Thursday, December 20, 2007

I can't believe I will be in Rhode Island in 36 hours. It is literally incomprehensible to me. I don't feel rushed at all, because I still feel like I'm going to wake up tomorrow and go to Daluz, or check the mail at the furniture store/post office, or watch movies in bed with Charlotte [who left last night. That would have been sad if I didn't know that I was seeing her on New Years, and again on my birthday]. I can't believe I'm going to see snow, that I'm going to experience weather colder than 50 degrees, or sleep in a huge bed. I feel like I'm not finished in Greece yet; like I've just started to really appreciate Soroni. I walked around and took pictures of the town, went down to the beach and the swingset, and went to Amanda's for a frappe and a Manos special. Tonight I'm going to Daluz for hot chocolate and a chocolate soufflé. I'm not excited for 24 hours of traveling. I'm poor as a button but I have no regrets about this trip, it was incredible and fun every day.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Time for a France/Italy recap.

Paris was unbelievably beautiful. Everyone was so nice, and I was pretty impressed with how much French I remembered from 7+ years ago. We ate french onion soup, chocolate mousse, creme caramel [like creme brulee but better], and loads of bread.
We got there in the evening, so we walked around near our hostel, had dinner and then went to bed.

The first day there was pretty foggy. We went on the Ferris Wheel, to the Louvre for a few hours, and to the top of the Eiffel Tower that night. Too bad it was so foggy it was like being under a blanket up there, but we could see from the second platform. I got some really cool pictures of that but I can't upload them right now, the internet is being slower than usual.

I think the next day we saw the Arch de Triomph, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and walked down the Champs Elysees. We walked over by the Eiffel Tower again to see it in the day time and took pictures. We got approached by a million gypsies who ask you "Excuse me, do you speak English?" and apparently if you say yes they tell you their father has cancer & they've been here for three months and they're broke. They never said this to us because we ignored them or said random things in Greek. At last, it comes in handy! That night we went to the Louvre again because it's free Wednesday and Friday nights for a few hours. Going there was really incredible. There were lots of art students everywhere sketching paintings. They let you take pictures of almost anything you wanted, including the Mona Lisa, which is weird. Probably not the original, but they can't ALL be fakes, so I don't know what the deal was there.

Saturday was Charlotte's birthday. We had originally planned to go to the Louvre all day that day, but since we'd already done it twice, we went to Notre Dame, ate crepes, saw the monument to the Bastille, the Moulin Rouge and had dinner. We had to spend the night in the Paris airport because the transportation stops at night. That sucked. It was REALLY cold in there. We got back into Rhodes Sunday afternoon, and Tuesday morning, Charlotte, Erin and I left for Italy.

I was really excited for Paris, but not so much for Italy. Probably because it didn't even hit me that we were about to go.

We got to Milan Tuesday night and just hung around in our hostel. The next day we walked to the Duomo thinking we were going to see the Last Supper...but apparently it isn't there. And even though it's the off season, you need reservations and they're booked through February. So much for that. So, basically Milan was a waste. It was dirty and boring and ugly.

Florence, however, was beautiful and a ton of fun. Charlotte spent a semester there so she knows the city really well. Our hostel was awesome, we had a dvd player in our room, so we could watch movies.

The first night we went out to dinner at this place that brings you a few plates of different things 3 times. They also gave us a bottle of table wine which we probably weren't supposed to finish...but did. That was a fun night.

The next day we went shopping, and to the Academia, which is where The David is. Seeing the David was incredible, I totally understand the hype now. It's really an amazing sculpture. I didn't realize how huge it was! It's 17 feet tall, and on this like, 6 foot high stand. We also found a place that makes bagels! Well, sort of. They make them out of focaccia bread, so they're not quite as good, but I'll take what I can get.

Friday we went to the Uffizi and wandered around some more. We went to Santa Croce where they make a lot of leather products, and walked down by the Ponte Vecchio.

Saturday was 12 hours of traveling. Oi. But, the next time I get on a plane, I'll be going home! 12 DAYS! I cannot waaaaitttt.

I actually have a paper due tomorrow in 12 hours that I haven't started yet, so I should probably get on that. Blah. I have another paper due Wednesday, a final on the 17th, 2 on the 19th and then that's it!

