Aegina Home & Living - Living in Aegina





What is it REALLY like to live in Aegina?




My arrival in Aegina was unceremonious. Despite my mentioning that the family were eagerly awaiting my arrival, this wasn’t the case when I arrived at midday one sunny, September Monday morning.
As Agios Nektarios pulled into Aegina harbour, the small rope which was tied to the larger one was expertly flung to then port assistant who eagerly and skilfully caught it and proceeded to urgently haul in the thick serpent-like rope which he deftly looped over the black protruding bollard, stabilising the boat into a parking position to allow  passengers and vehicles to disembark.
Nobody excitedly yelled my name or rushed to grab my luggage because the children were ensconced in school and George, I quickly learned was supervising the stone work which was being constructed to internalise stairs leading from the ground level to the first floor of our house, thus converting it from two apartments into a house.
Over the phone, whilst in England, I had insisted that the stairs be made of wood so that we’d have natural warmth beneath our feet as we padded up and down stairs.
I have never regretted this decision.
Taxis were in abundance and I hailed one of the familiar grey cars, asking the driver to transport me to my home in Kipseli.
We wound our way past Kolona and  meandered up through the narrow streets which led to Kipseli. We passed antiquated houses typical of the old Aegina style and I noticed that there were a few more soul-less contemporary ones which had emerged since I last visited. Pistachio trees were in abundance, in fields and gardens, many of which were being harvested, stripped of their nuts in preparation for personal and commercial consumption.
The taxi crunched over loose gravel and stray pistachio shells as it slowed  down outside my house, an indication to George of my arrival and within seconds he emerged from the garden sheepishly grinning and keen to relieve me of my luggage.
He was delighted that at last I’d arrived but he was also concerned about the state of our home.
Lifting my knee to my chin, I was able to step up on to the platform which was later to become several steps. The front door frame ( there wasn’t a door ) was a lattice of metal scaffolding and one had to stoop whilst simultaneously swing ones back under the trapeze of poles to enter the house.
Things didn’t improve inside. Only three rooms were habitable and stone dust tenaciously attached to our mucus membranes, creating a continuous film in our mouths ,it settled like chronic dandruff in our hair and adorned our clothes with a fine layer of fairy dust.
What was worse was George had purchased three plastic tables for the children to work from until the container transporting our furniture arrived. I loathe plastic, along with tomato ketchup, electric lighting and dishonesty. Nevertheless, in this case, they were a good substitute and even now are still put to good use in the garden.
George wisely handed me a conciliatory cup of tea whilst I surveyed the situation and mentally prioritised all that could be done to make the most of our temporary standard of living. We had a lot to do but it was going to be challenging and fun!!


Alison Lorentzos                      copyright 2007