James and I went a little over 2 years without a car, both in New York and DC. It was a challenge, especially in DC, but we managed to get around via mass transit semi-expertly, and for the most part we preferred not having the hassle of car ownership.
Here in Athens, though, I am misssssssing my car. And we’re missing Liam’s school in Derby. This morning I hitched a ride on Liam’s school bus so I could talk to his teacher about missing homework and meet with the cafeteria people about adding more money to his lunch card. At Tanglewood, Liam’s previous school, the homework and reading assignments were handled in a very orderly way. At ACS, I guess Liam is responsible for getting his own book exchanged, and it wasn’t clear to him how to do it. After a chat with his teacher, I think we got it all sorted out. On to the cafeteria! Except the dude I wanted to meet with wasn’t going to be there for another hour. I asked if I might be able to do this over the phone — “ah, yes,” they said. Call back later. So home on the bus I went, with a quick (right…nothing is quick here) stopover for toilet paper at the store near his school. Jumbo pack under one arm, baby carried in the front, diaper bag on the back…wait, wait, wait…then sit while the ladies coo in Greek. That part I don’t mind. But, really, a car would be so nice right now.
Back at home I called the cafeteria dude…and he told me I had to come up IN PERSON to put more money on Liam’s lunch card. WTF? Apparently there is a way to do it online that involves contacting their bank, putting in a lengthy bank routing number, then emailing a receipt to the school. And of course the bank website is in Greek! Tired of waiting for buses, I decided to just walk to the school– Violet could have her afternoon nap on the way. Just as I was heading out the door, the school nurse called. Liam had a fever and I needed to pick him up. Ok. I’ll just add that to the list.
Thirty minutes later, harried by traffic and noise (this is NOT a pedestrian-friendly city), Violet and I strolled on in, paid up the lunch bill, and collected our sick boy. And you better believe Liam was NOT HAPPY to have to walk to the bus stop, wait for the bus, ride the bus with all of the irritating noises, then walk three blocks home. Seriously, when is my car getting here?!
Coincidentally, James sent me an email while I was out. Our car arrives March 5. Wow, like, Saturday!? Yes! Except, reading further, it takes 30 days to tag and license. Thank you, Greek bureaucracy. April 5 can’t come soon enough.