I'm going to try and start packing on the 17th because I have to have it all done by the time I go to sleep on Thursday, as I go to the airport at 6am Friday morning :) I get to Athens around 8. I'll meet up with Lauren, and we'll wait around until our flight at 11, then we get into New York around 3. That 4 hour layover is going to be hellish, but I can use the time to check 4 months worth of voicemails, I s'pose. Then we leave around 7:00, and get to Boston at 8:51pm! Cue the tearful reunion annnnnd the 2 hour drive home! Woohoo.

Ok, homework. And hopefully, pictures soon.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Elias is here for a few days. He rented a van & drove us around the island yesterday, it was really beautiful. The drive there reminded me of ocean drive. We went to this old castle overlooking the ocean and a couple of islands; then had dinner at a restaurant in the town where he was born. He also took us by a winery and we got to sample wine, [the best I've had since I've been here], and watch them bottle it.

The weather has been really strange. Usually there will be a thunderstorm in the morning, then it'll be sort of sunny for awhile, but as soon as the sun goes down, sporadic thunderstorms come back. We have what seems like a lot of work due in the upcoming 2 weeks or so-but I know it's just because they've hardly given us any all semester. I won't say how much I have to do in case Danielle is reading this, because her skull would probably explode in jealousy. My dad is painting my room right now, and apparently I'm getting a new carpet too. Probably gray, so it won't show very much dirt [and because Dad tells me it's impossible to match blue walls with a blue carpet].
Pictures! From the castle we went to, me sitting on the wall, Nick at the top, a guy bottling wine

Friday, November 16, 2007

Charlotte's sister comes tomorrow, so we'll probably take her to the usual places [the wine bar, the margarita club, the beach, Rhodes City]. Charlotte is thinking about renting a car too, so maybe we'll drive around the island. Margot is also coming to visit us the week after that. Somewhere in there I will have to find time to write my 2 papers. I can't believe I'm in the final stretch of my stay. I got a card from my mom today, with some pictures of the Ya-Ya christmas card photo shoot, that was nice :) Last night we had a white trash/country western party, that was pretty fun. Jen and Becky have a theme party every Wednesday. So far we've had a gangster party, halloween party, a pirate party & this last one. I got to take a hot shower today! That was nice.
Oh! And I ate an apple with peanut butter the other day. I didn't even gag!
Some more pictures: me & charlotte after being so bored we drew all over each other with marker, a boat in turkey, me on a turkish playground, me on a random moped annnnd me with the kitty we sort of adopted. Charlotte and I call her Peanut Butter.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I am thinking I should have brought some more winter clothes. I've adjusted to the heat so much that 60 degrees feels frigid to me! Charlotte and I booked our flight to Paris today, so I'm pretty excited about that. We leave on November 28th and come back early Sunday morning, so we'll be there for her birthday instead of Thessaloniki. I'm disappointed we can't see Margot and Jenna on her birthday, but the prices to fly within Greece are insane. For that much money, I feel like I should be seeing another country. So now I will be! :) Not too much else to report. Charlotte's sister is coming to stay with us over her Thanksgiving break. See you all in 40 days.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

this is charlotte as me on halloween, our street going towards the beach, some really old jewelry and me [as hermione granger] and april [an OC girl] on halloween

These are some more pictures of my room, the view from my balcony and a battleship I saw in Kos that made me think of Dad.

random pictures!

this is me jumping off a cliff in lindos, me in front of a lighthouse in turkey, and part of my room. I'm trying to add more.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

