Tuesday, 1 November 2011

November 1, 2011

We had our first introduction to riding the bus here this morning!  Sometimes it is better to use public transport because the parking is so bad.  On the bus (it was only half the size of our buses) we had to stand, quished together like sardines which was quite worrying as we had been schooled about the dangers of pickpocketers - wallets should be in your shirt pockets and a jacket zipped up - ladies should not have anything in their coat pockets and purses zipped up and the zipped side close to one's body.  They said the pickpocketers are so good you don't even feel it when they lift your wallet etc.  The reason for the bus ride was to go to the HSBC bank and start proceedings to get our money transferred here.  When you enter the bank, you press a button to go in and you are facing another door which automatically opens when the outside door is shut - they had been having a lot of bank robberies, hence their response to that which works pretty well for the most part we are told.  We talk to the banker and found out what documents we had to bring back in order to transfer our money and then were on our way to the bus stop to come home.  We waited about 10 minutes and our bus came - so did passengers, en masse.  We couldn't fit on and then had to wait for the next bus which didn't come for another half-hour - you can only shake your head and say "That's Greece."

We had a very full day being trained - it was a good stretch without hardly any interruptions which is rare, so it was a productive session.  About 5:20pm we left to go to the airport once again to pick up Pres. & Sis Charles returning from Cyprus. It's fun to do that as they always have so much to share about their trip.

We heard that there is to be a referendum tomorrow regarding the debt problem here.  Seems the president is passing the decision off to the people!  There is much speculation about the outcome - will Greece go back to drachma? - will the Greeks agree to deeper austerity measures?? and such like.  Another thought going around for the first time is the possibility of a coup to which Pres. Charles commented, "At that point, we'd all be going home!!  Interesting times!  We've decided to drag our feet a bit re transferring the money until we can see what's going to happen.

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