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And the Greeks wonder why folks say “beware of Greeks bearing gifts?”

Tom Winnifrith
Thursday 17 July 2014

My new best friend Foti and I had a temporary falling out today. He asked to be paid for five days work at the hovel – 350 Euro for him and his assistant. Hmmmm. It seems as if his hourly rate has doubled and hang on…that is five days…he has only worked two for me.

It seems as if the old owner Athena told Foti that I had asked him to do three days’ work and that I would pay. This was of course a total lie. I have told my lawyer and lovely Susan Shimmin from Real Mani who explained this all to Foti and it is agreed that everyone, including the local Notary, will harass the bitch Athena and make her pay.

The doubling of the hourly rate ( albeit to only 5 Euro per hour per man) is because Foti has decided that he will be my business partner from January – i.e. for next year’s olive cycle when the yield will double thanks to our TLC, and until the he will charge me. Part of me thinks this is rather sharp and I should find another Albanian and get a better deal.  

However, I know no-one else in this village. Foti is very good at killing rats. And I actually rather like him so I agreed to his terms on the strict understanding that he will find someone to lend me a crappy old pickup truck for the summer for a small fee.

Besides which I discovered that the Greek Government will give me 500 Euro tax free as a grant in March because I am an olive farmer. It matters little that I run a tiny grove. The Greek Government apparently has money to spare…whatever. That is a bonus and I’d like to thank the people of Germany for paying it.

However Athena is in the doghouse. She does not live in the village and so we can all agree that she has behaved like a prize rotter and that we will all go after her. She still owes Susan a few Euro for settling here three years of arrears on her water bill and she is behaving exactly like the rather unfair stereotype of an untrustworthy Greek. I’d rather just think of her as a terribly untrustworthy woman, ensure that she pays Foti and Susan and celebrate the fact that she is no longer in this village.

Let’s move on…

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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