Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The guy with the drywall will be here a week from next Thursday

Well, we've had a few extra days off, due to some equipment malfunctions. It's been great, not having to go in to the office, but things are back to normal now. So back we went today, and back we go tomorrow.

A propos of nothing... The general style of house around here seems to be a basic square, made up of four cement walls on a cement base with a cement top. Very basic, with lots of open space, balconies, large windows, none of which would be unexpected in this Mediterranean climate. But the strange thing I noticed is how much the local area looks unfinished. It's like the buildings were intended to be taller, but they ran out of money.

I recently discovered the reason for this: Greeks don't pay taxes on buildings until they are complete. So, enterprising folks that they are, they build one or two floors, and "start" the next. They leave the rebar exposed, they don't paint the top floor. Then they move in. Now they can claim that it's a "work in progress" and enjoy their property-tax-free home. Or business, as the case may be, because it's not limited to residences. Even the big supermarkets around look like they're just about to have another floor added on top.

I know back home people have a hard time getting contractors to come and finish the work when they are building or remodeling. Seems like the Greeks have made a virtue of it.


Susie H said...

Aaaaaahhh!! I totally understand now. Always wondered about that MEditerranean building strangeness...

Susie J. said...

now THAT is ingenious!