Sunday, February 23, 2014

Riding out the storm of negativity


If you’ve been following along on my adventure, you will have gathered by now that it takes tremendous patience for a foreigner (or even a Greek) to try and transact business in Greece.

First test of endurance is the byzantine bureaucracy.  It takes oodles of paperwork, stamps, copies, notarized documents, more paperwork – oh wait, that office is closed today… come back Tuesday – except, oh dear – they’re on strike on Tuesdays.  You get the picture.

Now I am at the point where I am dealing with engineers, builders, project managers, lawyers and accountants. (Yes, it's only taken me three (3) years to get that far!)  I have lost patience and trust with some and developed new relationships with others... all part of the learning curve I guess.

 Then there’s the sort of endearing, but ultimately soul sucking tediousness of one’s friends always smugly second guessing me.  Oh, they say they support your dream – but, really, they’re sort of being subliminally snarky and spiteful.  YES, dammit I HAVE heard the news about the Euro and the Greek economy. NO, the stuff you see on the late night evening news is NOT the reality (by the way – the riots in Montreal are far worse than anything in Athens).   I get the feeling that they want to see me fall flat on my face.  That may well happen, but for now, I am still proceeding. Slowly.  Oh, so slowly.

I know you watch the news and may have read an article two in the newspapers.  But I LIVE there for months at a time.  I live, eat and breathe the Greek economy and politics  16 hours a day. I follow the news, the banks, the stock exchange, the parliamentary debate.  I’m on it.  I am not stupid.  Neither am I omniscient; I am aware of the risks.  I have done my homework.  But as smart and as prepared as I am, I can’t predict the world economic situation.

But you know what I can do?  I can gather my courage, dare to dream my dream and roll the cosmic dice.  I’m sorry you don’t believe in me or have the faith in my courage that I do.  If it works, I will have a lovely home in my favourite part of the world.  If it doesn’t work, I will employ the safety nets I have in place.  I assume you will be my friend in either event.

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