down and the atmosphere is much more laid back than it is in August. It is not just the crews of the day excursion boats who have gone fishing. Quite a few businesses on the island are now working shorter hours and are laying off staff. Some tourist shops have already packed up for the year and won’t reopen until April or May. It is the time for end of season bargains as shopkeepers often find it easier to sell off their stock cheap rather than have it suffer the damp of a Symi winter in storage.

Shadows and Bougainvilleas

A neighbour eyeing what is left of my geraniums.

The Greek truckers’ stoppage has ended, or at least an agreement of sorts has been reached, so the car ferries are once again full of freight and the supermarkets are filling up once more. Here on Symi we didn’t notice too much of a problem but big chains such as Lidl and Marks and Spencers on Rhodes had empty shelves and there were complaints from Symiots who had gone over to Rhodes specifically to go shopping only to find the cupboards bare. If anyone can tell me what the difference is between a strike and a stoppage I would be happy to hear from you :-)

Have a good week.


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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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