Books and Good Reading - Updated Review.

About the Author.

Carol Palloudaki moved permanently to Crete in 1986, married a Greek and has raised two children on the island. She lives in the Chania area and works with a small tour operator promoting eco-tourism, encouraging the renovation of old village houses.

She was one of the founder members of the British Hellenic Association of Chania which was opened by the
then British Ambassador to Greece, David Madden, in May 2000.   In it's heyday the association ran a small library and English school for bi-lingual children and produced a monthly newsletter with local news, articles and events. It sadly had to close in the face of lack of funding and support in 2003.

About Crete
Carol says: “there is something magical about this island which seems to get under your skin..”

Many other people are finding the same, as they are buying property or building holiday or permanent homes on the island.  In any new home – not to mention a new country – there are always going to be questions and difficulties; but where do you turn? Who do you ask?  

This book by Carol Palloudaki may be able to give you some of the answers.

Title: Living in Crete : Author: Carol Palioudaki.
978 9606315602 Publisher: Carol Palioudaki. 2006/7.
Price: 9.50 GBPounds
Post 2.45 (Order online at Livingincrete).

Living in Crete:
The Original Review Updated.

Carol Palioudaki runs a website –  Having lived in
Crete for eighteen years, she has come across most situations and problems, and her helpful website is an essential first port of call for advice. This book is an extension of Carol’s website.  

There is, however, one major advantage a website or electronic book has over a traditional paper edition of a book, it is that when a new regulation replaces an existing one, or an important address changes, a website or e-book can be updated quickly. With the usual form of book, (hard back, paperback or floppy cover), this does not often happen quickly.  

A major criticism of standard publications (get a book now as an immediate computer download, or buy a  CD Copy!) is no longer neatly sidestepped  –   you buy the book. But the website is always there.

Now for the Plaudits.

Carol is up-front with a bucket of cold water to dampen the enthusiasm of anyone who may be getting carried away by a perfect holiday, full of blissful days of hot sunshine. She reminds us that winters on Crete can be cold and wet with many places closed, permanent jobs are hard to come by and poorly paid, the cost of living is rising, and health care can be expensive and a far cry from what one might expect in the UK. Her ‘hot tip’ is that you should rent somewhere for a few months – preferably including some winter months – before making a decision to move out permanently.  

Invaluable information is provided on learning Greek, buying or renting a property or land, employment opportunities, red tape, health and medical treatment, transport, communications, banks, schools, getting married, pets, leisure, shopping, and a list of emergency telephone numbers and websites for further information. And as if all this were not enough, there are appendices too – covering name days, accommodation, renting out your property, residence permits, tax, national insurance and health cover, unemployment benefit, private clinics, the Greek pronunciation of medical specialists, the temporary importation of a car, schools, a list of lawyers and animal rescue centres. There are also tips on how to pass as a native and a ‘bluffer’s guide’ to Crete . Amaze your friends with your knowledge!  

It must be difficult when compiling a book of advice and information – how far do you go? When do you know you’ve finished? There will always be someone who has a question that will not be covered – especially in or about a place like Crete . And here procedures can vary in different prefectures or municipalities – let alone the villages – and even in the same place, depending which day you visit, or which official you speak to, you may get a different result or arrive at the same result in a different way.  

But this book is a great place to start your quest, and many people will be extremely grateful to Carol for all her hard work.

Ann Lisney.