Once again we’re top of BBC world because of yet another round of strikes. Most of Greece seems to be shutting down today with the exception of our metro line, which will run from 10.00am to 4.00pm. It’s starting to affect us now because some travel plans have had to be changed and it makes life difficult to plan ahead. However, let’s face it; for us, it’s middle-class misery but for people who aren’t the fat, pampered residents of the northern suburbs it must be grim. There are a lot of people employed in very low-income service jobs, as nannies, cleaners and housekeepers up here and if they can’t get here on their one Euro ticket then they probably won’t get to work and they’ll lose a day’s pay. Schools are closed and hospitals are on emergency take only. The taxi drivers keep going on strike – this is because they’re going to be taxed on what they earn rather than the flat-rate tax they’ve not been paying in recent years.
Given that the transport network is so unreliable at the moment I’ve finally got the car out of the bat cave and driven. It was much easier than I expected and I was feeling really, really pleased with myself. Right up to the moment that I scraped the car against the pillar in the garage whilst parking. So, it would seem that despite my ranting about the danger of Greek drivers, I’m not exactly up there in the reliability stakes either. The positive light to this is that my car now looks more like a Greek car. One of my friends said that it’s one of the steps to belonging in this city; a bit like getting a gang tatoo.