I guess it's about time I updated this again. I finally went to Old Town to buy some Christmas presents, and booked my flight to Italy. Then found out I have $950 in my account. Which means I can't spend more than 10 euro a day, for the next 50 days. Oi. Actually it's more like 13 euro, but I'm trying to account for ridiculous ATM charges. I haven't booked my trip to Paris yet, and was planning on going to Thessaloniki for Charlotte and Jenna's birthday, but it looks like my bank account is going to bottom out before I get a chance to do either of those things. That really sucks.
I can't believe it's finally November. October felt like it was going to last forever. Although it still doesn't even feel like fall here. We had about a week of chilly/windy/rainy weather, and then it stopped. Now it's just a little hazy, and back to mid-70s. I'm missing New England fall, especially Halloween. Last night we dressed up and hung out in Jen & Becky's room. Costumes included: Medusa, Bob Dylan, 50s woman, Jackie O, a mummy, an m&m, an OC girl, Hermione Granger [me] and Maggie Sullivan-Charlotte dressed up as me. We got souvlaki, came back and ate candy corn and watched Harry Potter.
I can't believe we really booked the flight to Italy. I'm going to see Da Vinci's Last Supper in person. I'm a little disappointed we aren't going to make it to Rome though, but at least I'll see some of the country. It's ridiculous how expensive it is to get off of this island.
I haven't really been doing too much. Mostly watching a lot of movies and trying to look up cheap flights out of here.
I feel like I'm doing better in Modern Greek, but my Minoan and Mycenaean history and Hellenistic Rhodes feel like a lot of stuff I'm never going to use. I'm a little nervous about the papers I'm supposed to write, because some of the kids have background in this [History majors or general interest] but I don't at all.
I found out my guinea pig Stella died the day my mom flew home, that was really sad. But I'm almost glad I wasn't there for it, I hate watching them when they're sick or dying, it's awful. My dad wants to get a girl, since "Dora" is actually a boy. I hope they do, 2 babies would be so cute and I'd actually be home in time to see them be born.

Charlotte and I went to Kos and Turkey a few weeks ago. Kos is really pretty, and very tiny. It's only a 3 or 4 hour ferry ride away, depending on which kind of boat you take. We stayed in a nice, and pretty cheap hotel which actually had a tv with a channel in English! We caught the end of the Da Vinci Code. We got up the next morning, took a taxi down to where our ferry got in and bought a ticket for a boat that said it was going to Bodrum. Somehow, we ended up in Turgutreis, which is about 45 minutes from Bodrum. We couldn't figure out if the boat company made a mistake taking us there, or if they just lied to us, which happens sometimes in Greece. Some of them will do anything to get a sale.
So we walk over to one group of people, and some man with a clipboard is telling them that the bus to Bodrum is coming at 11:30 and if they want to come, to wait at a nearby restaurant. Charlotte and I decide we're going to crash this party, so we wait, and hop on these tiny busses. Our bus is full of people that I think are speaking German, but I'm not catching even small phrases of what they're saying. They drive us up to a point overlooking a harbor and we take some pictures, still not having any idea where we are or when we're getting to Bodrum. Our tour guide gets on the bus and starts speaking in what I think is German, but I can't understand him either. Charlotte is baffled that I took 3 years of German and can't decipher a word these people are saying. I try to explain Rogers and Frau Daly to her.
They take us to a Gold Center, which is basically a bizarre, super expensive jewelry store. We held $8,000 necklaces and they served us orange juice. There was a ball pit that I wanted to go in, but Charlotte told me I was too big. Killjoy. There we found out that we were actually in a Dutch tour group. They realized we spoke English, and we lied & said we were Canadien. We drank some Turkish tea, which is good at first but has a very bitter aftertaste, and then they took us to Bodrum and gave us a few hours to shop. It's got a huge harbor, there were literally hundreds of boats lined up. I didn't buy much, but it was a pretty entertaining day. We came back to Kos and walked around, ate awesome pesto pasta for really cheap, and went back to the hotel.
It was nice to get a weekend away from Soroni and from everyone in the house. I like everyone, but having time away gives us something new to talk about. A couple other people went to Kos last weekend, and Megan and Lauren are leaving tomorrow.
That's pretty much all that's new with me here. Oh, I washed my sheets. Ok, that's really it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My mom left on Saturday morning, which was way, way more sad than leaving her & my dad in the airport. I cried the whole taxi ride home, which was probably very awkward for the driver. We went to the beach down the street from my house, into Rhodes city and Old Town and found the doe and the buck at the entrance of mandraki harbor, drove around the island and stopped at tsambika beach and lindos so she could jump off the little cliff, and watched all 4 Harry Potters. An excellent visit, in my opinion.

Her leaving definitely made me a bit homesick. It's gotten a little worse because the stupid time difference makes it really difficult to talk to people when I'm not really tired & they're not at work & whatnot. Only 66 more days. Margot and Jenna left for Thessaloniki today which was really sad. It's definitely going to be a lot quieter/slightly more boring without them around. The boys and Joanna left Saturday afternoon. We're already planning for them to come back for a weekend in the beginning of November, and Charlotte and I are going to Thessaloniki the first weekend in December for her & Jenna's birthday.

