Six Weeks Later: Goodbye Greece, Hello New York!

This post comes two days late because I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to say. I could have posted more pictures about Athens or Thessaloniki but there was a part of me that said once I left blogging about the country and my experience wouldn’t feel right. I needed to get everything done while I was over there and in reality I did. So I visited a few other museums, walked the boardwalk and had good conversations with friends. Maybe some of that needs to remain a mystery and a memory only for me to have and cherish.

My room felt bare once I packed everything. My roommate left before me so I was alone for a few days. It felt eerie, like no one had lived in the room for the past six weeks.
My room felt bare once I packed everything. My roommate left before me so I was alone for a few days. It felt eerie, like no one had lived in the room for the past six weeks.
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I won’t lie, I felt sad as I got ready to close my door for the last time. Six weeks flew by and I was excited to go home but I felt like I could have done so much more. If I could do it all over again I would have saved enough money for an entire semester or for another trip. I would go to Spain and practice Spanish because if it’s one thing Greece made me realize is that I can’t give up. Spanish is hard but so is Greek and French and whatever other language out there but I should understand the language my family speaks. I should know more about my culture and be proud of it.

Even though I was in Greece for six short weeks I feel…different. Call me a skeptic but I never believed other students when they talked about studying abroad changing their life. When I went to orientation and workshops I would listen to them talk about London, Italy or Spain and just shrug my shoulders. It sounded exciting, heck I wanted to go (and I did) but I couldn’t fully understand their emotions about it until I left.

I decided to study abroad because I needed to get out of my comfort zone. I’ve always been a nervous and cautious person. I’ve always been afraid of my own shadow. I told myself if I could survive six weeks in another country I could do anything, even become a journalist.

I’ve been unsure of my major for a long time but now I’m not. I’m excited now, instead of afraid. I spent six weeks going up to random people for directions and struggling with a language I still didn’t end up grasping as I got towards the end. I trusted myself to just go with the flow and say ‘yes’ instead of ‘no.’ Saying ‘yes’ to anything I could, whether it was food, traveling or canyoning helped me grow. I don’t feel as afraid of life anymore.

I feel stronger. After my mishap in Turkey I wasn’t sure I would be able to survive six weeks in another country. But now, six weeks? It was nothing. A piece of cake.

Hopefully I’ll get to visit another country some day and experience it as a traveler instead of a tourist again. If I could I would study abroad for a semester, a winter session or a year. I can’t but that’s alright. Maybe one day I’ll have a new post to add to this blog…from New York to Greece…and everywhere in between.

But for now, here’s some advice I have for future study abroad students:

– Know why you’re going. It’s easy to pick a country, fill out the applications and then go but you need to have reasons why you’re going for yourself. What do you expect? What are you hoping to gain from studying abroad? It sounds silly but having a purpose matters.

– Research as much about the country as you can. Read about the food, the culture and the news. Try to find places in your neighborhood so you can sample the food before you go. A country might not be for you solely because of their food, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t  go, it just means you might have to try harder to find substitutes to cater to your needs. A girl during my trip was a vegetarian. She had a hard time finding food on menus that didn’t include meat. It was hard for her to eat so she had to search for places that had food she could eat or she was willing to eat.

– Be open to everything. Understand you’re a visitor in the country and you need to adapt to the world around you. If a country is conservative don’t think you can go around wearing a see-through cut-off top and short shorts. Some people got strange looks because they wore their workout clothes everywhere they went and they refused to accept that people dressed up a little bit more in Greece and were conservative. They didn’t want to see their sport bras popping out of their muscle t’s. Have some respect for the culture and people around you.

– Girls, if you use them bring tampons. Just trust me on this. An entire box or two depending on how long you’re staying. Seriously, bring your own tampons. Remember when I said to research as much as you could about your country? Research tampons. You’ll thank me later.

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48 Hours in Athens

She started screaming and asked if we had our papers.

At that moment I knew my trip to Athens wasn’t going to be a good one. An eight hour bus ride to Athens didn’t seem like a big deal. I was aware of what was going on there, riots, demonstrations, strikes but maybe we left at the wrong time, people were already on edge and had been striking for two days before we left for our trip. I was aware of the Golden Dawn, wary of the police after reading the news and blogs but I’m always cautious anyway and aware of my surroundings so I didn’t think I would have any problems.

I was wrong.

I left with a girl I barely talked to my entire time here in Greece. She wanted to go to Athens, I wanted to go to Athens and so did my friend who was leaving by herself and arriving after us. My friend was the person who asked our advisors where we should go and how we should get there. She came back with answers to her questions and a map with a big X on one part where we were not supposed to go under any circumstances.

I should have looked at the map. I shouldn’t have trusted anyone to book the hotel. I should have gone with my gut feeling and checked everything out before I left but I didn’t because I didn’t have enough time.

We got on the bus, traveled for eight hours and then arrived 11 at night tired and hungry. The taxis were waiting outside the bus stop and the girl I was with was afraid to talk to anybody which wasn’t a big deal but sometimes you need back up and I wasn’t getting any that night.

I greeted the taxi driver and handed him the address to our hotel–he yelled for us to get out of the car.

That should have been my first clue. My second was the fact that three drivers huddled together and were fighting over who would drive us to our hotel–none of them wanted to drive down there.

But I was tired, getting annoyed and hungry. I snapped out of it the moment we finally got into a taxi and I started noticing my surroundings. Stores closed, streets deserted, large signs and banners hanging around with swastikas. The girl I was with was oblivious, just sitting there as the taxi driver muttered under her breath angrily in Greek.

She stopped driving momentarily to talk to a police officer because the road had been closed during the day. I wasn’t sure if we were going to make it to our hotel to be quite honest with you. He let her through and I was thankful for that because I don’t know what I would have done. It was dark out, people were walking in the shadows and I was with someone I didn’t know and was clearly too afraid to talk to anyone.

