January 6, 2016: The Feast of the Epiphany

Wednesday on Crete.  I woke up at one this afternoon, which is about nine hours of sleep.  I feel a little better than I did yesterday.  Nowhere near good at all, but better rather than worse.  I was really rough last night when I went to bed.  But I ended up being able to sleep pretty well even with the sinus and bronchial infection that has been plaguing me for days.

The whole family was actually awake before two, which is a first here.  The girls have not been up this early yet since we got to Greece.  This was something like four and a half hours earlier for Ciana than yesterday!

We have sun and a lot of wind today.  Not too chilly, you would still want a light jacket if going outside but very comfortable with that.  We need sun regularly because the hot water is solar powered, which is the standard here on the island, and if we go too long without sun we have to manually switch things over to a backup power system to heat up the water or just go without hot water until the sun returns.  In Crete this is normally not an issue but most people do not live here during the winter months so the time when you use the most hot water and when it is hardest to heat up are not things that are usually faced.

We got the kids up at two today, we need to get shopping as there has been nothing but lentils to eat since we got here and we are ready for some other food.  We are desperate to find a place that sells North American power adapters as well.  What a difference that will make.  Even if we only find two three prong adapters it will completely change how we do everything here and finding another two or three two prong ones will be all that we need to not be constantly looking for one and cannibalizing them from other things using them.  We need six, three threes and three twos, in continuous use just to have the laptops, projector and Fire TV and stick plugged in and ready to go.  Then everything that needs to be charged is in addition to those!  It is amazing how many you need even just for the most basic things.

So we loaded up the kids and got them out the door.  This actually went pretty smoothly and the kids were pretty happy to get up which amazed us.

Luciana and Liesl Ready for Their First Ride in the Kia

We decided to drive straight to Rethymno and go to an electrical store that Dominica had found online.  We figured we don’t know how often we are going to manage to head out and do shopping so we should go for it and try to do everything that we need at once.  This is the first time that Dominica or the girls have seen anything of Crete or even of Greece outside of our home itself or just walking down to the corner.  Literally they have been nowhere and our village does not have a lot of vistas going out very far.  So this is a big deal for them . Our house has mostly high windows so there is sunlight but all that we see are the vines on the buildings next door, not views out to the sea.  It has been too cold to be out on the terrace so even though there are views from there, we have barely seen them so far.  So this is quite a treat for everyone.

We drove along the shore and into town and parked on the east side of the city on the main street at the Carrefore grocery store.  We have used them all over the world and like them so we figured that that would be a good place to do some grocery shopping and parking was easy to do.

We started out by hunting for the electrical store.  We walked to where Google said that they would be and it had placed them squarely in a small park with no businesses around.  Very odd. Luciana spotted the small playground (one thing that you spin on and two swings was all that it had) and wanted to play. So I left the girls there and I walked around for blocks in every direction to see what I could find.  The answer was that every single business that I found was closed and I never found an electrical store.  Not good.  It was only about four thirty so we were pretty surprised that things were already closed.

I returned and we just went to the grocery store instead.  It was locked.  We checked the times listed on the door and clearly it was supposed to be open.  But it was not.  They stated that they were open until nine.  This isn’t good.  This is a lot like what happened to me on Sunday.

So we figured, from what I had seen and this, that we were going to find nothing in the city and that we should go straight to the Lidl outside of town in case that was going to close.  It is a big German chain and we figured that it, if anything, would be open.  So we drove straight there and… it was closed too.  Times on its door said that it should be open as well.  Argh.

Dominica asked if maybe it was the Feast of the Epiphany.  So I looked into it and sure enough, today is the Catholic Epiphany.  This seemed like it should not matter, though, because Greek Orthodox uses the Julian calendar and not the Gregorian one so their official Feast of the Epiphany is on the seventeenth, not today.  We knew this because we had talked to Sofia about Easter.  She was hoping that we would be in Crete for that because it is such a huge thing here and it would be great for us to see it.  We are leaving Crete on the first of April so we were not hopeful but looked into it.  It turns out that Easter is on March 27th this year, so we will be here for it – except that Greek Orthodox, being on the Julian calendar, celebrate it in May this year.  This is one of the years where the two calendars diverge dramatically and it is a month and a half apart.  Some years they share the date.  So we will miss it, by a lot.  So apparently one holiday uses one calendar and one uses the other.  Now we have no idea how to track holidays here!

On the drive back to the house empty handed we did manage to hit the same bakery that I had found open on Sunday where I got our awesome bread.  Dominica was sure that it was closed and said that she thought that it looked closed and didn’t want to get out of the car to check.  I made her and lo and behold, it was open. So we took the kids in and we bought a lot of stuff.  Little treats, cakes, ice cream, yoghurt and more bread.  We really stocked up.

Dinner was lentil soup, again.  This is our fourth day of lentils in a row.  Two days of stew, two days of soup.  But at least we had fresh bread and treats for dessert.

I spent the evening writing and posting.  The girls played Minecraft, The Secret of the Magic Crystals and Castaway Paradise.

This evening, after my midnight meeting, I went down and went to play Adam’s Venture: Episode One.  I only got to play maybe five minutes before Dominica took over the chair and played the game.  The girls and I sat on the floor and watched.  Actually the girls sat on the floor and I made food for everyone (getting snacks for the girls, buttering bread for Dominica and myself, making tea, etc.) for nearly an hour which is how Dominica ended up getting to be the one who played.

We all stayed up until we completed the first episode in the three episode game series.  Overall, it was weak.  The game was well made with decent graphics and audio, controls were acceptable.  But the storyline was pathetic and gratuitous.  There was practically no story at all and was nothing but a super loose plot device to trigger a long string of completely random, meaningless puzzles that always started with you correcting a Bible verse.  It wasn’t a bad game, but it lacked pretty much everything that I look for to make a game fun.  The protagonist is a rude, idiotic, over the top and very unnecessary chauvinist.   The bad guy is, apparently, the company that he works for.  There was little clear goal or logic to the game other than you play someone you dislike and solve puzzles for no reason and they beat you over the head with topics from Genesis.  Only two more episodes to go, maybe the plot will develop and they say this as an intro?

Got the kids off to bed at a moderately decent time tonight.  This is one of the first nights that neither of them slept in our room at all.  Hopefully this means that they are starting to get into a routine and are beginning to adjust to the timezone a little.

My bronchitis was feeling a little bit better as I headed to bed tonight. Fingers crossed that it is improved by tomorrow.