Friday, February 17, 2012


The girls at the dance
us ladies before the dance
Yesterday, February 16 was Tsiknopempti which is Greece's first day of Carnival. Basically, it's halloween. At school we had traditional Greek Pontic dancers come and perform for us. It was a lot of stomping and small foot movements and holding hands and moving in a circle. It was cool to watch and to see their traditional garments. For a few of the dances, they pulled in audience members so I got the chance to join a couple of the dances. It was fairly easy with a mini grapevine, left kick, right toe touch, repeat. A handful of people dressed up at school, including Efi, one of our school administrators. We all call her "Big Mama" because she IS our Big Mama. She brings us cookies at our apartments and checks up on us and always is ready to give anyone and everyone a hug. She's the first one to join the dancing and to get up on tables and chairs. She's absolutely wonderful. 
Traditional Pontic Dancers
After classes, we all went back to PapaK and changed into our costumes. Basically all us ladies wore black dresses and masquerade masks. After changing and eating my delicioussss leftovers from the other night (fried rice and sausage) we left for school. From 8-10 ACT had a dance. It kinda felt like a middle school dance. It was in the cafeteria and everybody was in costumes. We played the YMCA song, the Macarena, and other contemporary songs. Everyone was goofing off dancing and taking lots of photos. The only part of this that was NOT like a middle school dance is that the cafeteria here sold beer. I bought and drank a beer at school. AT SCHOOL. Ok, that's not normal. It's amazing how everything is so relaxed here. People double park and break every driving law, there is no open container law, and everyone pretty much does what they want without the cops stopping them-- within reason of course. I like that the law enforcement here isn't as uptight as back home. I like not having to constantly be looking over my shoulder. Not that I participate in illegal activities but having more lenient driving and drinking laws is pretty awesome.

Andddd this is the dance
This is BIG MAMA.
Anyways, after the school dance we took a bus downtown and bought hot-dogs and french fries. After that we went to CLUB W. which is apparently "the best club in town." You have to reserve seats there and it's all high-class and all that jazz. I told a handful of people from classes that all us Americans were going to Club W. so they reserved the area in front of us. The club itself was tiered, so there were different levels but they were only separated by couches that you could easily hop over. I hopped between the American area and the Greek area all night. There was a hip-hop dance performance that was decent around 2 am and a hip-hop singing performance around 3 am. The singing wasn't exactly my taste and it was difficult to dance to but it was cool to see a live performance. I left the bar around 3:30 am with a handful of people and woke up at 9:30 to shower before classes. I'm pretty exhausted but it was definitely worth it.


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