Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Day of the "water thing"...

foggy morning breakdown?
As with all things here in Greece, things usually work out, just not exactly like you'd plan them to work out still the day dawned auspiciously though a bit foggy.

Originally the digger was going to be coming on Wednesday, but that didn't work out, as the digger called yesterday morning (about 15 minutes before he was supposed to be arriving here) to tell T that his other job was running longer than he expected and so he'd be here on Thursday, if that was alright.

Not a problem.  We rearranged our day and went grocery shopping.

Fortunately, T had not hired an extra pair of hands, nor had he arranged for the plumber to come.

(Ah, the instincts, they develop after a time... sort of like Hercule Poirot's "little gray cells" n'est pas?)



The digger arrived this morning and our Greek neighbor arrived as well. (he who generously let us tie into his water when the well went dry four days before T had to leave for the US)

He decided that he too will connect to the trench and the pressure station as the water pressure is much better, and he may need it when he builds his house.  (also as T has paid to have the trench dug, all our neighbor needed to purchase was some hose to run into the trench!  He didn't think it necessary to purchase the galvanized tubing as he will be running his water hose next to ours...)

Still he needed run to the store to purchase the hose (he borrowed T's receipt for the size hose needed, and the location of the store to purchase it.) 

A problem, you say to the start of work?  Not at all.  The digger had a flat tire. (Alekkos the driver had a dream about it last night)  Thankfully, our other Greek neighbor in the back, has a large compressor and could pump up the tire.

ένταξη - (entaxi) a word that means 'incorporation or accession' in the dictionary... but seems to mean "great. it's finally coming together" in the usage today.


The digger started working and dug the trench across the road to the pumping station, then started down the road towards the houses (T had strung the water pipes Tuesday, so all that was left was to drop them into the trench and wait for the digger to cover the holes and continue digging the trench.

My favorite part was how T fit in so well - standing around and watching!

Deep discussions ensued. 

the first 100 meters
Did I mention T doesn't speak much (any) Greek?  The neighbor with the compressor speaks a little English.  The neighbor who is connecting to the trench speaks almost no English.  The digger driver speaks no English.

And they all were chattering away, happy as "guy" clams.  (The younger man standing apart, is, we believe, the Albanian helper of the one of our neighbors, who actually DOES speak some English!)

With a total of 200 meters to trench out, Alekkos, the digger driver is very good at what he does.

our neighbor's land (with new hose)
It's very difficult to do as for this project, there are unpaved and paved roads to negotiate as well as some truly bad road (along our back fence- we figure it's mostly rock.)


Apropos to not much, I do wonder at the fact that in the forty one years we've been married it's only been in the last 8 months or so that diggers and large trucks have figured so prominently in our lives!  Still, we are always open to new experiences.


So it took Alekkos all of a day - about 7 hours- to dig-

-and then to fill in the 200 meter trench.

The last 100 meters took a bit longer than the first 100 meters, as the road was narrow and more difficult.


So now T will finish the connections and ta-da!  All will be right with the world!

He will disconnect the temporary connection to our back neighbors' water supply, and connect to ours.  And with noticeable effect on the water flowing into the house, all will be right with the municipal water connected to our house. 

Now we only have to think on the next project...

Our well that may not really be dry at all- just muddy- maybe.  (but that will be for another post.)

postscript:  I didn't post any pictures but Alekko  filled in the trench so well after T laid the water pipes that he made the road actually better than it was before the trench!


  1. It's funny that you mention the laid back attitude in Greece. When in the Cyclades, the transfer boats schedules were not 100% dependable. It's ok, I only lost 1 hotel night.

    I suppose you guys had to get government permits before digging on Corfu? (So they know you aren't 'relic hunting' or anything sketchy like that)

  2. Hi Eric,

    EVErything here in Greece appears to be "at the convenience" of someone OTHER than you! (ie. the transfer boat schedules etc.)

    No actually, as we were putting in the trough along the road (made by Greeks) we didn't have to do anything. Besides which most of Corfu's relics are underwater, NOT in the middle of the island... (btw, I hope no municipal worker reads this or else they will think that your idea would be a great revenue builder!!!)

    MOST European countries, by the way, actually run the water pipes along the road and you pay to connect.

    Here the municipality puts in wells that are generally where people have wells and then manage to somehow connect to what they want them to connect to (no real convenience to people) and then everyone pays to get the the municipal water because their well dried up.

    It would have cost us only the minimum to get connected to the water without pressure. But that means that the water literally trickles out of the water pipe (drying to drips when other people are using it as well) and you need to get a cistern to fill up if you want enough water to say, take a shower or do laundry - usually it takes the whole of an overnight to fill!)

    We paid to get to the pressurized connection to get about 4 bars of pressure which is about standard to what we had/have with our well.

    But there are tradeoffs. The frumpy little pressure station has one of the loveliest views of the island!

  3. Oh so familiar. It's so funny. We had a tractor scheduled for Tuesday...but he still hasn't shown up!
    So glad you have a connection to municipal water now as we know the difference. We had to connect a few months after moving in this house and I know what you've just been through...but I had to feed my crew. Did you feed them? haha...

    And I like the "happy guy as clams"!

  4. I know. We really were really lucky with Alekkos- I mean, HE CALLED to say he would be a day late!!

    Actually, he brought his lunch and ate it while he kept working! (We kept him provided with water. And when he was done, we brought him a big cold beer.)

    As for feeding the crew- My dear one was the ONLY crew... he strung and laid all the pipes and tubing, and made the water connections as well. (I am truly blessed.)

  5. Much like life in you will no doubt remember! But they got the job done in the end which is all that matters really xx



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