'There is mail in the telephone booth at the Kafenion,' wrote a neighbor on Facebook last week.
|Mail delivery in the Mani, Greece|
While that probably sounds odd to those of you reading this, it was good news! It meant mail was being delivered again!
Mail delivery, summer protests and road work are my topics this week. While vastly differing subjects, each provides a look at real life in Greece this summer of 2023. This one is for those of you who turn a critical eye to my reports and photos of beautiful sunsets, of the quaint village settings and those featuring the fun times we have with friends here, and ask, 'But, what's it really like?'
|Agios Dimitrios village|
The dusty, abandoned booth in the small village of Agios Dimitrios, at the foot of the hill where we make our expat home in the Greek Peloponnese, seems to be one of the new 'substations' for mail collection. Other mail drops (almost literally) are said to be somewhere outside the small grocery store in nearby Agios Nikolaos village and at a taverna in Stoupa village, just down the road.
Of course, figuring out which of those places one might find one's mail. . .well, that it yet another story. Because our mail is addressed to a business (Mani Money) in Agios Nikolaos, it doesn't come to the phone booth near us. While they continue to deliver parcels to Mani Money, we are told, letter-sized mail isn't being delivered there. Those are going elsewhere. . .somewhere.
|You've Got Mail. . .maybe, or maybe not!|
You can't make this stuff up. It happens in Greece. And we expats find ourselves becoming so inured to it that we discuss the logistics of finding our mail as matter-of-factly as we do the weather.
|Mail at Gregg's - in the good old days|
Many of you longtime readers, recall 'that back in the good old days' our mail was delivered regularly to Gregg's Cafe in Agios Nikolaos. In fact, it served for several years as our mailing address. We'd go have coffee and sort through the mail, picking up our own on an on-your-honor system. The cafe owners kept a watchful eye out for us. They knew it - and us -so well that once my friend Marti received an envelope from Washington State addressed simply to 'Grandma' at Gregg's.
|Covid shut down the village and mail delivery Gregg's pictured on left.|
The new haphazard system was instituted after the real brick and mortar substation in Stoupa was closed this spring and its two employees let go. The original explanation had been that the operational contract had expired and a new one not yet awarded. Later media reports told a different story: several post offices were closed throughout Greece as a result of cost cutting measures. There was no indication they would be reopened.
|The Mani and our villages|
For the time being, we are somewhat 'mail-less in the Mani'. But there are bigger things unfolding in Greece this summer, like. . .
The Towel Movement
|Stoupa's beach fills with sunbeds in the summer - all for rent|
|Pantazi Beach just below us - in August 2023|
|Pantazi Beach 2020|
On the Road Again
|Road closed, take a right here. . .|
|The beach - a two-lane detour route; road to the left, sea to the right|