Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We've survived the summer without A/C!

So it's the end of summer already. We've survived without A/C, although barely. Well, I don't want to say "without" because we have it in our bedroom. The kids sleep in our room on an air mattress on the floor, so we've been sort of camping this summer. My husband did buy 3 A/C units in June. They were delivered about 2 weeks after we ordered them and about 2 weeks after that, the handymen that were contracted by the store to install them finally showed up. After my husband explained where we wanted to have them installed the handymen said that they couldn't install all 3 of them, only the one on the main floor. We wanted the second one to be installed on the 2nd floor and the 3rd unit to be installed in the basement. So, since they couldn't do the whole job my husband told them to take a hike.

Shortly after that, my friend Evelyn sent over her regular handyman. He took a look at what we wanted done and said that he could install the A/C units but it'd be a tough job. As he left he told my husband that he'd call us because he was busy. One week went by and he never called. My friend called him since she knows him well and he claims to have left us several messages. That's just not true. He didn't want to do it...because it would've been hard. So, the A/C units sat on our back porch for 2 months before we decided to just take them back. I told our neighbor that we planned on taking them back and he told me not to bother because we'd never get our money back. He said we'd lose the units and our money. Well, I'm sorry dear neighbor but that's the kind of attitude that sinks Greece...the having no control and being screwed all the time attitude. We did take them back and we were reimbursed for our purchase. Can you imagine if we would have taken our neighbor's advice? Now, we've found a better deal and a great guy to do the work all in one so we'll have A/C in a few weeks...I hope.

Coping with the heat was a no-brainer. We didn't move much. My house wasn't as clean as it could've been and we all whined nonstop. We didn't use too much hot water because we preferred lukewarm showers(money saver if you think about it). We practically lived in our swimsuits and the baby in a diaper. (I know what some of you are thinking...:) I used my George Foreman grill a lot...instead of firing up the grill outside. I withheld from many of my baking urges because I would sweat with only shaking a frappe. Yesterday was bad, I had sweat dripping in my eyes all day and I didn't really do too much but then I looked at the calendar and sipped on a frappe. We only have a few more weeks of this heat so I've got to make more time for the beach!


  1. Cheryl, I fully understand you as we have a really hot weather nowdays here in Cyprus!

  2. although we have three a/c units (kitchen, lounge, master bedroom), this year was a very mild summer, since we have used them (all 3 simultaneously) only 5 days throughout the summer. we did not have many heatwaves; although we are against a/c in general, we didnt feel we needed them so much this summer. last summer was a scorcher - 45 degrees over three days, two times in the year was too much...

  3. That guy was horrible--he should have installed it. All because of laziness, thats pretty common in Greece.

    I wish I had some more banana bread too, but thats okay. Give it to Evelyn to give to me around Christmas time. =P
    And I hope I can talk again if my plane rides go well.....nervous as we speak...

    & I got the thorn from picking up some plant from the horafia.

  4. So sorry to hear about your lack of AC - we also only have one unit in our bedroom - my oasis in hot weather. But your solution of going to the beach is a great one!

    The reaons you don't have AC has so many familiar elements - I could feel my shoulders tensing up just thinking about it. We remodeled our house, or more accurately, gutted my husband's grandmother's house and completely rebuilt all but the stone outside walls. The project took years to finish. When it neared completion, my husband stayed in Alaska for his job and I spent three months in Greece hounding the workmen to get the finish work done. And I do mean hounding. I ran into the attuitudes you describe way too often. It's extraordinarily frustating.

    When we wanted something done a particular way that isn't the Greek standard way, the usual reply was "that isn't how it's done here, therefore it can't be done that way." One of my biggest battles was over putting the faucet and shower head at the end of the bathtub near the drain instead of in the middle of the bathtub where it could spray water out into the room. The house plans had it our way - the workers ignored the plans and did it their way and for a long time refused to change it. It was only after I lost it and started screaming that they pulled everything out and did it again. We had a similar episode over them not sinking the heat pipes in the floor - that screw up required a jack-hammer to fix.

    Here's my real question: Why do you have to start screaming before you're listened to? Why can't a calm conversation be enough to get things done your way when you're the one who is PAYING????

    As for that George Foreman grill, it's one of my guilty kitchen secrets. Love it! I'm curious - what kind of converters do you use for your US electric appliances?

