Was it when I hailed a taxi driver from across a busy street and he yelled at me
“Pou?” and I knew he was asking me “Where [do you want to go to]?” as opposed so “Pooo! You smell like poo!” ?
No, it wasn’t then.
Was it when I could lipread two friends greeting each other on the trolley in Greek [whilst listening to my iPod] and asking each other how they were?
No, it wasn’t then either.
It was when I picked up the phone, today, to speak to the lady who runs the maintanence of our building. Let me explain:
In Greece, most blocks of flats are quite old (especially in Athens) and built around the 1960’s/1970’s. The central heating in these flats are centrally controlled, ie: the people who run the maintanence of the building purchase oil each winter and collect money from each flat for it.
Now then – as we all know, this year has been a disaster for Greece and Greeks and many people do not have money, not to mention the price of purchasing a litre of heating oil is exactly the same price as purchasing a litre of petrol at the pump (nearing 2 Euros). I have no idea how many litres of oil is required to heat an entire building with 50 flats in it, but I am guessing it’s a lot.
And people haven’t been paying the oil bill – so, the heating’s been left off until more people pay (this is one thing I DO miss about the UK: individually controlled central heating).
So, back to the matter in hand – how did I know I’d become ‘Greek’?
I call the woman today, after trying to get in touch with her since the weekend – it’s 9 degrees outside and windy. I SCREAM at her, I mean SCREAM that it is COLD and she needs to arrange to get the heating put on a.s.a.p. She has already bought the oil needed (with the money she already has – of which I have contributed I might add) and the conversation is one of YELLING (from me) and PLACATING (from her).
Guess what? Within the hour, the central heating is on for the first time this winter.
I don’t like yelling, but those of you who know me would agree that I am slightly more outspoken and brutal than your average Brit – hence maybe why I suit this environment?
And did it feel good to yell like that – hell yeah! I might have to learn to do it more often.
Godzilla – watch out.