Saturday, December 18, 2010

Things NOT to do in a foreign country...

Hello faithful readers,

Here are some tips to help you when traveling in a foreign country. You are very welcome for these tips I am about to share because I care enough about you and would not want you to experience the same:

1) When intoxicated, DO NOT under any circumstances, ask someone why they are so short. One of my lovely roommates decided it would be ok to ask a short girl in our program just why she is so short. After asking how short she was, she told the girl that the poor girl was in fact lying and was shorter than she claimed. Apparently this is not an acceptable way to make friends... (Side note: She apologized to the girl in a British accent, which makes everything A-OK!)

2) When giddy with delight (or ouzo) do not confuse someone you have met several times with a bar manager. Case in point: My roommates and I were at Mercury, our favorite bar that we frequent nightly, when I told Yiannis, a man I had met a good five times before, he had a very nice bar. Ok, I yelled in slow english YOU HAVE A NICE BAR. I LIKE IT A LOT. My roommate Kelly was very confused by my actions and finally settled me down long enough to explain that Yiannis (John in english) was not the manager of Mercury... Oops!

3) Dogs do not belong in elevators. When I say elevator, I mean 3x3 pieces of shit. The dog may want to follow you home because you have named it and bribed it, but your neighbors will NOT be happy with you if they see a stray dog in the elevator... Sorry Eratosthenos...

4) Do not walk in between two motorcycles/vespas that have just been turned off. The exhaust pipes, which are not covered, will still be very very hot and burn an awkward portion of your leg. Then you will have to go to the pharmacy and get a cream that is blood red and smells awkward. No one wants to hang out with someone who has awkward smelling blood red cream on the back of their calves...

5) When crashing a pub crawl, do not make it obvious. AKA Do not wear BRIGHT orange sunglasses with your roommate who is clad in a bright yellow dress and tango on stage at a salsa club. People will take pictures of you and use it as proof of why they do not want to hang out with you.

6) When meeting nice, foreigners (Canadians), and asking about their jobs, it is NOT ok for you and your roommate to turn the conversation about how you are going be famous superstars after the VERY NICE Canadian woman tells you she works in productions. Not cool. Ten minutes later you'll realize she's no longer sitting next to you.

7) When at a janky hotel in Paris, a man might try and tell you that you have not, in fact, been sleeping in room 8 for the past two nights. Don't start yelling, this will prompt more confusion. Just assume that it's completely normal he moved all of your stuff into room 6 as if it's no big deal!

8) When on a school sponsored field trip, DO NOT, under any circumstances, sing a song some Greeks showed you called "Last night I stuck it in the wrong hole..." ESPECIALLY when it's only like day 7 of the program. Everyone will walk away and you will be left wondering why you have no friends, except for the people who live with you. (Thanks, Grace...)

9) Running around Athens is never a good idea. If you run in heels you look like Reptar from Rugrats, and if you run in slippery boots, you might possibly (hypothetically) run into a giant mailbox and knock yourself flat on your ass. That's never fun, and your shoulder will be bruised for approximately a week. (All hypothetical, of course).

10. When you have a flight to a different country, it's a good idea to have more than one person check the times. Military time might confuse some people making them think their flight leaves later than it actually does. In this case, the people will watch the shows they need to catch up with and make it to the airport with only ten minutes to spare, instead of two hours. Oops. (This is especially important in countries where strikes are prevalent and your mode of transportation to the airport isn't actually running!).

11. Frogger is only fun in video games. Not across six lanes of traffic, basically a highway, in Istanbul. The fresh off the boat fish sandwiches may not be worth losing your life, or your friends. However, if you successfully make it across the six lanes, everyone on the other side might start clapping for you, so there's always that to look forward to.

12. Punching a cab driver makes you really cool, even if it makes you upset.

13. Control your temper on buses, unless of course someone tells you that you're in their seat. In that case, you might lose it and just start yelling random curse words mixed with Greek. As Kelly knows, it usually works out alright.

WARNING: If you partake in most of the above activities, you probably will not have very many friends in your new foreign country. Luckily, I am not the only moron to do most of these things and the Arcadia program was smart enough to house me with people of the same intelligence level.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Why I have the very best roommates ever...

Let me tell you a little story about why my roommates might be the best in the whole world.

It was a quiet Monday night in Eratosthenous 18, which is unusual. Kelly and I were exhausted from our (INCREDIBLE) Thanksgiving adventure in Paris, and Grace and Becky were equally tired. Grace was reading me a book that came out before Harry Potter 7 by a random author who wrote his own version. All of a sudden, we realized it was 10 minutes after midnight. IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY. This birthday means I am a) no longer a teenager, and b) I beat teen pregnancy. Very exciting day.

Grace signaled the troops (Kelly & Becky) and we ran into Becky's room. Becky presented me with a happy bday poster in greek, with tickets to all of our favorite places in Pagrati. This includes Jimmy's coffee shop, the gyro place, McDonalds, and Mercury! Kelly wrote me a song in a card to the tune of the recently played (in Glee) Just the Way You Are! Grace told me not to worry as my present would come later.

We talked and laughed in Becky's room for another hour, discussing the exact day I was born, why I was named my name, and details of the day I was born, before going to bed. Grace and I currently have a love nest set up because we're too lazy to move mattresses. I wake up to the smell of eggs, bacon, and the sound of Grace singing and talking to herself. The next thing I know, a  breakfast burrito is placed in my face, aka my favorite breakfast food!!! I was beside myself. Grace also got me oreos and peanut butter!

I went to class, and there was a chocolate croissant and a Frappe metrio me gala waiting for me. I might be in love with Alex!! I had the perfect morning!

Grace and I hit up Jumbo (Greece's version of Target) and then came back home and basically did nothing, it was amazing! Jessica came over and when Kelly came home she brought us stuff from the bakery with two candles, a "2" and a "0".

We then headed to the celebrity themed bday party. Not only was it Jess and my bdays, but Kamilah's too! Jess and I went as Mary-Kate and Ashley, Kelly was Michael Jackson, Grace was Amy Winehouse, Alex was Jackie O, and Becky was T-Swift.

We had such a great birthday, singing karaoke and a lot of people from our program came. It honestly was such a perfect night and I had way too much fun! I am so thankful for my roommates for making my birthday so special!

On another note, we watched Tangled last night which was so epic! LOVED it!

This weekend we get to do touristy things since Zak is coming, then next weekend Jess comes, and then we go home :( It'll be so bittersweet to be home. I'm going to miss everything about Athens!!!