Wednesday, February 1, 2012
finally in greece
I'm finally in Greece. I'm safe and sound in my off-campus student housing room. It's a one person bed room with a small kitchen and bathroom. It's cute, and has been made much homier with lots of pictures of friends and family.
There is orange trees lining my street and I'm only two blocks away from the sea. It's beautiful but chillier than I expected.
I got a crepe this morning for a late breakfast with some of my new mates here. There's 50 international students total and about 30 of them are in my building. I've made some friends already and new people are still arriving. There are students here from the Jersey shore to California. It's nice to meet a good blend of people from the states and here the slight different accents in our voices.
We've taken to congregating in the hallways. Theres a couch in the middle of the hallway and we'll all circle up around it and talk for hours. I've also met a few local greek guys who go to ACT (American College of Thessaloniki). They are part of a "meet international students club" so they've been carrying suitcases and helping everyone get settled in. My favorite moment with them is when one of them, Sakis, said he was going outside for a smoke. I asked if everyone in Greece smoked and he said: "Yes, it's a national sport here." Most of the people here do smoke, but a few people don't. The other guy I met, Petros, doesn't smoke. So that's a plus that there will be some people who don't. But I'll just have to get used to it.
We went out last night for dinner and drinks. They had wine on tap, that was quite new. Dinner was huge and served family style. Lots of breads, olive oils and sauces, and meats. Nothing spicy but nothing too plain either. I really like all the food I've had so far.
Now it's "siesta time." By law, it is quiet hours from 3-5 pm. But most people close shops around 2. So most of my floor mates are sleeping or resting. A handful of us are sitting in our couch area chatting. I left to write this and to lay down for a bit. I still haven't caught up on sleep but I don't feel too exhausted luckily.
I'm trying to pick up some words in Greek but they are so difficult to say with their guttural sounds and with the "tsch" sound apparently. I've got a few words and phrases down, but I'm eager to learn more.