At the Corfu tax office, the staff are dressed in polo shirts, jeans and trainers.
A ticket machine spews out a piece of paper with a number on it and we wait in turn, as if we are standing at the deli counter at Morrisons for two Scotch eggs and four slices of ham.
A young man with the chiselled face of an ancient Greek shuffles large bundles of paper very loudly, making his presence felt in a hubbub of voices in a foreign tongue. And then, after ten minutes, we are at the front of the queue. A few signatures, lots of stamping and we're done.
We emerge from the tax office, a five-storey, grubby building faced with light grey marble, air conditioning units outside every window. Teenage boys use the front courtyard as a skateboard ramp and a melange of mopeds and scooters are parked against a low wall.
We take in the hustle and bustle around us - with a tax number we are now part of this, after all - and it begins to rain. And rain and rain and rain. And there's me wearing my hat made from woven paper.
'It's the first rain since May,' says Marcus, who is sheltering in the same doorway. 'And I'm so excited.'
Zeus be praised, I think. This must be a good sign.
Paperwork over, there are a few more things to do before we come here proper, driving in convoy, next month.
We have to revisit the house. Yes, the house. Is it as good as we remember? Or are we seeing it through Ouzo-tinted glasses?
Stay with me to find out. More later.
That's about it.
Love Maddie x
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