Saturday, April 19, 2008

One whole year...

I've been in Bulgaria for one whole year.
The past month has been crazy. I've been all over the place. We had a break at the end of March until the beginning of April, so me and a couple of friends decided to go to Greece. Actually I just hopped onto their plans. We went to Athens for 4 days and ThessalonĂ­ki for 4 days. Athens was perfect! Everywhere we went there were ancient ruins. It was warm and sunny and everything was green, which I wasn't expecting. I hear that it all turns brown in the summer cause it gets too hot. Spring time is the way to go. This is a picture of us in front of the Parthenon. They're doing some reconstruction so it's complete with cranes.

So while we were in Athens I got my hair cut by some guy that looked German but wasn't. He was one of those crazy 'Edward Scissor-Hands' types. There was hair flying everywhere and just when you thought he was done - BAM! - there goes some more. After all the hair was off and cleaned up he gave me a chic frizzy style and even though I don't much enjoy frizzy or chic hair I must say it didn't look too bad. I'm quite pleased with my new cut so here's a picture, even though you can't really see it well.

Along with the picture comes another story... the train or should I say the second train. We traveled by train the whole time so that we could walk around and such. Well the train ride from Athens to ThessalonĂ­ki was less than pleasing. First we're on the platform and we notice we're surrounded by high schoolers and while I like high schoolers, generally, I was on vacation and didn't want to see a single person of high school age. So finally the train gets there and we pile on and claim our seats. Then, just as I had hoisted my huge and heavy backpack up onto the luggage thing, all the high schoolers come piling on too... loud, obnoxious, and sitting all around us. I couldn't even talk to Amy and Sehee right across the aisle becauase #1 I couldn't see them through the wall of teenagers and #2 I couldn't hear anything but the roar of excited kids. So finally when it looked like they had all piled in and surrounded us a teacher comes up to us and says something in Greek... I don't speak Greek. Then she says (it was wonderful that pretty much everyone spoke English) "This car is for the children. You'll have to find somewhere else to sit. Sorry if they didn't tell you." At this point we saw other angry people standing in the corridor in the back and understood we weren't the only ousted, angry people. Then we spent 30 mins trying to get out of our seats because all the excited, hormone driven teenagers were standing in the aisle, the whole aisle, every single space. It was a wee bit frustrating as most of them were looking at us with this "Why are you in my space?" glare and yet none of them would budge to let us get out of their space. Believe me we both wanted the same thing. So when we finally got out of that noisy train car and realized that there were people everywhere and seats no where...
We set our stuff down in a hallway and I went to scout out the options while the girls stood guard. I found a perfect location: an empty playroom with some big soft blocks and a padded floor. So after I hit everyone with my bag while moving down the aisles, we relocated for a second time to the padded playroom. Everything was wonderful for about an hour. Just as I was falling asleep a train attendant came in and started talking in Greek. He quickly realized our ineptitude with this language and switched to English; we had to move. So after I tried to reason with the train attendant to no avail - there are no children, we paid for a ticket, we are as close a thing to children on this train besides the high school students who kicked us out of our seats- we moved to local 3: The hall right outside the playroom with a few other Greek people. About 10 mins later the same guy came by and told us to move, even though he didn't say anything to the playroom's new residents. So we went to local 4: the entryway. We left our stuff in the playroom because, after all, he couldn't yell at our baggage. Then 15 mins later he came back and told us to move again... not happy. At this point I went to check on my bags and noticed 4 Greeks sitting peacefully in the quiet and padded playroom as I was being moved to sit... where this time??? in front of the toilet. Yes, my 5th location was in front of the toilet. I guess he felt he had sufficeintly humiliated us and put us in our place because he left us alone after that. Sehee was keeping watch though and when he got off the train we all went back to the playroom for our final 2 or 3 hours of the train ride. Amy met a really nice Greek guy who accompanied us to the playroom and gave us a Greek history lesson for the rest of the ride. Now most of the Greek people we met were amazing (friendly, nice, helpful) not like Mr. Mean Train Attendant.
It rained everyday in ThessalonĂ­ki so we didn't do much sightseeing. But we did enjoy what we did do... and what was that you may ask? Eat, drink coffee, and dance. This is me with my BBQ cheddar burger... AMAZING! Sorry it's kinda covered up by the French's mustard (another treat). I also had a free refill coke light! This might sound crazy to you (I'm sure it does), but it was a wonderful treat for me and Amy. We also had fresh seafood and walked along the waterfront. If it hadn't been raining it would have been beautiful. We saw the White Tower, which used to be called the Bloody Tower but that scared away the tourists so they changed the name. We did lots of shopping as well. I have shoes that fit me and lots of sandals for summer! I also got that purple scarf/head wrap that I'm wearing in the picture. So overall the Greece trip was good. Great company, great scenery, great history.

I think I've written enough to make up for my silence the past month. :)

1 comment:

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