In Greece, things work different. How do most of you get your mail and parcels delivered to your home? Probably not in the way I do. The image above is a photo of my postman. He is a great guy, and whenever I see him, we have a quick friendly chat. I just do not see him all that often.
I live in a northern suburb of Athens, and the mail is not delivered on a daily basis. The postman checks how much mail he has for delivery, and if it is not enough to fill the little basket on his motorcycle, he waits until it is. I somehow doubt that the reason for this is of environmental nature. I can expect deliveries maybe twice a week, even if letters and magazines are mailed to my address on a daily basis. During August, I can count myself lucky if I get my mail once per week. August is vacation time in Greece, and the postman wants to go away. Trouble is, so do his colleagues.
Parcels are never delivered to my home. There is an obvious reason for this, as they do not fit into that little basket. I order all books through Amazon, and with 4 kids we get parcels quite often. I always had to drive 30 minutes to the Post Office to collect them. In Greece, many people use the Post Office to pay their bills, as Internet banking is fairly new. In my case, the Post Office is the main office for an area called Acharnes. It is the most populous municipality in East Attica, as it is so close to Athens. There are always queues, and I now have all parcels delivered to my mother-in-law, who lives more central. She also does not get any parcel deliveries, but her Post Office is close to her house, and serves only a small community. Of course she lives about a half an hour drive away, but in Greece you see a lot of your mother-in-law. Parcel pick-ups add another reason for visiting.
Organisation is not one of the strengths of this country, and house numbers can be quite tricky. Do not expect nice continuous house numbers: I live in number 19, and somehow 5 houses down the road you can find number 95. There is also a house that does not have a number at all; the owner simply sprayed an in-between-number in a bright red colour on his outside wall, how about 23? I guess the postman noticed him, because this neighbour has never complained about the postal services.
To be fair, I am honestly very happy with my postman. He knows me and actually does ring the bell if he has a letter I need to sign for. The standard procedure seems to be to just leave a note stating that you have to go to your Post Office to sign for the letter. He has saved me many trips and a lot of time.