course the electrician who did the job and lived way out in the country
was not answering his cell phone and even if he had he would have just told us he couldn't come until tomorrow and probably not shown up until the day after that which by then we would be long gone. So like any foreigner who lives in Kea who doesn't know
how to solve a problem, I went to ask Rolando who came
to the house and noticed that the switch on the meter outside the house
had been turned off. Problem solved in five seconds. The box was four feet
across the road from my electrician neighbor's door. All he would
have had to do was walk over and look at it and we would have been
friends for life. Now there will be tension between us forever and who knows where it will end? The layout of the village with its narrow streets barely wide enough for two donkeys to pass each other make it impossible to avoid your neighbors like you can in the states where people walk from their front door to their cars and drive away without seeing or speaking to anyone they are at war with. From my house in Kea I can hear my neighbor when he boils water for coffee or tea in the morning and even hear
the sound of the clothespins when his wife hangs out the laundry on the roof. When you live in a small Greek village the last thing you want is an enemy and because someone in my family had hired my neighbors competitor I now have one even though I am the one who wanted to hire him in the first place.
But wait. This is Greece and that means the situation has to be more complicated than it looks and not necessarily in a bad way (though usually it is).Rolando's intervention had been witnessed by my electrician neighbor and suddenly this small event has major
implications. Because Rolando is building a house in Otzias, and our neighbor is one of two electricians who has placed a bid to wire it. Now he is worried that he has put the job in jeopardy and not flicking the little switch on my electric box will cost him over four thousand euros. That is because my neighbors lovely wife, who works in the town hall, has just OK'd the license for Rolando's restaurant which now enables him to have a grill and make paidaikia and steaks. (Not that he couldn't before
but at least now he can do it legally.) So in the Greek game of I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine, naturally it was expected that Rolando would accept the bid in gratitude for the license. But Rolando is furious that my neighbor would not help me and has pretty much decided that he will go with the other electrician. So an hour later we are sitting at Rolando's and the electrician comes in with his estimate and Rolando coldly tells him to leave it on the table and he will look at it later. As it turns out the
bid is twice as much as the other guy's so he would have rejected it anyway but since my neighbor does not know that, suddenly he realizes he is in a crisis of his own making just for not flicking the little switch.