Wednesday, April 30, 2008


My parents have been here for two weeks now and I think their visit is at least somewhat satisfactory. Last week was a whirlwind of museums and constant trips downtown, along with Easter celebrations in the heart of Thessaloniki. My in-laws had invited us to their house in Halkidiki for the holiday, but since my parents had already celebrated Easter there five years ago, I wanted them to experience the superb chanting at the Church of the Acheiropoietas, which is the only church I’ve ever gone in where I have actually felt something aside from the normal discomfort I usually feel in holy places (my short video of last year’s resurrection service can be found here). The chanters there are the best I’ve ever heard – even better than most CDs of Orthodox holy music. So, we booked a couple of hotel rooms at a downtown hotel for Saturday night and enjoyed a quiet Easter to ourselves.

All in all I think it is rather hard for my parents to adapt to life in Greece. They are in their 70’s and the convenience of things in America makes things here seem so much more complicated. Certainly there is some truth to that, but I’ve adapted to washing machines with more than just four basic settings, to hanging my clothes to dry, to shops being closed during hours that might be considered inconvenient, and to stepping around goat turds in my driveway. Of course, some things are our choices, like not having a dryer or a microwave and choosing wood floors instead of wall to wall carpeting. But I’ve adjusted, and in the end, things really don’t seem that much more difficult. Then again, it has been awhile since I’ve lived in the U.S. so maybe I’ve just forgotten.

As to the things they have adapted to, well, my dad has made friends with all the neighborhood dogs, and one of them likes to accompany him when he takes his walks. They’ve gotten to know one of the local shepherds (who apparently speaks just enough English for basic communication) and they’ve learned their way around our little village (my dad was even able to buy some things at the bakery without any assistance). The true test will be when my husband and I go to Crete for five days and my parents will be forced to make it on their own (with a little help from my brother-in-law). I think they can handle it.

I’m just happy to see them, even if my dad has taken over my computer.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

File under: What were they thinking?

It isn't uncommon for stores and cafes here to have English names here, and sure, some of them really don't make any sense to native English speakers. However, most of them aren't scatological in nature, like this cafe my dad snapped a picture of while we were out driving around:


Kinda makes you wonder what exactly they put in their coffee.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Wuthering goats

My parents are here for a five week Greek adventure, and since my internet time has dropped to nearly nothing, I offer you goats. Goats that quite possibly won't be around after April 27th.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Absolut hypcrisy

Now let me get this straight. The U.S. supports F.Y.R.O.M.’s inclusion into the E.U., even though it is a country that teaches its citizens that the Macedonian region of Greece is “occupied” territory that actually belongs to them. Yet the U.S. gets all pissy about an Absolut ad campaign in Mexico that shows an early map of the United States – with all the territory Mexico once had.

I do love my country, but before the U.S. starts getting it’s panties in a wad about this, they should remember that most of the U.S. could be considered “occupied” territory, not just by Mexico, but by the American Indians and even by Britain. So I dare the United States to claim they don’t understand Greece’s objection to F.Y.R.O.M.’s NATO bid, when they can’t even accept an advertisement that depicts a historical map and the hopes of Mexicans who wish they had never ceded all that land.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Quirky meme

I've been tagged by Jay3gsm, EllasDevil, and Kat for this meme, when I’m tripled teamed it is hard not to comply.

These are the rules:
1. When tagged, place the name and URL of the tagger on your blog.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write 7 non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself?
4. Name 7 of your favorite blogs.
5. Send an email/comment on their blog letting them know they have been tagged.

Write 7 non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself:

1. I love disaster movies, especially circa. 1990’s made-for-TV ones. The worse the script and the acting, the better. I’m lucky I live in Greece because the Greek channels have managed to get hold of all these movies and play them on a regular basis.
2. I eat pie filling first, pie crust last (this applies to traditional U.S. type pies, not Greek pies)
3. When I’m scooping the litter box, I pretend it is a game of “find the treasure”, except the “treasure” is nothing you want to keep.
4. I love vacuum cleaners. We have two, and the AEG Vampyr is my favorite.
5. Whenever I eat anything with a wrapper, I fold the wrapper up into a tiny little square and sit on it until I get up to throw it away.
6. I am obsessed with weather details – wind speed, temperature, forecasts. Doppler radar makes me swoon.
7. I check the EMSC (European Mediterranean Seismological Center) site twenty times a day and try to find patterns from earthquakes that occur in Greece.

Name 7 of your favorite blogs (none of whom I am officially tagging, unless they wanna):

1. American in Athens (already tagged)

2. This is Not My Country (already tagged)

3. EllasDevil (already tagged)

4. Rice, Beans, and Pastichio (already tagged)

5. Nicole in London

6. The Vol Abroad (who has the cutest of the cute babies)

7. pitcherlady