  5. Philip, I think that it's just hotter everywhere these days.

    Maria, I'll admit that I probably wouldn't have used them everyday if I had them, but, there were about 10 days for sure that I would have loved the coolness. I hate sweating while doing's so awful. Ok, there I go whining again. :) We do get some nice cool breezes from the sea since we're so close.

    John, he was horrible. Horribly lazy. I can't believe that he's done so much work for your sister and just dissed us. ???

    Laurie, I agree that getting someone to do something the way you want it in your home as a PAYING customer is beyond frustrating. I've heard that so many times..."we don't do it like that here". I like when my husband tells the person, " well, this in my house and I want it done my way or you don't have a job". I joked with all of my friends back home and here that I live in a country where you can't even pay someone to get something done. Ha!
    And, I hate my bathrooms. I can't wait to change them! I won't have my faucets in the middle of the tub again after that. I've told my husband that I just want a REAL shower. I can't wait to go back to Milwaukee for a REAL shower. And a REAL bath. (I think going back to Milwaukee will happen before a remodel!) Oh, I could go on forever.
    George Foreman is the lifesaver and I use it a lot. I use it to make burgers, grilled veggies, quesadillas, toast(grilled cheese), souvlaki and so much more. It's helpful to whip something up quick for lunch. I love it.
    My husband is going to give me a link to the site and the transformers that we brought with us. It'll be a day or so but I'll be glad to help you out. Couldn't live without those transformers! Although, my clothes steamer blew out anyway! :( Wah! Now I have to iron everything again.

  6. I just made a post about living in the heat myself! August has been terrible for us...just consistent hot days and hot nights. I'm really glad we didn't listen to our MIL who thought we wouldn't need A/C up here. Even if we didn't use it a lot until August, we've needed it desperately the last few weeks, and are determined to buy units for the downstairs next summer.

    We lucked out I guess. We bought our units at Kotsovolous and they had a technician who came out and did very good work. He had some problems in our bedroom because where we wanted the unit was pure concrete. He made quite a mess and we have a huge hole by the balcony door that needs patching but he was VERY apologetic about it and I think it distressed him that he couldn't do a perfect job like he did in our computer room.

    Anyway, here's hoping you don't have to suffer another summer without A/C. I share your distress at cooking in the heat, because our kitchen got hot enough while cooking to cook food without putting it in the oven I think. Ugh.

  7. Whether or not it was hotter this summer or not, it doesn't change the fact that doing simple things can be unbearable, especially if a home is uninsulated and on the top floor as ours are. There's just no relief from trying to cook in a 32C kitchen (which gets up to 35C with the oven or stovetop on) or sitting in an office using the Internet while drenched in sweat.

    We're just two people in an apartment, now camping in the living room; I can't imagine what it's like with 3 children and a whole house to maintain. No matter how it's been for me, I've thought about what you must be going through and thought myself lucky even if it means I sleep on the bare floor.

    Thank God the temperature dropped last night. Filakia

  8. Laurie, just my two cents. We use transformers that we purchased here in Greece. Extremely sturdy, each has a two-plug capacity, grounded (which is great if you use a blender or hairdryer) and a long cord, and costs 18 euros each. Had them for 10 years without a hitch and found them at an electrical store in Athens selling a multitude of items. I don't recommend ones without a cord or grounding.

  9. He Mel! Glad to know that you love having your a/c. We were so bummed out. We bought ours from Electro World. We paid 80euro for each machine (in advance) to be installed and then the crap happened. The guy told us that he couldn't install the one in our basement because it was concrete and it would be against code-pertaining to earthquake safety. The 2nd one that he didn't want to install would have been on the 2nd floor. He said that it was too high for him. It's just miserable to sweat all of the time. I have a great fan but it only works when I sit in front of it! :) I'm behind on my blog reading so I'll read your post asap. Can't wait!

    Kat-Hey you! I know. It's miserable. The day that you visited was pretty miserable too, just muggy. I felt so hot and sticky and yucky. Cooking for only myself would be a drag in the hot weather, it's just miserable. I honestly don't even look at the thermometer anymore and then there are days when I think it's not so bad and I look and it's like 90F. I know, crazy right?

  10. It's about time I made it over here. You have such a nice blog, adorable kids, great articles, and pictures of totally yummy food. It's nice to see the old 'homeland' too. We're hoping they're sending us some Greek borne gifts any day now. ;)

  11. R...Thank you! I'm so glad that you like the blog. I love Syd's! I hope that you get your care package soon. If you ever need anything or are craving something to be sent-just let me know. I'd be glad to send you two something.