Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Six hours later, in a completely different part of town a half hour away, I was walking to the library when I heard "that's her, that's her, HEY!" And again I chatted with the same two Dutchies about what they had seen that day, where I was going this time, and said "Dooi" and went on my merry way.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
The move itself was easier than expected. On the way to Europe, Newman scratched the hell out of Nick when he went through the metal detector, so we did all of this planning.... for nothing, because he was surprisingly good this time. Once again, the Germans at the airport fell madly in love with Batman and completely forgot their protocol. It was so funny to see the transformation. They began as stern, stony-faced, uniformed robots with a 25 letter badge ending in "polizei" who are supposed to be finding the liquids I snuck through. But when they see the dog, 4 of them gathered round-- "ooooooooooooohhhhhhh!!!! What kind is he! Oh my baby! Oh so cute! Oh mam, don't put him in the kennel, he can stay out. oooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhh!!!"
So anyways, we got here easily enough on a Thursday, and found an apartment on a Friday, moved out of the hotel Saturday. And right after we decided to take the apartment, which is mostly unfurnished, we walked outside to find a freshly placed mattress. Insane! As my friend Carrie so succinctly put it, "I never imagined you as unemployed, with a pay as you go phone, sleeping on a mattress you found on the curb!" Believe it. We are pretty lucky, and in a happy spot for the time being. Batman is racking up vet bills and the money is going a heck of a lot faster than expected, so it's not perfect.... this is a good thing- perfection means you're just waiting for the other shoe to drop, right?
The first week we've spent doing many touristy things, many involving food. One first order of business was to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to Grimaldi's pizzeria in Brooklyn. We had to wait in line for almost an hour and a half just to get inside and get a seat. It was totally worth it, this pizza will make you want to curl up in the fetal position and die right on the table. We're lucky to have made it out alive.
View of Manhattan from the bridge
There is so much to eat in this city! Unbelievable cookies that taste even better than they look (not my picture)
NYC Culture Shock:
- Seeing a movie at a theater costs 12.50 apiece!!! Weekends before noon it's only $6, so we will be getting up early for any cinematic needs from now on
- They list calorie contents for every menu item at restaurants. This is actually pretty cool because there are certain things that you quickly realize are not worth the nibble.
- We can speak English here! We got so used to English as automatically identifying us as tourists. We didn't even realize this, but we have been speaking to each other in hushed tones for about a year! The first few days we kept saying "Wait, why are we whispering? English is the language here!"
- Free water is awesome. I still buy a drink, I still can't get used to just ordering a water even if that's all I'm in the mood for.
- Lots of people are new to the city: we met up with an old high school buddy and she introduced us to some of her friends, many of whom have been living here less than a year. People here are pretty friendly, because most people are from somewhere else and identify with moving here, and there is a certain amount of openness required to stay here longer than a day or two. (Example: we were chased by a screaming old Chinese man who was wearing a dress and pigtails while pushing a shopping cart)
Friday, July 17, 2009
Us at the Temple of Zeus, with the annoying redhead
Temple of Zeus, different angle with Acropolis in the background
Temple of Zeus at night, from our table
Those who say it's a dog eat dog world-- there are tons of strays in Athens, and the little guy was cleaning the ticks off the big guy. What a pal.
Parliament, where people take pictures near the motionless soldiers. We just couldn't do it, but this guy could!
Various pictures of the Acroplis and Ancient Agora
View of Athens from the Acropolis
There is a lot of restoration going on. It's amazing how much time and detail it takes to restore such massive structures.
Watching Public Enemies near the Acropolis
Picture of the Acropolis from our table.
I felt very grateful taking this picture. We have been insanely lucky, I only hope our good fortune continues in New York City, where I'm posting from!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The port of Adamas
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Here is a photo inside the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral in Fira.
Gotta love wine on tap!
Me parasailing over the Aegean
Colorful buildings in Oia
Japanese tourists and 2 brave dogs lounging on rooftops in Oia
On the way up the volcano.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Roman Forum with a temporary modern sculpture exhibit
Italian parallel parking- perpendicular parking! (Colosseum in the background)
Us at the Colosseum after waiting in line ZERO minutes as compared to the suckers who waited 45 minutes. Tip: buy your tickets at the Roman Forum instead of the Colosseum!
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Our relative didn't show for one reason or another, but the funny thing is that we met her ex-husband at the airfield. Apparently, he's the one who taught her how to fly. We didn't let the no show stop us! We drove around the village where we are from and via fate, found a house with the Dutch variation of our name! We didn't knock on the door or anything, just trespassed and took pictures of their cat.
Monday, July 6, 2009
What will we miss?
Cheap Ryanair flights, and the geographic proximity to different countries/cultures/languages
Buying smaller portions- eg one chicken breast or a half loaf of bread
Being "special" - for better or for worse, being American is a huge part of our identity here and makes us stick out wherever we go
Reitz fries and Pinky waffles
The escape from American media and the constant bombardment of gloom, doom, and advertisements
Being in places with a sense of place and history (vs. chain stores, chain restaurants, chain everything)
What are we looking forward to?
Store opening hours- nights and weekends!
Free water, free ice, free refills
Closer time zone to friends and family
Lower priced options for eating out
Going to baseball/football/basketball games
*** edited to add: Netflix and crispy bacon (Europeans eat fatty undercooked bacon)