Friday, March 5, 2010

Internet withdrawal

I haven't posted in nearly a month! The time is flying by, and classes are starting to get busy, and the internet is patchy as ever. The strikes in Athens make it interesting to plan traveling, but otherwise things are great here. I went to the acropolis on tuesday, and I'm going to Sparta next weekend and Thessaloniki the next weekend, and then it's spring break! I can't believe it's going by so fast! Even though I only have classes 4 days a week I have shockingly little down time. And even less down time with internet access. I've had to learn all kinds of new skills, like reading a map instead of using google maps, using a real physical english/greek dictionary instead of an online translator, looking around and asking around to find a shop that sells whatever I happen to need instead of looking online or just going to walmart or target. It's kind of freeing though, to learn how to live without the internet. I volunteered at a clinic the other day, and I wrote down patient information with a pen, onto lined paper. It was very strange. I don't really have anything else to say at the moment. Hopefully I'll be able to post again in less than a month this time.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Technical difficulties

Γειά σας!

So, the internet that we get in our apartment seems to be getting less and less reliable, which makes it difficult to have time to post on my blog! But, I'm working on it.

Last week was very cold, and our water heater broke. It was quite unfortunate. But, three electricians, one washing machine repairer, numerous phone calls, and five days later, it was fixed. I was rewarded with the first hot shower for the effort I put forth in communicating with the washing machine repair guy and the final electrician (neither of which spoke any english).

I attempted a few recipes from my 1918 Textbook of Cooking (by Greer). Sadly, the majority of the recipes I wanted to make require a double boiler. Although they were apparently very available in the united states in 1918, we don't have one in our apartment and I haven't been able to find one yet. I haven't looked all that hard though, so this problem will probably be overcome once I can make it to a cookware shop. I did succeed in making some ground beef and potato croquettes though, which went over pretty well with my friends here. I also stuffed some bell peppers with mashed potatoes, ground beef, cheese, taco seasoning (yeah, I found that at the local ΑΒ grocery store!), and hot sauce. They were pretty delicious as well.

My roommates and I were planning on going to Delphi for the weekend, but apparently all the cool stuff is closed until March or April for some reason, so we'll go sometime in April probably. I'll try to get more pictures up soon.

That's all for now!

Γειά σας!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I guess we're oriented...

Orientation officially ended on friday at around 11:00 in the morning in the lovely town of Nafplion. I had a great time enjoying the scenery, and mostly sitting around eating and drinking coffee and wine. There was also a significant amount of gelato involved. I've posted pictures on facebook.

I ordered coffee in greek today, with moderate success! Classes start tomorrow. I have modern Greek language, Philosophy from Plato to the church fathers, and The Aegean in prehistory on monday and wednesday.

Greece is pretty great. I've learned how to (relatively) successfully navigate the grocery store, the market, and public transportation. I haven't attempted to conquer laundry yet. The food and coffee are probably my favorite parts right now. Pretty much every place that has food also has Greek coffee and espresso. For less than my usual Starbucks drink I can have a gyro and double espresso.

I miss everyone at home, but I am having a great time here.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I'm here!

After spending a night in New York, I caught the arcadia group flight to London, then after a brief layover and a slightly less brief flight delay, we left for Athens. I met up with my four roommates, and with Arcadia's assistance, we arrived safely at our apartment with all our luggage. We live on the 3rd floor, but luckily there's an elevator! We each took our luggage up one by one, and then we had to have a lesson on how to unlock the door.
It's pretty cold in our apartment, so after a bit of unpacking, we had some tea and sat around the oven until dinner time. The apartment is fantastic (other than the coldness). We have four(ish) bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom, two balconies, and an entry way with a couch!
I can't wait to start cooking.
Pictures will come soon. We have a tiny bit of internet access.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Two Weeks

I got my passport back in the mail today, complete with a Greek Visa! That's a huge relief. I've been making lists of things I need to pack. It seems likely that I will have a difficult time packing light.

Tomorrow I'll be driving back to SA for the week (camp college!!). I can't wait to see everyone! Since I won't have a whole lot to do, I think I'm going to cook for everyone. I was at my aunt Karla and uncle Steve's house today, and my aunt gave me a cooking textbook from 1918 that was my great grandmother's.  I won't have a meal plan in Greece, so I'll be cooking most of my meals. I'm really excited about getting to cook again.

It still seems like a long time until I leave, even though it's only two weeks. I should probably actually start packing and everything.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Submitting my visa application took approximately 5 minutes at the Greek consulate in Houston today. Hopefully we did everything right. Now I don't really have a lot to do, other than pack eventually. Winter break seems extraordinarily long this year.

Monday, January 4, 2010


In approximately 5 hours, we'll be leaving for Houston to apply for a Visa (and to hang out with Jess, of course). Hopefully we've successfully filled out all the appropriate forms. It's the last big thing before I leave, really.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Title

Today is January 3, 2010. I leave Texas on January 22, and I leave the United States on January 23. I have  about three weeks.

I was going to start this blog several weeks ago, but I delayed because I couldn't come up with a title. I asked my lovely roommate Jess to help me, but she couldn't think of anything. The last time I asked her, she replied "I don't know!", and I almost named it that, but I decided it wasn't quite descriptive enough.

The title is best explained if I say a little bit about why I chose Athens in the first place. I'm a pre-med philosophy major at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX. I really want to study abroad, because it seems like one of those opportunities that I just shouldn't pass up. Being pre-med and a philosophy (and possibly also biology) major is kind of an odd combination, and it's kind of tough to get all the requirements for both of them done. In order to study abroad and finish my pre-med pre-requisites on time, I need to take at least one philosophy class while I'm abroad. It has to be in english, because I'm not fluent in anything else. I wanted to be in Europe because traveling around Europe is pretty easy, and I want to travel as much as possible. The Arcadia University's Center for Hellenistic studies turned out to be the best place for me to take philosophy classes in english in Europe. That's how I chose Greece.

They speak Greek in Greece, and I don't know any, so once I decided to go there I frantically searched for a free place to learn greek online. I didn't even know the alphabet. The first helpful site ( assured me that when people find out I'm going to Greece, or that I'm learning Greek, they will exclaim "It's all Greek to me!".

I didn't believe them. I had never heard this expression before, and figured it was outdated. I was very, very wrong. Nearly everyone over the age of 25 has said this to me once they found out I'm going to Greece. Apparently it's a line from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. I chose this as the title of my blog in hopes that people will see it and no longer feel the need to make the joke. I don't think it will actually work, but maybe they'll read this and then at least feel silly about it.