|the boring entry
||[Mar. 29th, 2009|12:36 am]
Well, I guess I am actually updating this thang, but only because I am bored. (Alternatives: go clubbing; read the last 100 p of the Traveler's History of Athens - blech.) Anyway... I guess it's Saturday night now - crazy. |
On Thursday, the flight landed at around 1:05-ish, and leaving the airport was (of course) a breeze. There wasn't even anyone vaguely on duty at customs. (On the other hand, going through security in Frankfurt took like half an hour - the Germans are thorough. They went through your bags and took like 80% of people aside for a hand-held metal detector scan and stuff.) After waiting around for, like, an hour while slackers from some Oregon-y program failed to show up, we left for our apartments. (Mine is pretty crappy. It's small and the ceiling light/fan doesn't work. Of the two other rooms I've seen, both were far larger and nicer. Grumble!) Then I guess everyone pretty much just waited around and went shopping and stuff before we went out to dinner at 8, which was all right. You know how much I love big groups, but most of the people on our trip at least seem to be pretty fun.
Hmm... I guess yesterday we had our 'walking orientation' to Pangrati (the area we live in). It was spiffy, and at the end we went to a farmer's market, but it was super-crowded and I didn't buy anything even though the apples looked really good. Next week! We then got gyros at this place in Varnava square (just down the street from our apartments), and they were delicious. Then after some time passed and much boredom was had, a bunch of us went to get coffee and read Stoneman (blech. Sidenote: This book we have to read before our first class, Richard Stoneman's A Traveler's History of Athens, is so mediocre that I don't know what to say about it. It's not horribly offensively bad, but it's so amature-ish. The best description of it I've been able to come up with is that it's about the quality of book I would have produced in about tenth grade if someone had made me write a history of Athens. There are only a few out-and-out mistakes, but some things are extremely misleading; it's clearly cobbled together from his (admittedly quite extensive for a mass-market 'history' book aimed at tourists) reading list; it's poorly written in the sense that the tone of the writing varies wildly, presumably depending on what source he happened to be looking at when writing any given paragraph, but is also sometimes well-written in the sense that it is actually fairly exciting here and there; and so on. Basically I get the sense that he wanted to write an exciting history book in a quite old-school style and just doesn't have the knowledge or intelligence or skill to actually pull it off. In other words, for all I know it might be the best history of Athens specifically that's not a rushed overview or hideously long and dry (also, I do commend him for actually covering the history of Athens, and not just doing 250 pages on ancient Greece and then about 5 on the Byzantine period, 2 on the Ottoman period, and a few sentences about the Colonels.), but it's still crappy.)
Anyway...where was I? Oh yes. Varnava square, reading Stoneman. That was a good time - naturally we didn't actually get much reading done. Then we had dinner, okay, too many people, etc., and then afterwards a bunch of us went on a pretty long walk up to the acropolis and along the south side. I got to see the new acropolis museum, which apparently opens on June 21st (and you know they're trusty because they've put a date on it...). So maaaaybe I can actually manage to go when I'm leaving the country in July. I guess we'll see. I don't care that much to be honest. ANYWAY. We passed this hilarious club called "Club Lollipop," which apparently some people ended up actually going to later that night, and they described it as mostly older men with their hot young wives. Quality.
Today we had a 'walking orientation to central Athens', which was handy because now I know how to get from Pangrati (in which I know how to get around) up to Monastiraki/Plaka (an area in which I know how to get around) in the most efficient manner. Spiffy! After this (otherwise useless) tour was over, Stacy, Tony, Paul and I formed a splinter cell, got gyros, and went to chill at the Kerameikos for a while (well, Tony ended up leaving before we went in). Ohh yeah. I'm glad it only cost one euro to get in, because it was less sweet without Richard to ramble about everything to his heart's content, but it was still coo' to see everything, and since the Kerameikos is probably my favorite site in Athens (okay, okay... obviously the Agora is way more important, but, hey, I'm allowed to have another favorite!) I didn't want to wait until a month and a half later when Alain takes us there for class. Also, Stacy's cell phone went off really loudly as we were near the exit of the museum (this is funnier if you know that her ringtone is the Indiana Jones theme). It was amusing. Anyway, then we meandered homewards (stopping for coffee) and Stacy and I stopped at some sort of cafe/bar for a drink, and the waitress either misunderstood us (entirely possible) or just sort of decided we should get some food, because our order ended up coming with this plate of delicious appetizers (saganaki, tomato, some sort of potato things, these delicious little sausages...), which was mystifying but ultimately excellent. After some more quality Stoneman time, some of us went to dinner at Movries, which was actually slightly confusing (don't laugh at me, Carrie!) since unlike every other taverna I've ever been to in Greece, one apparently orders as one enters and there are random sides you can get and stuff? It was strange. But it did end up being pretty tasty, so I am sure I will be back in the near future. Oh, I also went grocery shopping several times (it's extremely close, so every time I thought of something I might need, I just went there to get it) and apparently they don't sell any newspapers there - very strange! And, hmm... what else? I guess that's about it. I read a bunch of Stoneman and chilled with Stacy and Tony for a while. And now I am doing this. Exciting...