On Saturday night I went to a big Crete Celebration held at Macedonia College. I went with Sarom, GA, LA, Sarah, and Gogos plus Greek students Loula, Stefanos, and Petros, plus or ACT Cafe Staff Vagellis and Katerina plus Efi, our study abroad coordinator. There were also a handful of other people at our reserved table that I didn't know from school and I don't remember their names. The entire event was held in the cafeteria of the college and there was probably 500 plus people there. The room was filled with smoke, traditional greek music, and the hubbub of hundreds of people drinking and laughing. With our 12 euro admission ticket you chose between a liter of wine or a meal. We split our tickets half and half and got 10 liters of wine and 10 meal plates. I split a meal-plate with LA, who was hospitalized in London last Thursday for a stomach-bug, so basically I am slightly nervous for my health. The meal was traditional crete food, a rack of lamb, soggy rice, cabbage salad with olive oil, chunks of bread, and a piece of baklava. The meal was disgusting but we were all hungry so we chowed down anyways. The wine was like juice and we all drank far too much. We also ended up with bottles of whiskey and we all had a few glasses of whiskey&coke-a-colas. (Yes, I added the "a-colas" to remove all possible thoughts about the usage of cocaine).
The night was amazing. The company was incomparable. The traditional dancing was crazy.
I loved the entire night.
At one point, I was sitting in my plastic chair at a table filled with American friends, Greek friends, Greek school staff, and Greek administrators and I began to cry. Everything just felt so right. I couldn't help but think: This is how life is supposed to be. Dancing, drinking, sharing food with everyone alike in an environment completely conducive to laughter and joy with people from all walks of life. This is how life is supposed to be. Whether you go to school with me, whether you serve me meals, whether you lead seminars and organize school events, we should all be together enjoying life together.
If I had attended an event like this at The University of Iowa, I know exactly how the event would have gone. I would have worn business-casual attire, I would have been surrounded by intelligent and polite conversation where the beverages served were all of the non-alcoholic sort. There would have been only a handful of people dancing and most would passively observe, perhaps clapping occasionally or swaying in their chairs. There would have been no dancing on chairs and tables. No bellowing laughter. No warmth, joy, love.
This is how life is supposed to be.