Learning Greek and Taking Names

August 1, 2015 at 3:26 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Three more months until the big move, and we still have a lot to do. We have managed to complete our medical exams, pay off the car we plan to ship over there, apply for credit cards that don’t have foreign transaction fees, and tomorrow we’re getting our passport photos taken. Apparently we all have to have diplomatic passports, the kids need to get regular passports, and we all need visas, all of which take several weeks to process. We still have to figure out car insurance, open a new bank account in Greece (not a local one, of course), and put together a big ass garage sale. Unfortunately there is a limit to what the government will pay to store, so we have some scaling down to do. We’ve already slated some of our big ticket items to go to friends and family, and I’m hoping to offload the garage fridge and our old IKEA furniture on craigslist. James is going to cull back the books some. (If it’s anything like last time, I’ll be taking four or more boxes to Half Price Books.)Then there are the regular moving tasks: canceling local utilities, getting a change of address to the appropriate bills, getting new phone service in Greece for our iPhones.

On the plus side, a lot of the hardest parts of the move are taken care of by the feds. Soon they’ll be sending over an agent to assess what is getting put in storage (at their cost), what is getting shipped via mail (which takes three weeks, also at their cost), and what big items are getting shipped (which can take four months, also at their cost). From what we’ve gleaned from the mountain of information they gave us last week, house will be provided to us to meet our particular needs (size our our family, proximity to the school of our choice, etc), and it will be fully furnished and stocked with linens and kitchenwares. We’ll have two government liaisons at our disposal to help us get acquainted with our surroundings, and we can rent a car until ours arrives. (Not sure yet who pays for that.)

We received information on schools, and because Liam will be starting mid-year, we’ve decided the American school will be easiest for him to transition to (similar curriculum, no school uniforms). And we got a chance to look at photos of some of the homes they have in the different neighborhoods north of Athens. It looks to be mostly townhouses and flats, though we could get a house. It all depends on what is available, I guess.

Another big hurdle: James has to go to DC for additional training. We still don’t know for how long – either two weeks or as long as six weeks – and we still don’t know when. So while we think we’ll be moving in October, it could be later in the year. Hopefully that will be settled soon.

I’m annoyed that a lot of our tasks can’t be completed until closer to our move date. So in the meantime I’ve downloaded some apps to help me learn Greek. It’s definitely a challenge – right now I’m concentrating on just learning the phonetic pronunciations, and I’ll have to learn the Greek spellings at some point. But so far I’m getting some basic words down already, and the app I’m using most (Mondly), is fun and easy to use. I’m sure I’m butchering the language, but I’ve been told that Greeks love when you try to speak it, and most of them will help you out in English if they’re able. Let’s hope! Antio!


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