Monday, March 29, 2010

Good Will Among (Repair) Men

By Claire
We moved on to another campground in Athens, curiously called Camping Athens. We loved this place, even if it was expensive at €28. It was a huge improvement over the last place—perfect showers with lots of hot water, very friendly owners and close to a bakery, coffee shop and ultimately a place to get dinner. In fact, we found a wonderful pizza place with brick oven and a soccer game playing. One “Traditional Greek” pizza and two beers later, we sat and enjoyed the soccer match on TV.

Our plan for today was to get the refrigerator repaired and look for a computer place along the way to get my computer fixed. We really lucked out, as we have so many times on this adventure of ours. The refrigerator repair was setup by Spiros back at Camping Finikes in Finikounda, upon the recommendation of our former repair place in Thessonoliki--they did not have the part but thought the place in Athens might. They did and we set the date for today.

The campground people at Camping Athens kindly provided a map and some directions to where they thought the camper repair place was located. We had a name and phone number but no address, just a road. This has been typical throughout Italy, Greece and Turkey--no street numbers. We followed their directions, turning Sunya off (don't get me started on her) and found it with just one turn-around and a stop to ask for help. Not bad. The repair guy, Milos, at Nikolaos Kastritis Holiday Land got to work right away, pulling the refrigerator completely out of Homer. In the meantime, Chuck went to ask the manager, George, (who spoke perfect English) if he knew where we could get the oil changed and where we could get the computer repaired. He pointed down the road and suggested we go immediately to get the oil changed to save time while they worked on the refrigerator. We were on a roll!

Frig removed

We found the Fiat service place about a block away with George, who had gone ahead, waiting to lead us there on foot. Is this service or what? The guys at Fiat were wonderful; Andreas, the service manager, asked if we'd like coffee or a cappuccino. We jumped at the cappuccino offer since we hadn't had breakfast. He even asked if we wanted a Freddo (cold) or if we wanted it hot. How much sugar, medium or sweet? This is the kind of oil change you can enjoy. We read our Kindles inside Homer while the work was going on. Andreas came over and signaled us through the window that his estimate was incorrect--it would cost us €10 less. Apparently the oil needed for 11 year old Homer is cheaper.

Andreas, Service Manager

Back at Happy Land, Milos began the installation of our newly working refrigerator. What joy! Yogurt! Cheese! Beer!

Meanwhile, George gave Chuck a couple of names of computer repair places as well as directions to the Lidl grocery store. Off we went, encouraged at how well the day was going. Unfortunately, the streets in town were tiny and driving was a bit of a challenge. There wasn't a parking place anywhere as we drove past Xtreme PC and Multirama. Finally, off in a neighborhood somewhere, we found a spot that looked like small cars could pass by with Homer looming over the tiny street. It was a short street so we were pretty sure big trucks would not be trying to get through. We walked down to the main drag and found Multirama right away. They were mildly helpful but felt we should drive to a town called Alimos to the HP computer support place. She did give us an address but when she called no one answered. We weren't exactly ready to hit the road to some unknown place just to find them closed.

However, it was lunchtime, which might have been why they did not answer the phone. We did give it some thought but decided to see if we could find Xtreme PC in the meantime. Yep. Just down the way. This guy was really helpful and knew what he was doing. He tested the power supply cable and determined that it was the problem, not the computer. That was good news and not surprising. We've had trouble with it; every so often it would emit beeping sounds and not work. But, he didn't have a replacement. Instead, he sent us to see Spiros down the street and around the corner. Spiros was great and also tested the power supply cable. He agreed that the power supply was dead. He said he would have one in tomorrow at noon. OK, so we were on a roll for a while there. We walked around some more but didn't find anyone else to help us. We did go back to Multirama and asked the woman there to call the HP place again but she just didn't want to do it.

Deciding to go to Lidl to get much needed groceries, we took off deciding to think about what to do later. At the store, we both decided to just continue on to our next campground on the beach, hoping we might see an electronics store along the way or maybe in Patras, our next destination. We will be at this campground, Kato Alissos, for 3 days and then head to the port for our ferry ride to Italy. The weather is the warmest it's been so far this year and we had the side door and both windows open until 8 pm. I love spring!

Amazingly, the one other camper here, Mik, helped us out by going to get the manager, Konstantinos, son of the owner. He is an engineer and was very helpful, suggesting a few PC repair shops and even testing the power supply for his own satisfaction. We will probably bike into town tomorrow to check out what is available. The good news is, we made it here easily, we love the place, the beach is beautiful and we spent the time driving looking at the incredible blue water of Greece. We've named it Avatar Blue.

The best thing, though, is that the refrigerator is working and we have cold food.

The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair ~  Douglas Adams


Karin said...

What a tidy fridge you have! :):) So glad that problem was solved and more or less easily. (For Greece) And the computer problem is not as bad as suspected...
I just looked up your campground and it looks great! Is the 1000 year old olive tree still there? How about a picture of it, if it is? Maybe your lens isn't big enough to get it! Ha,ha!

Chuck and Claire said...

Yes, the 1,000 year old olive tree is still here. See the next blog post for a picture. You're right, it's hard to fit it all in the photo.