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April 21, 2006

Hunting for trousers, shoes, and a job

Some hawk eyed reader (thanks Kirsty) noticed that I had been mysteriously absent from Martin's blog over the last week. Well, I can now reveal my secret where-abouts (drum roll...)...I was at an interview, and am pleased to report, that I have been offered the job.

Ah, an interview, I hear you say, always stressful. Well it was, however, not as difficult as the interview preparations. After travelling for almost 5 months you can imagine the state of my 4 t-shirts and 1 pair of jeans. I certainly couldn't turn up at an interview wearing any of these, so the hunt for an interview outfit began.

My idea of plain black trousers, plain black shoes, and any old top seemed simple enough. The search for trousers wasn't toooo bad. It only took us (Martin had come along for moral support) about half an hour to figure out which size between 42 and 52 bore any relation to a UK size 10. Ever since arriving in Greece, it was apparent that all women wear any form of trousers as tight as they possibly can without popping out of them. I basically had to try on every size in every style until one fitted, with Martin running back and forth to the clothes rack returning with more options, while I huddled in the changing room, cursing the world for not having standard sizes. So, when I eventually found a pair of black trousers that fitted me I decided that they were most probably about a UK size 20 (hence them not stopping the blood flow to my legs).

I find clothes shopping annoying at the best of times so I was rather daunted by the prospect of shoe shopping after my trousers experience. For those who don't know, I have rather big feet - my shoe size varies between 7 and 8. I have always found it difficult to find exactly the shoe I want in my size (difficult, I say, not impossible). That was all about to change. I spent a thrilling afternoon winding my way through the streets of Hania in search of the most boring black court shoes that would be cheap and surely come in all sizes. The first few shops I ventured into to enquire after their shoes, regretted to inform me that they didn't have that particular shoe in size 42 (size 7). Still keen, I marched on to the next shop, and the next...and the next. Desperation started to set in so I began asking about any revolting black shoe (gold buckles and all) but alas, the biggest size was 41. 'This will maybe fit?' the eager shop assistants suggested. No, I said, but this didn't deter them. They insisted on my trying them on, at one stage using a shoe horn to try and wedge my foot in. In other shops the assistants merely gasped when I said size 42, sucking their breath in, car-mechanic-style, as if it was some kind of impossible request. One shop asked, rather puzzled, if this shoe was for a man, to which I replied 'no, it's for me', but said any man's shoe that fitted me would be fine too. He wouldn't hear of it. This was clearly an unheard of thing to do and they wouldn't even humour me with letting me try some on! The man proceeded in convincing me that a most revolting pair of women's shoes would do - yes, I conceded, resolving to wear anything. Good, he said, but we don't have size 42. Oh, give me strength! This was completely ridiculous - my feet are large but they're hardly King Kong size! Eventually, any hope and all patience dissolved, I bought a pair of yucky black open-sandal type shoes in size 41. No, they didn't fit, but at least my toes can hang over the edge.

Needless to say, my disastrous outfit did the trick, and I'm now an employed Greek resident. I will be working in an office for a type of holiday planning company, 9-5, 5 days a week. Back into an office like the rest of us, I hear you gloat. Well, yes, but the fact that my bus-ride to work goes along the coastal road with amazing views of the island and sea is rather nice. Not to mention the fact that I can walk into Kalives for my lunch break and enjoy my sandwiches while sitting on the beach! Also, the office is a small room attached to the owners house, which is situated on a rural road, surrounded by olive trees with Lefka Ori (White Mountains) as the backdrop. Not too shabby at all!

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Congratulations! From the description of the scenery alone it sounds far too nice to be described as an office job. Desktop images just aren't quite the same...

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