Qussa

Stories from Afar & Up Close

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Approximate living

First weeks on Lesvos, furnishing my new apartment in Mytilini.

I order a mattress of 140x200cm. The one that is delivered is 140x190. I call the company.
"No problem madam, 190 or 200, it's all the same."
"Uh, not really, I'm almost 190 and I don't want my feet sticking out of the bed."
"Ok, if you want we will send one that is 200cm."

I buy a second-hand fridge from the real estate agent, who showed me a small, clean, white fridge and said the one for sale was practically the same. The one that is delivered is black and incredibly dirty.
"This is not exactly like the one you showed me. It's a different color. And dirty."
"No problem, black, white, it's all the same. But if you don't want it I have another one."

The one that is delivered is white and clean, but almost as tall as me and about one meter wide. A family of twelve could store enough food in it for a week.
"Uh, this is not exactly like the one you showed me either. It's gigantic."
"Ok no problem, big, small, it's all the same. But if you don't want it, I'll take it with me."

I'm in a textile shop, looking for bedsheets. I ask for a fitted sheet of 140x200.
"Ok, I have 90x190."
"Uh, that's not exactly 140x200."
"No problem, I have what you're looking for. Here, take this one, it's 150x205."

Greece and I, we're going to need some time to agree on shapes and sizes.