Adjusting to Life in Greece
Language was not the only adjustment I had to make when we first moved to Greece. We were living in the home of my mother-in-law, Maria, who didn't speak English. For the most part, we got on well with hand signals and with what little Greek I had managed to acquire. Our problems came as I wanted to clean up the house and throw out some of the broken and unusable items found in the kitchen. My husband and I would fill sacks and sacks of items to be discarded, Maria would then go through them and pull out items she thought could still be used. My husband got very upset with her and sometimes would just throw the sacks in the garbage bin across the street without letting her see what was inside. This of course, made her mad and she would go across the street and rummage in the garbage bin and open the sacks to see what was inside. This, of course, made him mad and they wouldn't speak to each other of two or three days, then everything was back to normal. Life was very exciting at times.
I also had to get used to the health system here. Growing up in the USA, we didn't go to doctors unless we had a problem. Going to the doctor in Greece is a way of life. Not a week goes by that my husband doesn't go to one doctor or the other. In general, we don't go to a GP, but to a specialist. We see the cardiologist, urologist, gynaecologist, ophthalmologist, etc. What was shocking was that we would wait our turn to see the doctor, enter his/her office, sit and begin our conversation or examination. Someone would open the door and interrupt, just for a quick question or to have a prescription written. This was very annoying, especially since I didn't always understand the conversation. What was worse was when I was having an ultrasound (sonogram) on my kidneys and bladder, and someone came in and began talking with the technician, just chatting away. The technician would pause and talk, pause and talk. I was getting furious. My husband, when I finally emerged, said, “what took so long?”