This week, next week, whenever…
The Greek equivalent of mañana is methavrio which technically means the day after tomorrow, but in practice means some time in the future. We often encounter it. To put it bluntly, we just never know when something will actually happen: expectations and reality can be very far apart. Here’s an example.
When we first moved to this apartment last November, our landlady told us she was planning to get an internet connection in her office, which would give us the opportunity to ditch our current, relatively expensive, wireless and use her broadband. Great! We thought, but fortunately didn’t rush out and cancel that contract.
Over the following months the subject mostly went quiet, but every few weeks she would tell us that the broadband was coming – this week or next week usually being the timeframe. In July we got neighbours: a Dutch couple staying in the studio opposite for 2 months, who’d been trying to get internet access down in one of the local cafes, but without their own laptop it was difficult. Again I heard the statement ‘I will be getting broadband here next week’, and hoped their need wasn’t urgent.
Then two weeks ago we were told it was definitely ‘next’ (i.e. last) week. And about three days ago the much awaited broadband finally arrived.
I don’t think our landlady is entirely at fault for raising our expectations as she was in the hands of other people, who presumably kept giving her dates that they failed to keep. What I find interesting is the fact that it never seemed to bother her to keep telling us that broadband would be here ‘next week’. Faced with so many failed deliveries I would have been too embarrassed to even raise the subject until the thing was installed and performing.
Maybe here they’re so used to things not happening when planned that they’re comfortable with these non-appearances, but I know that if I’d made any plans based on the early promises I would have been very disappointed.
And that broadband for us? So far we can access it on one of our two machines – for some reason her network can only accommodate two machines and one of those is obviously the office one. We’re trying to pick up a wireless signal through concrete walls so it isn’t always that good, and our PC has a much more difficult time picking it up than our laptop. As we want both machines to have internet access at the same time (we’ve tried juggling one machine, it just doesn’t work for us) we don’t yet have an acceptable solution.
So we’re not abandoning our trusty wireless connection yet despite the shiny new box sitting in the office. The attraction of faster broadband is definitely there, but we know we won’t have access to this when we finally move so we’ll need our wireless connection long-term. But maybe adding up the costs of installing phone lines and getting a new broadband connection is a good idea as we could be here for some time yet…