No Gas ’til Tuesday

In the summer of 2007, my sister and I took our kids to Ikaria for a vacation.  We traveled with her twins, who were 4, my daughter, who turned 5 while we were away, and my son, who was 7.    Entertaining kids that age for long periods of time can be quite a challenge.  We knew that they would enjoy swimming, so we planned to spend the day at the beach.  The “beach” in our village is very rocky, so we’d have to travel to another beach, quite some distance away, via a rented car.  The beach in Armenistis not only had sand for playing, but it also had a food cart that sold “cheese toasts” that the kids would eat!  When we picked up the car, my father noted that the gas tank was on empty–well, almost empty.  My dad assured us we’d have plenty of gas to make it to the beach, and then he immediately told us not to put anymore than 10 euro of gas into the car if we needed it.  Why? Because if we got the car with no gas in it, then we were going to return it with no gas in it!  So, being the good daughters we are, we heeded his advice.  We traveled the 20 km to the beach, and the kids had a great time playing in the sand and swimming in the sea.  When it was time to leave, we packed up and squeezed into the tiny car like sardines.  After a few minutes of travel, we looked at the gas gauge and decided that we really needed to put that 10 euro of gas into the car because the needle was now below the E.  We were still a good 18 km from our house when I pulled into the gas station.  A woman came over to the car, and in my very poor Greek, I told her we needed 10 euro of gas.  She replied, “No gas.”  I looked at her and said, “No, we NEED gas.”  And then she said, “No gas ’til Tuesday.”  It was only Saturday.

That explains what it’s like in Greece.  Nothing is simple.  Nothing is easy. And nothing is even remotely like it is in America. Greeks are notorious for not getting things done quickly–otherwise known as getting things done on “Greek time.”    I anticipate many more experiences like that one over the course of the year!

My sister and I looked at each other and didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  We managed to make it to another gas station (the only other one on that side of the island) and put 20 euro of gas into the tank!

The kids in Armenistis, Ikaria, summer of 2007.

8 comments on “No Gas ’til Tuesday

  1. Lisa Lindquist says:

    I wish well and look forward to reading about all your adventures.

  2. Roy says:

    Thank you Jackie for plowing the way for me!
    I hope to do the same thing simeday eithy children.
    Many years ago, i lived in Athens for 6 months.
    My family was furious and worried and now they
    Forgot about it.
    Kalo tichi!
    Xox roy gialamas parlour

    • jandcfox says:

      roy, how wonderful you found the blog! And how wonderful that you would like to do this with your girls as well. I am sure there will be many rough days ahead, but we are hoping that the benefits far outweigh the cons! When you decide to take the leap, call and we’ll talk! XO

  3. […] of Ikaria, GreeceNo Gas ’til Tuesday Bookmark the […]

  4. Jean DiSanza says:

    Hi Jackie, I have been thinking about you and the kids. Your place looks well maintained but I saw your dog (Ruff?) sitting in the driveway looking very lonely.

  5. Georgia Tripodes says:

    Hi Jackie, My husband and I met John while traveling back to Athens from Ikaria this summer and he told us of your one year Ikarian adventure. How lucky your children are to have this great experience. How brave and giving you are to be willing to expose them to their heritage in this special way.
    I was also born on Ikaria and left for California at the age of 11. Never forgeting my roots I visit every summer with my hasband and daughter Erini. I will be back in Ikaria this spring to finish a project I started renovating a house. Brave me! I would love to come and visit with you. Till then

    • jandcfox says:

      Thank you for reaching out to me and for your support. It is wonderful that you return every summer and that you are sharing your home with your daughter. I was not fortunate enough to come to Ikaria when I was younger, but I wanted to give this opportunity to my children. Hopefully they will learn enough Greek and feel connected when they leave that they will want to come back yearly. I would love to meet up with you when you are here in the spring. I will send you an email so we can touch base.

  6. […] say you weren’t puzzled by the strange name of her blog? The explanation is in one of her first entries, also pinned also at the top of her home page. The point is that instead of being daunted by that […]

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