Saturday, July 24, 2010


tO Sergeant Anastatakis
Dear Sergeant,
This is to tell you that I am giving up my efforts to stay one more month in Crete after my three month non visa residence permit expires. It is not because I cannot meet the demands of the Greek authoritites as to paper work. I can. I have in my possession bank statements, e mailed from my accountant son yesterday. And I have the requisite five passport photographs. But I realise that when I am dealing with you I am not confronting the real bureaucrat who has decided to be as obstructive as possible.(I wonder what the Greek name is for Sir Humphrey Appleby}
You, dear Sergeant are a nice boy, the age of some of my grandsons, and when I walk into the police station I just cannot bear the look of terror that I see on your face.I am an eighty-four year old great grandmother and I don't like frightening people.
Also I realise that if I do walk into your office with the required bank statements and the passport photographs (frightening enough for anybody) you, and your fellow officers will then have to find something else I need before being allowed to stay. It has become a game hasn't it. What can you demand next?
My grandfather's school records? My late husband's baptismal certificate? Certificates of circumcision for each of my eight sons? So I am calling a halt. It has got to silly already.
You, dear Sergeant have always been studiously polite, in spite of your limited English and my almost non existant Greek.For that I thank you. May you have an outstanding career in the Greek Police Force, marry a Pink Singlet and live happily ever after.
Yours sincerely

BUT of course I cannot write such a letter. But I would like to.

Another letter I would like to write would be to
The Consul-General in Greece for New Zealand
Sir Two weeks ago I sent you an e mail in clear English explaining the difficulties I was having trying to extend my three month stay in Crete. I have received no reply. I shall be reporting you lack of action to the New Zealand Department of External Afairs the moment I return home.
There may be some excuse, maybe you have been busy preparing to attend your parents'wedding?
Waiata Dawn Davies


  1. What a time of it you've been having... The only reason I can see for not sending the letter to Sergeant Anastakis is that his English may not be up to it. And I would certainly complain to the NZ Foreign Office, or whatever they're called.
    Hope you enjoy the rest of your stay.

  2. Hello Ms. Davies! My name is Kyrstyn, and I am one of the former residents of Villa Joanna. I lived there from December through May of this year. I love your blog!!! I also kept one while I was there, and if you're ever bored (yeah right!) and want to take a gander, it's at I can't commiserate with you on your trials and tribulations regarding extending your visa, because I...well, don't want to incriminate myself. Let's just say that I opted not to deal with the bureaucracy, of which I have a strong fear and loathing (in Greece, or the US, or anywhere). I hope the remainder of your time in Crete is wonderful, and that the weather is kind. I'm looking forward to following your blog and Cretan adventures...all the best to you!