The semester has officially started. I'm taking Rhodes of the Hellenistic Period, Minoan and Mycenaean History and Modern Greek 1. My schedule is
Monday: Rhodes of the Hellenistic Period 9-10:30, Modern Greek 1 5-7
Wednesday: Minoan and Mycenaean History 9-12
At some point during the week I'll have another 2 hour Modern Greek class, but it will probably change week to week.
So now I'll have more time to be on-line to talk/Skype if anyone wants to. Monday nights [afternoons for you guys] would be good for me, I can stay in the internet room late since I don't have class on Tuesday. Or Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights.

Charlotte and I have plans for pretty much every weekend. This weekend we're taking a ferry to Kos where we'll stay overnight, and then take a day trip to Bodrum, Turkey. Lauren, Erin, Megan, Nick, and April went to Marmaris, Turkey a few days ago, they had a decent time. Next weekend we're going to Santorini with Erin. The first or second weekend in November, Margot and Jenna will be visiting, and whatever weekend they don't come we're going to visit Rome and Florence. The next two weekends Charlottes sister will be visiting, and the first weekend in December we'll be in Thessaloniki. Then we're going to Paris to stay with Casey Sullivan, and then it's the last weekend before we come home! Thinking of it like this helps me not be so homesick.

We've been getting text messages from Athena, our roomate who is now in Athens for the semester and the news has not been pretty. Her and Kerri got there Saturday morning to an apartment that was filthy, had no beds, no furniture, no silverware, and Joanna's room wasn't even built yet [Kerri, Athena, Michelle, Lena, and Joanna were planning to live in 1 three bedroom apartment]. Thankfully, three of the girls have family in Athens and they stayed with them the first night. Kerri and Athena slept on the floor of the apartment the second night and ate food Kerri's grandmother had sent with them. Last night after 11pm, they finally got beds. There's no internet, they aren't getting bus passes even though the have to take a 25 minute bus ride to get to and from their classes. Their cafeteria where they're supposed to eat is in a sketchy neighborhood and has terrible food. The representative for Paideia Athens wasn't even in Athens the weekend they got there.

Margot, Jenna, John, Carolyn, and Sondra were all planning on leaving today and taking the ferry/plane to Thessaloniki. Elias had known their plans for at least a week, but he e-mailed them all on Friday and said they needed to drive back into Rhodes city to try and get a refund [on their non-refundable tickets], buy plane tickets for a flight to Athens that leaves the next day and be in Thessaloniki by Sunday. Un-freaking-believeable. None of them did it [as nothing he said to do was even possible]. He said they couldn't miss that much class. He seems to be forgetting that Margot and Jenna don't HAVE any classes, because they're not offering the classes they were told they could take and now have to take classes directly through Aristotle University. Elias didn't sign them up for any, so they have to show up there [with no idea of where to go], try they get into classes they need, and then pray they're taught in English.

Kosta, Elias's 28 year old son, our "representative" [a pretty pathetic one who, for the first three weeks, constantly ditched us because he was dating one of the 18 year old girls in the program] also forgot to take the boys to the airport on Saturday and they would have missed their flight if one of the other boys hadn't still had his rental car.

This entire program is just so disorganized and ridiculous. I have to go to the hospital for a tuberculosis test and chest x-ray, and pay 150 euro [a little over $200] so I can renew my visa and actually leave the country.

Needless to say, I am counting the days until I come home right now. I miss you all very very very VERY much. See you in 66 days!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Charlotte's making me risotto right now and if I'm not back soon she won't give me any, so this will be short. I can't figure out why I can't seem to post pictures now. This site is annoying. It actually rained today! For about 20 minutes. Mostly it was just a lot of thunder, but now it's sunny again. I hate 8am classes. Mom comes Saturday :)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Today was one the best days I've had in Greece. We all piled in the van and Kosta [Elias's son] drove us an hour away to Lindos. Lindos is a little tourist-y, as are most beautiful places in Greece. The beach was packed; for some reason we see German tourists everywhere, and a few of the people who taught us in Dion studied German in college. I was unaware of the Greece/Germany relation. I wonder if there are a lot of Greek tourists in Germany? Perhaps.

