Living on Crete

If you need to know anything about Crete, read on ...

If you have read about our experiences with selling our house in Crete, you would be excused for thinking we would be making our way back the UK as quickly as possible.
We did try to buy a property in the UK, which we were hoping to rent out, to provide the funds for staying in Crete by renting a villa in the Apokoronas. This proved to be impossible as the fees for the rental property in the UK were excessive and we wouldn't pay them.
That left us looking for property in Crete, either to rent or tentatively to purchase. We rented for a year in Douliana but were lucky to find a house to purchase in Kambia in the early part of 2020.

Unfortunately this was at the same time as the pandemic of Covid-19 really started to grip the world.

Update 25/03/2021
We are still in the grip of the pandemic and cases and deaths are forever rising. Good news is that the vaccinations are rolling out now. They seem to be very slow. We haven't had ours yet even though I am handicapped and aged 71 !
Still, nothing is as bad as trying to get a disabled badge for the car. I started the process last July from the KEPA agency at the EFKA building. They sent me to five doctors which took some time to sort out due to Covid-19. I did this and tooworkk all the paperwork back to the KEPA. This dreadful woman told me that all the paperwork was wrong even though it was the paperwork they had given me. To cut a long story short, they messed me about for several months, giving me promises and phone numbers that didn't exist.
Finally they telephoned me last Monday, told me to see a panel of doctors yesterday. The doctors read the submissions from the five specialists, then one of them got up and tested my knee reflexes. WHAT A JOKE !! Worse was to come. They gave me a piece of paper that could hardly be read and told me to get an appointment for the KEPA. Talk about going round in circles !
I now have an appointment for next Tuesday at the KEPA. ( This is not the KEP by the way ) KEPA is a Government agency purely for the disabled.
Update 21/06/2021
I kept the appointment and was so glad to see that a chap we had dealt with a few years ago was there. He handed me the required document ie certificate for disablement, said it was good because the level of disablement was 73%. The document was in greek.
I rang my friend Maria in the disablement section of the Ministry and was disturbed to find out she had retired and I had to deal with someone else. She told me top email the document to this to this new fellow. Heard nothing for two weeks, kept ringing but nobody answered the phone. Finally he answered the phone and said my email was lost and could I resend. He would then deal with it immediately. I resent the email with all the documents he required. A week went by and I finally got him on the phone. He said my request was denied because my mobility was only 45%, which the doctor assessed from my knee reflexes, and he needed 69%. I couldn't appeal because the length of time this guy had taken, the time for appeal was long passed. What a bloody joke.
I have appealed to the Greek Ombudsman.

The other thing that seems to go on forever is the requirement for biometric ID cards now that we have left the EU. It seems to be a requirement that the first photographs are dismissed, so you have to get a second set. All sorts of stupid reasons for this. Funnily enough, when I applied for my Greek driving licence, the first photos were rejected, the second photos were rejected, but the third set were OK. When I received my licence it showed the first photo that I had sent. You then have to visit places 5 times ( 3 in Chania ) before you get your ID. All this going on during the pandemic when movement should be restricted. Thank Boris the bullet dodger for this.

Never mind, we are enjoying the house in Kambia and having lots of landscaping done, so I can access everywhere ( nearly ) in my wheelchair. See some of our projects here.


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This is still relevant  06/07/2021

A Quick Piece of Advice About TV in Crete.

By far the easiest and the least expensive is to use an IP address that the big TV companies cannot monitor. 
There are several ways to do this but the two most common are using a VPN or a DNS profile.

I prefer the DNS route as it is much cheaper and faster. VPNs are more secure but much slower. Also only the very expensive VPNs will give the security that most of them specify. Also VPN providers will tell you that they give all the programs when this is not true. 

Anyway, first of all, get a smart TV, then an Amazon Firestick 2. If Amazon wont send it then get someone you know in the UK to receive it then they can send it on.

Then go on the internet and sign up to SmartDNS. Don't go to anyone else, Don't listen to anyone else. This company is the best by far and the ONLY one that can regularly deliver BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub. The instructions are very clear, just take your time to read them.  You will need to change the DNS on your router or you can change the DNS on your Firestick 2. I do both.

Your next step will be to sign up for a dynamic IP address. ie, one that will change often to avoid detection. Use the recommended No-IP. This is a free service but you have to click on their website every month. They send you an email to remind you. Or you can pay for it to be done for you.

Then it is only a question of downloading the program apps, that you want to watch, to either the firestick or the TV. You can do both. If you have a Samsung smart TV, then download Netflix to the TV. Netflix are catching on to the Firestick and films can be patchy.

Terry

A proxy DNS server or a VPN ? Which is best ?

Well, this is always a difficult question to answer. One way may suit one person, whilst the other way suits another.
If you ask someone, they will declare for the one they have chosen, but it may not suit you. I'll show you a list of pros and cons, but remember, whichever service you use, you can still be hacked if you wonder onto disreputable ie xxx sites. A VPN cannot save you from hacking if you venture onto a dark website.

DNS Proxy server

Pros

  • Masks IP address to access GEO blocked websites.
  • You want to stream a wider range of shows from your paid video-streaming subscription.
  • Very cheap.
  • Very fast.
  • You are not concerned about your online privacy or data.
     

Cons

  • None of the data from the website back to you is encrypted unless the address has an S ie HTTPS.
  • None of the data going through the DNS server is encrypted.
  • A bit more work to do setting up than a VPN.
  • If the router or the firestick is " thrown " by a long off period or a power cut, you may have to reset it.

VPN 

Pros

  • Masks IP address to access GEO blocked websites.
  • You want to stream a wider range of shows from your paid video-streaming subscription.
  • Can bypass Government censorship.
  • Protection of your online data at home or even in cafes and airports ( as long as you are on a reputable website )
  • Can get around " internet throttling ". ie When your internet provider reduces your internet speed, which is illegal by the way.
  • Fairly easy to set up.


Cons

  • Good ones are expensive
  • Many cannot get ITV Hub and some don't get BBC iPlayer. Always check before buying.
  • Downloading can be slow.
  • Mainly set up for US programs.