Mary Irvine – getting in touch from Spetses

phones image by mike rohde. jpg
phones image by mike rohde. jpg

Photo by Mike Rohde

Father Christmas brought me a new mobile for Xmas. One of those all singing, dancing ones. I’d previously been using a mobile my grandsons called old-fashioned and I referred to as ‘retro’. It did the business, i.e. could make/receive calls/texts. Even used it on previous visits to Greece, No problem!
Had contacted server before departing. Assured all in order. Switched off roaming thingie so didn’t incur ginormous bills which my son pays but I do have a conscience of sorts. Got to Athens airport. Needed to ring Esther so she could meet me in at Corinth. Calls just ‘ended’. No contact with her or her husband.

Oh, great! Finally – won’t bore you with all the story – managed to get a message to a friend on Poros, do keep up, who rang Esther, who then rang me. I could receive calls but not send!

Emailed son next day which resulted in call from Virgin lady – you know exactly what I mean, so stop sniggering. She told me to try a different Greek network and she’d ring back in one hour. I duly tried all Greek networks. None would allow me to connect with anyone I knew in Greece. Virgin lady rang back.

Did you try a different network?
Did it work?
 Try another.
 Have tried all available, none worked.
Could you wait one moment…
(At least I didn’t get any inane listening music.)
Hello, are you there?
Yes, still here.
Did you put the country code in front of the Greek numbers.
(Deep breath, try not to grit teeth, not good for them.)
Yes, I did. I was here in May with my basic, antiquated mobile and had no problems whatsoever. I pay (OK, my son pays) an exorbitant amount for this ‘does everything’ mobile and it doesn’t work.
Could you wait one moment…
(I could and did.)
What code did you put in?
0030 as they were in my former mobile.
That’s the problem You no longer do that. You should just put +3! Try it and I’ll ring you back.

Fair enough, it worked but wouldn’t it have been a good idea, when I checked for usage in Greece, to tell/remind me of this fact? Did I miss an announcement? Does anyone know when this changed? As stated above the numbers worked fine last May.


Have been doing some re-writes on my book. Putting a few more hooks into the beginning. Am now on Spetses so am talking to people to check out times/names/places, gossip, anecdotes, basically, anything that can possibly be used. Memory being jogged all the time as am taking a daily walk in a different direction each time.

Have had several invites for coffee/lunch etc. Churlish to refuse really and it means I needn’t cook. It’s now 2.15 pm and I have a luncheon engagement with a gentleman friend. Had coffee with an ex-student this morning. It’s all go! Sometimes this writing business really interferes with life… Will keep you posted. Byee…


Mobile Phones – photo by Mike Rohde on twitter

Image of Spetses courtesy of Creative Commons –

Mary Irvine: Reporting from Greece – interim 3.
Mary Irvine: A blog from Greece, March, 2016.

This section: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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