Anyway, we walked past the beaches to the area with the cliffs and went cliff jumping. Well, I jumped off the tiny one, it was only about 15 feet. There was a 20 or 30 foot one, and 4 of the boys jumped off the 70 foot one. THAT was cool to watch, but a little scary when one of the boys jumped and didn't stay together, he just sort of flailed around. We had sandwiches with BACON for lunch [bacon as Americans know it is impossible to find here. They just cut ham into the shape of bacon].

We spent all day swimming and jumping and taking pictures. The water wasn't like the water in the Carribbean, it was this unreal blue-green. You could see straight down, probably like 20 feet to the bottom. Amazing. I'm going to sleep so hard tonight, I can't wait.

Charlotte, Lauren, Margot, Jenna, Athena and I went into Rhodes city the other day to get laundry done & explore. It reminded me a little bit of Newport; cleaner than the other cities I've seen, not as insane, but still somewhat tourist-y. We looked around the shops a bit before they closed at 2 [siesta is turning out to be really annoying] and then had pizza and sangria at Pizza Hut, which was a HECK of a lot more expensive than it is in the states. We racked up a 54 euro bill, which is...I don't know, probably something like $70 or $80. Ridiculous. But tasty.

So now there's 3 cats who roam around our house and as of recently, a rottweiler & something mutt.

Oh and I finally have my address! In case anyone wants to send me letters. Or American magazines [Jane or Bust, preferably]. Or my Harry Potter 7. Or peanut butter. Or Corn Pops. Or a movie [Almost Famous, any Harry Potter, Monty Python's the Meaning of Life, etc.], Or anything, really. I love mail.

Maggie Sullivan

Soroni Apartments
Paideia Program
care of: Maria Tomazos


Soroni, Rhodes, Greece
TK 85106

Right now I'm sitting with Allen and we're listening to Usher because the other boys are gone so they won't make fun of him.

I was going to post pictures but it doesn't seem to be working. Another time. I should probably go to bed soon because I have the torture that is 8am Byzantine Art History. Intro to Greek Mythology is excellent though. Send me mail!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

from Rhode Island to Rhodes Island

We're finally here. Our apartment/room is nice enough. We have a balcony, a tiny bathroom and a little kitchen area, but no oven so we're a little limited as to what we can cook. They give us groceries once a week of bread, meat, cheese, cups, cereal, milk, juice, and a giant jar of nutella, naturally.

We have internet, but it's two blocks away in a room. It's literally just a room on the street with tables and chairs and a wireless connection. Strange.

It's so nice to not be living out of a suitcase.

A bunch of us went to the beach today. It's rocky, but really nice, and literally about 2 minutes from our house.

I'm sort of sick right now, but Tylenol cold & sinus is keeping me functioning.

I thought I had time to write a longer entry, but I just realized I should be eating dinner in about 4 minutes, so I guess not.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

sketchville, gr. population: me

Sadly, none of our hotels have been as nice as Delphi was. Our hotel in Olympia was semi-sketchy and not very appealing. There was a pool on the roof that looked like it was last cleaned on the 17th of never. We were only there for one night though, so that wasn't too bad.

We were supposed to be in Sparta for 2 nights, and Athens for one but they switched it around. Our hotel in Sparta was really nice, I slept like a rock [finally] which was strange considering the bed was wood, concrete, wood, matteress.

Today we left Sparta early to go to Mycenae, Nemea, and...some place else with a huge theatre that I can't remember the name of. Very hot, and lots of travelling. We also saw the oldest structure in Europe, the Lion Gate at Mycenae.

We're now in Athens, and it's living up to the title of "Dirtiest city in Europe." It's dirty, sketchy and hotel is gross. It looks over a bunch of trash and other cement buildings. Here's part of a review of our hotel I found online.

This is a poor excuse for a hotel. Small, cramped rooms...the furniture, carpeting and walls were well worn and dirty. For the most part it was easier to walk the seven floors than to take a chance on the elevator that seldom, if ever, worked. Lots of drugs being dealt in the open around the front of the hotel with dazed teens slumping against the wall or laying on the sidwalk. The staff was surly and unhelpful and could care less if they waited on you or not.

Welcome to La Mirage. Apparently the mirage is a decent hotel. Another one said that others they stayed with got itchy from the dusty blankets & assumed dust mites. Gross. I want to sleep on my luggage.

