My Crete experience finished a while ago… I am clearly behind schedule on blogging. Anyway, I decided to share a little summary of my summer in Crete. The good, the bad and other funky stuff.
I worked every freaking single day
Challenge accepted and challenge completed. But never, ever again. Never! To work every single day is just crazy. I don’t know how come I did not lose my mind. Maybe I did but I just think I’m normal.
Actually, it is very usual in Greece to work every day. If you are planning to come and work in Crete you can expect that. Some companies, of course, allow the workers to have a day off per week or some companies make it once a month. It’s all because during the winter tourists are gone and so is the work. So you put all your energy in half a year. Big international companies, like TUI for instance, definitely will give you a day off but if you find something local you might not get that.
When you feel like you know every single person
Crete is a big island in Greece but in the end, Rethymnon is still a little village. You see many people every day and end up greeting everybody without knowing even their name or what they really do. You will know the whole street you work on and somehow everybody knows you too. It’s kind of nice. Like one big family. On the other hand, everyone also knows what you did last night…
Amazing views everywhere
Crete’s landscape and nature are so amazingly beautiful it completely takes your breath away. I loved driving around because the surroundings were so soothing and picturesque. I fell in love with the mountains and the sea. Masses want to go to Santorini, but you have so many astonishing places in Crete and you can find some secret spots away from the crowd.
I found out that a lot of families in Crete are quite dramatic like in Latin American soap shows. I thought maybe it’s just me that I am a cold northerner and don’t care so much, but then I met others that agree. Many families are broken and who is with whom is confusing and there is a lot of drama in their relationships. And there is a lot of rivalries. Some people never ever greeted me because I work for that company and not for the other one. I mean they have never even met me and have no idea how I am as a person but they are not greeting me because of competition. I found it funny and strange at the same time.
Money, money, money…
Okay. So one big problem in Crete is the money. Namely, it is difficult to get paid. If you work for a local company you probably won’t have a contract because who likes to pay taxes, right? Then you might fall into a trap that you either get paid less or not paid at all. I heard many stories of people who did not get their last two months salary at all. In my case, the salary just changed in the middle of the season and became smaller of what we agreed. If you have no paperwork to back it up, then you can’t fight for it either. I came across with a lot of lying and manipulation and the dishonesty was just disgusting. But hey, you live and you learn, right?
I accidentally fired myself.
As I already mentioned, Greek language is kind of a puzzle for me. It is so difficult to learn and all the letters are different. B is actually a V and “nee” means yes. Why so confusing??
So one day my boss asked me to go to the accountant and sign a paper because my schedule has changed. I went. I explained what I needed. I received a letter in Greek. I signed. I left… I know it is not wise to sign a paper if you have not read it but I can’t read Greek and I just put my full trust in that lady.
Later, I went to work and my boss comes by and asks me if I did what he asked. I confidently said that of course, confirming that it’s all good. He started laughing and said that I actually signed a paper which fired me. Oops. I went back and rehired myself. Luckly, now I live in a country where I can at least google translate when necessary. Typing in Greek is another challenge.
Cockroaches can fly.
I don’t know if its common knowledge and I just did not know that, but I was extremely surprised one day when I was chasing a massive cockroach in my room and out of the blue this bastard started to fly and flew up on my ceiling. I thought maybe I am delusional, so I googled it and it turns out some species of cockroaches can indeed fly. How the hell am I supposed to battle with the flying ones? They also jump. They are like a mix of cockroach and a grasshopper and a butterfly but extremely nasty and big. Complete nightmare!
My Greece experience was not the most positive one. I would just say that i landed on the wrong company and it was probably my toughest working experience till now. I’m taking it as a lesson and in the end, you learn from only mistakes and difficult times. If everything goes always smoothly you build no character or can’t handle challenges. Grete and Greece is still nice and would not mind returing there for a holiday 🙂