Wednesday, October 26, 2005

How many Greeks does it take to change a light bulb?

Tonight is my husband's first overnight shift in the hospital here in Thessaloniki. It has been some months since he had a 24 hour shift, the last one in Litochoro was back in April. We had gotten used to this lack of separation for long periods of time, even though his first couple of years seemed to have frequent 24 hour shifts and it will only get worse from here. Still, we enjoy spending time together and hate spending time apart, I suppose this is a feeling leftover from having to part each other's company so many times while I still lived in the U.S. Those were bad times.

I am generally pretty self sufficient, except when it comes to heavy things and high things. And by high things I mean cupboards, closets, things of that nature. I'm short (5 ft. 2, no idea how that translates to centimeters) and unsteady on a stepstool (I have a terrible sense of balance) so pretty much everything I need on a daily basis needs to be within arm's reach.

Today, of course, the light bulb in the bedroom ceiling fixture had to burn out. Not that it is a crucial light, but I can't see to do anything without that overhead light, because our bedside lamps are more like spotlights. Opening the window serves no purpose after noon, because for some reason the back of the building is incredibly dark most of the day. So, here I was, wanting to vacuum, but no way to see what I was doing. I thought about attempting the change myself, but thanks to the fact that Greek apartment buildings always have rather high ceilings, at my height I couldn't even reach the bulb on the stepstool, not to mention I had a vision of one of those horrific accidents you have when you are alone (thank you, Six Feet Under) and the cats feeding on my corpse when my husband arrives home from work tomorrow. So what is a girl to do?

Why, call in reinforcements of course. Reinforcements being my youngest brother-in-law. Apparently, however, it is illegal for people under the age of 25 to change light bulbs in Greece (this is by the code of mom laws), so my nearly 17 year old brother-in-law arrived accompanied by my father-in-law to participate in Mission: Lightbulb Change. It took all of about 30 seconds since I had the stepladder and light bulb all ready.

I felt a bit of a fool to have had a federal case made over a simple light bulb change, but in the end, I am glad to know that I have in-laws who are there for me. I wonder, though, if I can press charges against my parents for letting me change light bulbs at the young age of 13.


deviousdiva said...

Ooh, you were 13 at least. My dad insisted that I could change a lightbulb AND wire a socket aged 10. I'm counting the money already.

Cynthia Rae said...

First of all, I LOVED Six Feet Under. I am still mad that I missed the series finally living here in this THIRD WORLD! My Mom taped it for me, but it was erased by accidents. I know what you mean about the cats feeding on your body. My little piglets would have my bones picked clean in under an hour. I would hope that I would at least give them a tummy ache!

Glad you had your light bulb changed without involving the police. Which division of the department handles the "light bulb" cases? Do you think they have light bulb stings set up? Try explaining that charge to your prison cell mate!


traveller one said...

Oooo I feel lucky- we've just started getting the first season of Six Feet Under here in Albana!
This lightbulb story reminded me of Romania where my housekeeper would call the electrician to change lightbulbs!

melusina said...

Wow Diva, you can wire a socket? That is pretty good. I am one of those women who can't really do anything by myself. Can't change a tire, etc., etc.

Haha Cyn, too funny. Re. Six Feet Under, they showed the first four seasons here and then they stopped. So we never got the fifth and final season, which kinda sucks. But I still haven't looked for spoilers yet, because you never know. I don't want it ruined if I do have occasion to see it.

Calling an electrician to change a lightbulb? That's a little expensive, isn't it? Hehe