Monday, October 27, 2008

So the Poles, having migrated to the UK to find that crock of gold, are leaving in droves, things being financially that much better in Poland. There’s a turn up for the books. I don’t suppose one can blame every disaster on New Labour but one can certainly think of a few they’ve been responsible for in the last ten years. Is it ten? Something like that. I’m sure there are many more who would like to migrate but now if their homes are in negative equity and the housing market has slumped, they can no longer contemplate living the dream as all the Cretan estate agents say in their blurb. I hate that. For a lot of people conned into buying a jerry built house because it was cheap and not being able to sell it, the dream has turned into a nightmare. Even some who bought a beautiful house in a quiet village have had to run from the mass of housing estate building that has gone up around them, have found their house unsaleable and their dream in ruins. So much of the Apokoronas (this area of Crete) has been ruined in the last five years by greedy speculators but at last, hopefully the bubble has burst before they can ruin anymore. Or is that wishful thinking? It’s not been a good year for the holiday industry and next year I fear is going to be worse. Everyone, hoteliers taxi drivers, restaurants, have been complaining about the situation. Greece unfortunately is no longer el cheapo. It was getting more expensive even before th4e priced of oil shot through the roof and it has accelerated since then. Have just had a new bottle of gas delivered. When we first ordered this it was 12 euro. At the last delivery it had gone up to 15. This evening it was
You can still eat out fairly reasonably though. A tatty old bar in Kalyves has been upgraded to a number one looking restaurant, proper linen tablecloths, serviettes, the lot. No keeping your cutlery for the next course and everything served beautifully. The food was excellent (though the service was a little on the slow side, the Greeks believing one waiter can handle forty tables) and they must have spent a small fortune on the transformation. The meal for three with wine came to 25euro.There was only one problem with the evening. Greeks don’t usually eat until well on in the evening but we were eating early the restaurant was being quite well patronised but unfortunately by Brits at their worst; loud, brash, demanding, arrogant ignorant and ugly. These are the people who have been buying the dream. I really am surprised there hasn’t been some sort of backlash from the Cretans. Maybe while they’re still making money out of the Brits that would seem like biting off noses to spoil faces, a pointless exercise.

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