We can't wait to get to Rhodes. They bring us to the airport 6pm Friday night. It's supposed to be rainy while we're here, but the forecast in Rhodes is 70-80 and sunny every day. It's weird to think that on Tuesday we'll have been here for a month.

Anyway, here's some pictures. Sorry if they're screwed up, I'm not entirely sure how to post them on here.
They are: a room in the Rotunda of Gregory in Thessaloniki, sunset over the Dungeon, graveyard next to our Dion apartments [Danielle just informed me that Greeks consider picture taking disrespectful to their dead. Whoops.], Dougie! the stray dog we adopted, and the view from a restaurant at some beach near Dion.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Oh wireless, I hardly knew ye

I have no idea what town I'm in and I've spent 9 hours of my day on a bus but I don't care because our hotel has WIRELESS IN THE LOBBYYYYY. Praise Zeus. We left our "apartments" in Dion this morning around 6:30am. Dragged all our luggage down the street to the bus stop, intending to take a bus from Dion to Katerini, and another from Katerini to Athens. The bus driver, upon seeing 12 kids with at least 2 bags each, chose not to stop for us. We had to call 2 different taxi drivers to send 4 taxis. One taxi driver actually took 3 people to the bus stop in Katerini. The other driver charged each of us 20 euro for a 5 minute drive to another random bus stop on the side of the highway, saying he didn't have enough time to take us to Katerini.

Foreign taxi drivers will be sentenced to the sixth circle of hell, because they are sneaking, lying, THEIVES.

So we get on the 5 and 1/2 hour bus to Athens. We get glared at and snapped at by stupid old Greeks to take our feet off the seats. We feign American ignorance and put them on the seats anyway. We get to the Athens bus stop and meet Prof. Tomazos who FINALLY did something for us-met us at the station with another bus so we didn't have to meet at a hotel we didn't know the address of and weren't actually that sure of the name. We get on this bus for a 3 hour ride to wherever-we-are-now. It becomes a 4 hour ride because a gas truck turned over and they made the highway a 1 lane road. Arrgg. But I don't care because we have wireless, and a TUB and a TOILET WITH A REAL SEAT. There are so many squatty-potties [a toilet with no seat. Makes no difference to dudes, but it's a bit uncomfortable for us ladies] here, but I just put toilet paper down and sit on them anyway because I know the second I try to squat my thigh muscles will give out and I will crash through the door and pee all over myself.

We met a few new kids. Not much to comment on, they seem nice.

Greeks are so strange. They will sit at a bar or a cafe for hours and hours with one drink, but on the highway they all drive like the blessed Apocalypse is coming. They overtake each other constantly, it's like a big death race. And they always honk at each other, as a hello. Only one honk though, which is usually "watch out" for Americans. It's like the whole country knows each other. And they have no regard for pedestrian’s at all-they'll drive full speed right at you.

Danielle told me I'd lose weight in Europe because the food was so much better. Let me break down the greek food pyramid for you. Bread, meat, cheese, french fries, nutella. That's it. So much for weight loss.

We hiked around Mt. Olympus on Monday. That was BEAUTIFUL but the hike was poorly orchestrated. Our teacher told us we were walking an hour downhill to a monastery. We hiked uphill and downhill for 2 and a half hours, only stopping once to look at a church. She didn't make sure everyone had sneakers or water. Half of us were in flip flops and nearly everyone was dehydrated by the end of it.

I'm uploading pictures now so you'll be able to see those soon. I'm starving and would like to look around the town, but the urge for the internet is trumping both those desires currently.

This place looks like the Greece I picutred. We have a balcony that looks over a mountain range and a huge valley. There's actually vegetation here, a nice change since all I've seen is land that resembled a desert.

PS. This just in. We're in Delphi.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

camera help

The other day I was taking pictures in our little common room & all of a sudden my camera lens started zooming in and out, but wouldn't go fully in [like it does when I turn it off]. Now here's what happens: I turn the camera on. The lens zooms in and out but won't fully go in. The screen is black and says Access. After the lens zooms in and out a bit, it says "Turn the power off, then on again." I do that, but it doesn't help. The screen stays black and the lens won't go in completely. I thought it was because the battery was dead but it's not. I can look at pictures already on my camera and put them on my computer but I can't take any pictures and pushing any of the other buttons doesn't do anything. I have a Sony Cybershot, 8.1 megapixels but I can't remember anything else about it because I don't have it with me.

