Looking at Greece

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A less than electrifying Sunday

Sundays are the one day when I have enough free time from work to do the myriad things I need to do on the computer, a combination of work and personal projects, and naturally enough I look forward to Sundays with some relish.  You can imagine how annoying it is, then, when the electricity board decides to turn the power off for seven-and-a-half hours on a Sunday, as happened on the sixteenth of this month, and you are left sitting staring at a wall or desperately trying to find something to do which does not require electricity (and how easy is that nowadays, especially if you a child of the information age?).  To be fair, the power cut was announced in the local paper, but it makes you wonder just how incompetent a power supply company has to be to have to cut a whole town’s power off for so many hours “to carry out necessary work”, as they so vaguely put it.  How atrocious, then, was the original work they did when installing the town’s power supply?  This sort of power cut, where the whole town is deprived of its supply, is, thankfully, a relatively rare occurrence; more common, though, is the case where sections of the town are cut off for six or more hours on a Sunday.  Laughably enough, the power company will postpone such power cuts if the weather is bad – maybe their employees refuse to work if it is raining or the sky a tad grey?  The thought of such ridiculous power cuts in any other European country would be nigh on impossible, but not in Greece.  There again, Greece is a country where they haven’t even got around to putting power supply cables underground yet, a practice many other European countries adopted many years ago.  Hence towns and villages are blighted with unsightly power cables straddling between buildings, and inevitably trees growing upwards present a real threat of short-circuits as the branches entangle with the exposed power lines.  Each year in early Spring, on “Shrove Monday” (or “Clean Monday”, as it is called in Greek), youngsters fly kites, and sure enough each year there are the cases of children being fried to a cinder as their kites make contact with overhead power lines…



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