Aegina Home & Living - Living in Aegina

 

 

 


LIVING IN AEGINA

What is it REALLY like to live in Aegina?

 

                                                           LIVING


 

LIVING                                                                             NOV/DEC 2014

 

IS THIS IT??



I am now in the UK more than not and it is wonderful to be in the familiar family kitchen again, our home.

Number 3 needs to attend a good university which she can achieve more easily if she attends a British high school.

 All three children are now in the UK, number 1 has a very interesting post graduate position with a prominently successful company while number 2 is in the north of the UK studying a subject that he enjoys, has lots of new friends and many opportunities, leaving me and number 3 to delight in each others' company.

 My work in England is interesting and very stressful but how well oiled is the wheel that turns the cogs of employment. Many of my colleagues are Greek; here in the UK they are able to find positions that pay them their worth and since England is meritocratic, they are able to rise through the ranks to obtain senior positions. Few foreigners in Greece would find work worthy of their qualifications. I cannot imagine a foreign doctor would be offered a consultant's post in a country that is built on nepotism and the giving and receiving of favours.

The English evenings depress me though, not because they are dark but because everything shuts; people go home at 5pm and towns become soulless shells. I remember one evening trawling around a suburban town with number 3, trying to find somewhere to sit and enjoy a coffee. I didn't want a pub and neither did I want a restaurant. I wanted a cafe with ambience and rich coffee with a comforting aroma and a punch of caffeine. We finally found an Italian restaurant that had a roomy foyer and tasteful surroundings, where we were warmly invited to relax.  A Czech waitress brought coffee and hot chocolate on a round silver tray.

 Compare Aegina, even during the winter, the creased fishermen, warm with ouzo can be seen huddled around tables discussing the latest victim to have fallen to the clutches of the economic crisis, how even the fish seem hell bent on making life difficult. I miss too the madness of the Greeks, the spontaneity of their dancing and incessant arguing over political matters.

 There are compensations though to life in the UK, such as the Serbian man who sells good coffee from Victoria station. He works for the International Cheese Company, a smaller company than the multinational coffee outlets that are found in every city, in every station. His service is individual; he remembers his customers, greets them warmly and knows exactly how to make their coffee, the size required, whether it is expresso or cappuccino and just how much chocolate powder to sprinkle on top. I have asked him to buy cinnamon for me. When I get onto the train in Victoria station, I do so clutching a decent coffee and a free newspaper and life doesn't feel so bad! How I miss though the affordability of travel in Greece. A bus ride from Piraeus port to IKEA is only 1.20 Euro compared to an average of close to 5 pounds for a tube train journey in London and the cleanliness of the tube trains in Athens puts to shame the shabby, littered carriages of the trains in London.

Nowhere is perfect and we have to make choices based on our needs in relation to the phases of life we find ourselves in. For me, the UK has plenty of opportunity, perhaps too many health and safety rules yet despite this I have an underlying fear of urban terrorism, a subtle, undercurrent of fear that makes me feel insecure.

Greece on the other hand has politically unstable neighbours, there are currently few commercial and professional opportunities, rules are rarely implemented, there are ludicrous taxes flying from all directions and yet I feel so much safer there.

 

Life is wonderfully interesting if there is plenty to do and people to meet and I consider myself fortunate to have such a wide circle of friends from two very different countries

 

Mr. L by the way is very happy.


 

Alison Lorentzos                                                             copyright 2013

 

 

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