Can anyone tell me how I might fix this?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

I kept forgetting to mention this

We've seen a million ruins of temples, villas, sheilds, gravestones, public baths, statues, tombs of Macedonian Kings, incredibly intricate mosaic floors, gold wreaths, jewelry, vases, things that were left in the graves, theatres with their original seats still intact, but this was by far the coolest: we saw the theatre where King Philip II was murdered by his general's, which is THE SAME PLACE where Alexander the Great was made King.
HOW COOL IS THAT. Seriously.
P.S. Ancient Greeks used to punish men who cheated on their wives by removing their hair downstairs and putting a radish up their bum. Who knew?

this ain't my momma's greece

I came here expecting what everyone had told me: that it was beautiful, that everyone spoke English, etc.

That's sort of a lie.

Everyone does not speak English. Well, they do, but they speak English like I speak Greek. They have the very basic words down, but neither of us know enough to communicate with each other. I can hardly order a gyro. It's frustrating. Sometimes I can't believe I came to a country where I don't even know their alphabet, let alone language. I am getting better at the alphabet though; remembering that a "p" is an "r" and an "n" is a "v".

The country is pretty- all flat, flat, flat, until out of nowhere-mountains. No hills, just flat land until it rises up into the clouds. But they don't take us to the places they take tourists. A lot of the country is extremely rural or run down. I'm not kidding when I say a good portion of the population of Dion uses their tractors as cars. I've driven by abandoned cars, billboard's advertising things from last year, buildings so dilapidated they look like something out of a World War II photograph. It has it's own kind of charm, but even Thessaloniki and Katerini have been like this. It was surprising, I was expecting quaint white and blue houses with cobblestone streets. I think that might be more on the islands. I do like it here, it's just different.

It actually got cold here the past few days. We're in northern Greece and it went from being about 85-90 degrees and 80 degrees at night to about 65 and in the 50s at night. It was pretty shocking-suddenly we were all in jeans and sweatshirts and using our comforters. Obviously 50 degress isn't normally that cold to me, but I guess we had all adjusted to the heat better than we thought.

Lauren is climbing Mt. Olympus right now. I spent the night in Margot & Jenna's [two sisters in the program who have been in Thessaloniki/Rhodes since the summer] apartment. We took the bus up with Charlotte, Steve, Paul and John. Carolyn and Sondra are living with Margot & Jenna once we all split up, so they were there too. And, true to his forgetful nature, Mr. Tomazos didn't tell his daughter than any of us would be in the apartment, so she was there too. There are 3 sets of bunk beds, one small and one large mattress for the 10 of us. It wasn't too cramped though, the apartment has 3 bedrooms. The bunk beds are hardly comfortable though. But Tomazos's daughter made us all breakfast in the morning! Spanakopita, Lukanakopita, some other kind of pastry that reminded me of french toast, and chocolate milk. It's funny, I came here expecting to have to adjust to the food, and the 3 most prevalent items I've seen here are french fries [always available as a side, and present in any gyro], hot dogs [Lukanakopita is a hot dog with a ketchup like sauce inside a pastry. They eat it for breakfast and it's better than it sounds] and chocolate milk.

My feet are going to be covered in calluses by the time I come home from all this walking. It's probably a good thing, considering the food. They're big fans of pork too. We've gotten that a couple times for dinner-porkchops, cut up pork, pork on a stick. We've also gotten moussaka which is eggplant, meat and creamy cheese, stuffed peppers, and a PLATE OF GREEN BEANS. Nothing else, just a big ol' plate of green beans in a tomato sauce. I recall eating a lot of bread that night. I'm about to eat my first crepe, probably with a crapload of Nutella. Yum.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

This will have to be quick because the stores are re-opening [they close from about 2-5 for siesta. I love a culture that naps]. Anyway, I'm in Katerini again. They drive tractors as cars in Dion so we're counting the days until we can leave. Still having a good time-ate a stuffed pepper! I'm so adventureous overseas. Working on getting a new phone charger. Don't expect post cards or decent updates until I'm settled in Rhodes. European espresso makes me reeeeeally jittery. Annoying. It still amazes me the intimacy between everyone we live with. We walk around in our underwear and talk about poop. It's like having 20 brothers and sisters. Off to shop!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

i return!

