Greece - 31 March - 16 April 2012
(Thurs. 05 April 2012) - I spent Thursday trying to rest and figure out the rest of my stay in Greece. It rained for the first time since my arrival which I feel is worth noting because it rains almost daily in Northern Ireland. I also visited Angel at his work this day (he works at a small cafe called Fun Time owned by his aunt and uncle).
(Fri. 06 April 2012) - I had planned to go to various places close to Agios Stefanos by train but instead went to the mall with Georgina in Neratziotissa. We shopped for awhile and I got a new bathing suit for my trip to Crete and she got somethings as well. I had a very good time with her and really enjoy her company. She is openly and honestly materialistic and loves shopping and doing her hair, makeup, etc. but she also has a passion for math and aims to be a mathematician. She is so in tune with knowing and expressing her emotions which I really admired in her. She is very meticulously organized and seems to make decisions based on how beneficial they may be to her (kind of like the people in Amsterdam). She fully believes in experiencing all of life with no remorse because you only live once. This seems to be a recurring theme in my time abroad; that I connect very well with girls and make several casual guy friends but most of the people leaving an impression on me are female. Not all of them, but the vast majority. After the mall she went home and I went looking for a gift for Efi and Zahos but has no luck.
I relaxed at the house for a couple hours then went to Georgina’s to get ready for the night out. She did my hair and makeup and nails and had fun doing it. Her friend Dassa joined us and we had a nice time talking and getting ready. We also got great takeout (delivery) souvlaki. I got mine “opola” which means with everything on it: tomato, onion, fries, pork, and tziki sauce. We left to go see Angel DJ at a place called Grid. He was a great DJ but I was less than impressed with the crowd of high school students who were there for the night. They were very judgmental, especially to Georgina, and did not seem to be there simply to have a good time. It was a full moon that night and Grid had hookahs for the night. I had not smoked with a hookah in over a year and was excited about it. The combination of the moon and the hookah reminded me of Danielle which only put me in a worse mood by remembering our recent disagreement. This combined with the attitude of the people and the cold weather not to mention my lack of sleep put me in a very grumpy/bitter mood. We were there to support Angel so I tried to be in a good mood but then they wouldn’t let me leave after he got off work. I was not happy about this and let them know I just wanted to go home and sleep and was more than capable of getting there on my own. I realized that Angel would have insisted on walking me home if I had left so with this thought in mind I resigned myself to staying up. We ended up having a couple more drinks then going to the primary school playground with Angel, Georgina, and Christos. Maybe it was good that I stayed because we did have a good time and I was able to have a serious conversation with Angel about life and relationships. We did not get home until 6am.
(Sat. 07 April 2012) I was up early again because I could not sleep so I went for a walk then hung out with Zahos, Efi, and the kids for the afternoon. We watched TV and hung out and had a really good time. Later that afternoon I went to Georgina’s to get ready for another night out. She cooked crepes for us that night and though I said I wasn’t really hungry she insisted that she cook something for the both of us, just another example of Greek hospitality. We left to go to a house party then Angel was DJing at for the night. The atmosphere was much better at this party than the previous night and I had a good time. The party ended like most club music in Greece, with Greek music and dancing. I love this part, it is so fun to watch everyone get excited and start dancing. At the end of the party around 2 or 3am we left with a group of people to go to a bar or club. I had surprised Georgina with some strawberry daiquiri mix earlier that day while we were getting ready to go out and we decided to stop at her house to drink some more daiquiri before going to the club. A bunch of us went together to a place called The Town Hall (in English) for karaoke night. Angel’s mother took us there and hung out there with some of her friends. My voice was completely gone at this point, I think I was getting sick so after awhile of drinking, watching and taking pictures of karaoke night Georgina and I went outside with a couple of beers to talk. I was a little bummed I could not sing karaoke that night but greatly enjoyed getting to talk to her some more. I had a good time but apparently we were expected to be a bit more sociable and stay inside with the others. Neither of us really cared about this and did not let it bother us.
(Sun. 08 April 2012) I got up and went to church late from 9:30 to 11am. It was Palm Sunday and I enjoyed it much more than the previous Sunday’s service. However, I am continually disappointed in the lack of practiced faith by the young people in Greece. Mostly only the elderly go to church or practice their religion. I was almost encouraged not to go to church and was told numerous times that young people don’t really go to church. After church, I had a fish lunch, cooked by Efi, with Efi, Zahos, and Efi’s parents. It was delicious, as Efi’s food always is.
That evening I went ice skating at a plae called Kosmopolis with Angel and Georgina. We had to take a bus and metro to get there which we have to do to go most places from Agios Stefanos. Georgina did not skate much but she met a guy who worked there so we all had a good time. Angel tried to teach me to skate backwards but I never really got the hang of it. We went and got crepes afterwards. Mine was a chocolate, banana, and cookie crepe and was absolutely delicious. I have decided I could eat crepes every day if I knew they would not make me insanely overweight. Later that night we went back to the primary school outdoor basketball courts to drink then later headed to their high school’s soccer field to drink. I was amazed that this was not a big deal and fully expected law enforcement to stop us at the primary school because it is right by the main road and we were in clear sight but no one came or seemed to care. Only four of us hung out that night, Angel, Christos, Georgina, and I. We had a good time and Georgina and Christos started dating. It is aggravating that none of them seem to understand why I refuse to fool around with Angel. He had a girlfriend, which does not seem to be an adequate excuse to many of them and I am really just not attracted to him like that. What’s more, I think his main attraction with me is that I am American or foreign which bugs me a little as well. I am slightly concerned because we are leaving together for 3 days and 2 nights in Crete. I really don’t want him to make any moves but I believe he will try and Georgina seems to think so as well. We will see. We ended Sunday night much like we ended Friday and Saturday nights, heading home around 6am just before sunrise. The only difference is that I cannot seem to sleep despite my lack of sleep and when I do sleep it is fitful and for short periods while the others can catch up on sleep the next day. I am sure it will hit me sooner or later. On the way home, right before we turned to enter the house a black cat crossed are path. I alerted Angel of this and he scorned me for believe in such superstitions but I couldn’t help wonder what the cat meant.
(Mon. 09 April 2012) I woke up early to pack, go buy my planned gift for Efi and Zachos to show them how thankful I am for their hospitality, and to do various preparation tasks before leaving for Crete in the evening. I was ready in no time and did some pleasure reading (The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson) for awhile and then gave Efi my gift. I was very sad because today was the last day I am going to see them because as soon as I arrive back from Crete they will already be on the ferry to Crete. We said our good byes and luckily Zachos made it home in time to say bye as well.
Angel and I then headed to Grid to have some coffee with Georgina. I won’t see her again either since she is going away as well for Easter. She is going to her family’s hometown and won’t be back until after I leave for Germany. I was very excited to see her again and had became surprisingly close to her in a short time. I usually do not form connections like that often or quickly and I realized I am going to miss her a lot even if we are very different. To my complete surprise she pulled out a small orange pouch with a heart bracelet on a black string and a note in it. I instantly wished I had thought to give her something and I was very touched by her gift. She had brought her new jean jacket that she got on our trip to the mall and some paint pens so I could write on the inside pocket (where she could see but no one else could so it didn’t look tacky or mess up the new jacket). Too soon it came time to leave and we said our goodbyes, promising to Skype one another. I hope this will happen and not be empty words that fall through.
Angel and I left on the bus and then got the Metro at Kifissia and took it to Piraeus, a major port. We never once paid for a ticket, another slack rule in many places in Greece. We boarded the ferry, or ship rather, at 8pm after dinner, and headed for Chania, Crete ready for another adventure.