Sunday, September 21, 2008

Broken Toilet, Drunk Americans, and Great Food

This weekend I opted to stay in and around the Athens area. One because there is stuff I still want to explore around the city and two because our whole school is leaving for a week long trip to the island of Crete this coming Tuesday. So, it is a fair trade off.

Thursday our toilet broke, along with our shutter, and our oven. Needless to say CYA is not very happy with us at the moment. It has been fixed so no worries there. However, the toilet deserves further mention. The Greeks do not believe in putting your used toilet paper in the toilet. They fear that the old pipes will burst and it will literally be a shit show (… I know I am so funny). Well, being as since the time I was potty trained I have been told that toilet paper goes only in the toilet this has been a difficult cultural adjustment. Mostly because I just do not even think about it. As a result, my roommates and I spent the better part of Thursday running back and forth to campus to use the bathroom. We are slowly adjusting to putting our used toilet paper in the trash can. Hey, at least its better then what Chris encountered in China.

Thursday night we decided to find the Irish pub that everyone keeps raving about. Sidenote: Greece is much more of a caf√© or club atmosphere, there are very few what we would deem “bars”. Prior to going out we decided to all try the famous Greek drink, ouzo. Personally, it was OK but not something I would drink on a consistent basis. It tastes like black jelly beans aka Mom would love it. So we were unsuccessful in finding the Irish Pub but instead found a quasi Greek bar called 7 jokers. It was a fun atmosphere, stayed for awhile and then decided for a change of scenery.

We left 7 jokers and ending running in to a group of Americans who were there on business. They were a few years older then us and their company was paying for their “training”, which for some reason was taking place in Greece. I did not get the whole story because they were quite intoxicated. Anyway, after hooking up with the Americans we ran in to some Germans. The Germans joined our quest to find a new bar and so we wandered. I stopped to ask a Greek where the closest bar was and he proceeded to take this an invitation that I wanted to go to a bar with him. The other Americans and Germans continued on as my roommates and I were being offered a ride to go have drinks with these Greek men. After profusely declining the ride we decided to end our quest and just head to the crepe place up the road.

Friday, myself and two of my other roommates went to the fresh market to stock up on fresh fruits and veggies. It put Winter Park’s farmers market to shame. I went with the intention of buying fresh fish but unfortunately they only sell them as whole fish...scales, heads, tails.. the whole nine. This not only creeped me out but I also have no experience in gutting fish.

Saturday was blah and rainy so I did homework, how awful is that ..doing homework in Greece? On the upside, I probably had the best meal I have had since I have been here, for dinner that night. Combining all things fresh from the market we had corn on the cob, an awesome salad, baked eggplant, and some watermelon for dessert. Speaking of food.. I have become quite fond of the bakery up the street from us. Yesterday I bought what look like mini √©clairs but are better.. filled with what I liken to chocolate mouse and have this delicious almond flavor. Na-Na… you would love them. My intention is to stock up before I leave.

All for now… I am really looking forward to Crete. It is apparently a really rustic island, with a lot of cultural history. Sidenote: they did tell us that people in Crete love guns…like for instance their child gets baptized; they shoot their guns in the air, wedding, soccer game … same thing. Should be interesting.

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