Finally, I found an internet cafe that can put my blog site in English!

Getting to Greece was hell, if hell is dirty/hot/sweaty/smelly/in another language. Because of "weather in New York"-man, that stuff is everywhere- our flights from Boston were delayed. I got into New York around 12:15 and spent about 2 hours doing everything short of using a lasso to find an employee who could tell me where the Olympic counter was. By the time I found it, they wouldn't let me on my 2:05 flight, and put me on the 4:30 one instead. Insert histerical tears here, because I am convinced that I am now totally alone in this situation/airport/universe. However, Lauren's flight was so late she missed it too, so we both got on the 4:30 flight to Athens. I entertained Lauren on the plane by lip synching to my ipod. Apparently Greeks clap when they land in the mother country.

We get off the plane to find that one of my bags has been left in New York. Thank you, JFK. We drag our 50 lb bags around the airport in desperate search of food. Everyone is smoking. Grandma's are smoking. Teenagers are smoking. I was sitting next to a baby that I am fairly certain was also smoking. GROSS. I am a spoiled American used to making smoker's feel like social pariahs, but here, they reign supreme. We got pizza & condesending looks for our $50 bills. Everyone hates making change.

We navigate the all-greek map for the metro [Thank Zeus for Lauren's 2 semesters of Ancient Greek] and we're on that for an hour. Slowest metro ever. We arrive and lug our bags up a flight of stairs. Allow me to mention that it's now about 1pm on Sunday [6am on Sunday RI time]. I have been awake since 4am on Saturday, with the exception of maybe a 5 or 6 hour nap. Lauren has not slept. We have barely eaten. We are, judging from our headaches and swollen hands, severly dehydrated. We buy tickets for the train to Katerini and find it doesn't leave for another 4 hours. Oh joy.

We sit in the waiting room, watching a 90 pound woman light up a cigarette as long as her finger, while staring at the universal "no smoking" sign. We listen to all greek annoucements which might as well be in gobbledegok for all we understood. We feel our stomachs gnaw at our insides because there's nothing to eat except for gross train station food. Someone thank Nana for those granola bars, they saved my life.

We get on the train for about 3 hours. They made us check our luggage. Very sketchy process. Because of a fire on a train, they make us get off after 3 hours, and get on busses. No one speaks enough English to tell us where to go. We see our luggage & have no idea where it's being taken. We finally just get on a bus & hope for the best. We're on the bus until about 11pm. We get off to find that our luggage isn't on our bus, and we have no clue where it could possibly be. We get on another train to finish the trip to Katerini, having no idea how to tell which one is our stop. We get off the train around midnight, and miraculously, our luggage is sitting at the end of the platform. Prof. Tomazos has sent someone to meet us and help look for our luggage, but since we already found it, he tells the taxi where to go. We get to the apartments [I use the term loosely] to find 3 students sitting outside. Thank god they were, because the gate would have been locked and we would have been sleeping in the sheep dookie covered street. Everyone was really nice, and had some horror stories of their own. We take ice cold showers [literally, ice cold. We didn't know we had to turn the hot water heater on] and pass out-me, without a pillow, because it was in my other bag. It didn't matter by then.

For anyone who's wondering about my safety because of the fires, for now I'm fine. They're farther south of us at the moment. In about 2 weeks I'll be going to Athens to do all the tourist-y stuff but they're hoping to have it cleared up by then. Greece appealed to the European Union to send foreign firefighters and military.

I'm already picking up some more greek-please, thank you, water, etc. I've started eating my gyro's with tomatoes. I lost my phone charger in our mess of a room. Our bunks squeak whenever you move. A stray dog we've named Dougie follows us everywhere. There's 20 of us stuffed into a hallway. We have one tiny common room/laundry room/smoking room with a fridge, a wooden bench & a few plastic chairs. We have 2 showers and 4 toilets, and somehow no one has killed each other. Yet. Dion is teeny tiny, but we're making the best of it. And the wine is TASTY. Gotta catch my bus back. All for now.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Yassou, y'all. User name explanation: hello, macaroni, and telephone are currently the only greek words I know. Check back for posts and pictures. I leave in 3 days!