Aegina Home & Living - Living in Aegina

 

 

 


LIVING IN AEGINA

What is it REALLY like to live in Aegina?

 

                                                           LIVING
 

LIVING                                                                                    JULY 2009

 

LIFE IS COOL…SO LETS PROTECT IT!

 

Writing can be a form of catharsis which is what this month’s (or what is left of it ) is for me.

One can be enjoying life one minute and then it can turn into hell within a split second.

Last Saturday was one such example. George and I were driving home, having spent the morning with delightful people in picturesque surroundings. We’d had mountains, fresh-air, sunlight, sea-views, good coffee and interesting conversations and were on our way home to the children for a late lunch. As we approached the cross roads where we’d turn right into our road, the traffic had reached a halt and a crowd had gathered around a motorbike which was lying across the road and being the same colour as our older son’s, I yanked on the hand-break and sprinted to the scene.

Fortunately, I didn’t find our son but unfortunately for another familyI did find a man lying unconscious in the road. He was lying on his abdomen and he was breathing, so I felt it was best to leave him as he was; nevertheless, the day was scorching hot and I asked some kind concerned neighbors to bring a light cotton sheet so that we could protect him from the relentless sun and keep shock at bay.

The ambulance arrived within minutes and a soft collar was placed around the man’s neck to support his head whilst the difficult transfer from road to stretcher was made.

Sadly, although he lived for a few more hours, he didn’t regain consciousness and died.( R.I.P)

The roads of Aegina were built for a community who travelled mainly by mule and bicycle, hence they are narrow and convoluted. Over the years, new roads have been built to accommodate the increasing number of cars and more recently, they have been re-surfaced. Perhaps this is a mistake, as I frequently see motor cyclists and car drivers racing along as if they are driving on a motorway and there aren’t any paths to allow pedestrians the safety they deserve.

Many Athenians have their holiday homes here and it seems they have a penchant for the largest tank-like vehicles they can find to drive treacherously along the arterial roads. How then, are our children supposed to enjoy an innocent bike ride along the coastal roads if they are faced with egoists on wheels?

Pray you won’t meet with an accident because the ambulances possess solitary drivers. In England for example, every ambulance contains a trained paramedic who is skilled in venepuncture, can start life-saving plasma expanding infusions and administer oxygen therapy to shocked victims.

As for the teenage motor-bike riders, many of them don’t possess the required diploma that teaches them the rules of safe driving and the majority of them believe that they are invincible! Vanity supersedes safety on this island which is why they prefer to ride with their hair flowing rather than encasing their skulls inside the safety of a helmet. On many occasions, I have tried persuading my own son that being alive is cool; death and paraplegia are definitely un –cool and this is the message that has to get across to the youth of Aegina. I cannot wait for the day when he is old enough to drive a car and as a responsible parent, I will nag him about the concept of road safety whilst driving around on this island that is definitely not designed for road safety.

 

A FEW TIPS THOUGH:

DO keep nagging to teenagers about the issue of personal safety, i.e.: wearing helmets on motor cycles and not listening to i-pods whilst cycling

DO purchase a luminous waistcoat, the type that night workers and policemen wear. We have two for night walking and vehicles are definitely able to see us from quite a distance.

DO keep a well stocked first-aid box at home and in your car.

DO have medical insurance if you choose to live here.

DON’T assume people will follow safe driving laws..Many tourists are unaware of some of the unofficial junctions which locals are aware of.

GENERALLY….keep your wits about you.  Use your eyes AND your ears when out and about.

 

Alison Lorentzos                                                            copyright 2009



 

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