So I drove to the neighbouring town of Pylos to get tested for eyeglasses since they’re so much cheaper here than in Canada. The ophthalmologist has his summer hours of 8 to noon. The office is small. A waiting room with 2 small couches and one bigger one. 7 people are waiting at about 8.30.
“Where’s the Secretary?” I ask in general the 5 women and 2 men.
“There’s no secretary, Sir. It’s here and the doctor’s office in there,” says the older man.
“How would I take an appointment?”
“I don’t think you can. You just need to wait your turn, “said the attractive 30-something woman.
“But that’s quite a queue.”
“Go get a coffee at the square and come back, ” said the oldest lady, half-condescendingly.
I ran off to heed her advice.
The best coffee shop was full. The rest were rather empty. I counted 7 in all. I sat down at the one with the good-looking girl serving. I ordered my double espresso lungo with toast. Toast here means a grilled cheese sandwich with ham. I told her to hold the ham. I had already had an adequate breakfast. I told the girl the Wi-Fi wasn’t working. She was nervous, as if she’d never heard that from a customer before.
“I’ll reset it,” hoping to have given a satisfactory answer. She served me the coffee and ran off.
“This must be related to yesterday’s blackout, ” one man said.
“Those bastards at the resort had full power last night. The owner has a grid all to himself. Motherfuckers,” said the man next to me.
The Wi-Fi started working as the girl bent over to place my toast in front of me. She had a tight skirt and loose open top. ” The owner just told me there’s a network problem,” she said.
“It works now, “I told her. She smiled shyly.
There was no one in the waiting room. There was only the patient in the doctor’s office. It was quick. I hurried off to the optician. She was a well-spoken and well-travelled woman in her mid-fifties. I told her I wanted bifocals. She made me try on a few pairs and insisted on a mid-range one. She didn’t ask many questions. She sat across me and took a long time to measure my face.
“Do I detect an accent?I haven’t seen you around town. ”
“I live in Methoni, ” I lied, afraid she may rip me off otherwise. “But I just moved here from Canada,” I said, as she pierced into my eyes for honesty.
“That’s a great country. The government supports the workers. But I know that glasses are expensive there. Don’t worry. I’ll make sure you have a great pair. The manufacturers in Kalamata are closed for summer till Monday. You’ll have them Friday next week. What’s your number?”
We exchanged phone numbers.
“Alright. Everything’s fine. I don’t need you anymore. You may leave.”
That felt weird. But not because it was rude. Rather, it felt weird because it was so matter-of-fact.