Friday, April 30, 2010

Best Laid Plans

In nne days I expect to be catching a bus from Glenavy to Christchurch Airport. No more volcanic erruptions have spoiled the stratosphere, I will be on my way to Darwin to take part in the Northern Territory Literary Festival, Wordstorm.
On May 31st I expect to leave Darwin and fly to Chania, via Athens to spend three months in the village of Kissamos writing. So far so good. I picked up my tickets on Thursday. My fare there and back has been paid, the rent on my cottage has been paid. The Greek economy will be that much better off because I am coming to spend money in Crete.
After three months in Kissamos I planned to spend a fortnight at the Writers' Gathering in Loutro. Again I would be contributing a few hundred in foreign currency to the Greek economy, but no. The Greek Embassy in Wellington says I can stay only three months. I must leave Greece at the end of August. I cannot trot off to Italy of Spain for a while and come back again, I can only stay in Greece for three months in any six. UNLESS I pay to have my non visa entry extended. The daily cost of this would be a sum estimated to let me pay off Greece's national debtin 30 days.
So my plans to spend four months on an idyllic island, to walk through the Imbros Gorge, where the New Zealand Army retreated in WW2, have to be curtailed, why? Does an 84 year old staying an extra month seriously threaten Greek security?

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