As she continued to drive, the woman looked at me when we reached a red light and she yelled–who told you to stay here?

“Google,” I said. “We found our hotel on the internet.”

She said nothing and continued driving until she yelled a question at me.

“Do you have your papers?”

Yes. Of course, but having my papers didn’t make me feel any better. Just being asked the question gave me an eerie feeling–we were not supposed to be here.

Turns out I was right. We were staying in Epidavros Hotel, located in Omonia Square.

I checked out the map, that’s where the big X was located.

I didn’t know what to do and at midnight there wasn’t much we could do. The girl I was with paced back and forth once I told her where we were. It wasn’t safe and after the drive here we didn’t feel safe either. Something was off and we had finally figured it out but this was our hotel and it was late at night so we needed to stay here.

But honestly? And I don’t say this to sound mean or to scare anyone but some people can be so oblivious. I’m going to give you all some advice:

Before you go to another country read the news and don’t just read about the city you’re staying in. Read about the entire country, learn what’s going on and internalize it. Open your eyes when you go somewhere, always be alert and cautious.

The two girls I was with, one knew very little about what was going on and the other didn’t know anything at all and doesn’t like to follow rules anyway. I felt like I had to be a parent for the time I was there and they were leaving two days after me.

They didn’t see what I could see and they didn’t understand why I was on edge and angry. In the morning they felt like it was better, safe, perfectly fine and I was being overly dramatic but I wasn’t. You may think so but for me being safe isn’t being dramatic.

The hotel was shady. There was a guy staying there who wouldn’t stop staring at my chest and then looking at my entire body. On day one when we went to eat breakfast in the hotel he asked us what our name was.

Again, seriously, some advice: don’t just go throwing your personal information out there.

She told him her first name. She told him we were studying abroad. She told him where we were from.

He asked us for our floor number and if we were staying alone.

Because that’s appropriate? No, it’s not. When I yelled at her, cutting the two off and giving him the wrong floor number and then forcefully pushing her towards the stairs she didn’t understand why I was so angry.

Some people just want to talk she said. Besides, she’s very trusting and her ‘danger’ meter doesn’t work well.

Seriously?

When I tried to break down the reality of the situation to her she didn’t like it because I was scaring her too much but good, I wanted her to scared. I wanted her to open her eyes and realize the world wasn’t rainbows and butterflies.

When my friend came it was just as bad. She arrived earlier than us so obviously she saw all these people walking around and was annoyed because she thought I was being dramatic.

Let me tell you something, she was hungry so she met us and it was dark out by the time we finished eating at a taverna and had to head back to Omonia Station.

We got lost. At midnight we got lost, wandering around the dark where the streets were mostly deserted except for groups of cops, I wasn’t sure if something was going on and the other people that were out were clearly on drugs. I unfortunately know an addict when I see one.

Like I said before, they weren’t seeing what I was seeing. A cop grabbed a guy in the shadows by the collar and just started hitting him, kicking him, punching him and the guy didn’t do anything. Others watched but they didn’t move. No one was surprised. No one was responsive.

And yet I was the only one seeing this. We asked some cops for directions and one of them started yelling. Just yelling. Not really wanting to help us and I was…I was nervous.

I feel bad saying this but sometimes you just can’t trust the police.

I didn’t sleep that night because when we finally made it back to the hotel the same guy from breakfast was there. You’re supposed to leave the key with the front desk but I’m sorry, I don’t think so. So my friend forgot I had it and when he asked for the room number she started screaming it out loud for everyone to hear. She’s just loud in general and I guess she didn’t think the man understood her since he spoke Greek. I don’t know. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it but the guys head snapped and he stared at us.

He now knew where we really were staying. I shouted that I had the key, she was off by two numbers but that didn’t make me feel any better. As we walked up the stairs I caught his eyes trained right on us.

She didn’t get why I was mad and was getting mad at my scolding. Since the Wifi didn’t work in our room she went downstairs by herself to go on the computer and what do you think? He was still down there and went up to her, telling her he wanted to be her friend.

Thankfully she heard my voice in her head and came back upstairs. They stayed in a different hotel after I left but whenever I told anyone back in Thessaloniki, especially the Greeks that we stayed in Omonia their eyes popped open and they shook their heads.

The response was the same: you’re not supposed to be there.

I know. I was there. I’m aware.

I can’t say I enjoyed Athens because of this experience. I visited the Parthenon, saw the Acropolis and went to the Archaeological Museum of Athens but I spent most of my time worrying so I couldn’t enjoy myself.

Just remember:

– Always research where you’re staying.

– Don’t go somewhere you’re not supposed to.

– If you don’t feel safe–leave.

– Always read the news and find out what’s going on before you go anywhere.

– Never give your full information out to anyone. It may sound extreme but using a fake name is sometimes better when you’re interacting with sketchy people.

– Always give your hotel information, the name, number and your room to someone back home. If your friend or roommate isn’t coming with you shoot them a text or a message on Facebook and tell them where you are. Heck, call your parents or sister or whoever back home and tell them too. You might think it sounds extreme and dramatic but your safety isn’t a joke.

You Can Never go Hungry in Greece

Not knowing the official language of a country is in your favor because you get to try different foods you normally wouldn’t. Sometimes when we visited restaurants or tavernas the menus were not in English but in Greek. Of course it caused confusion because people wanted to know what they were ordering but I say what’s the fun in that? There have been times where I’ve asked the waiters to surprise me with whatever chicken dish they have or I’ve just pointed to a random Greek dish not knowing what it is. I never had food I didn’t like or didn’t want to eat (maybe lamb even though it tastes good I don’t feel really comfortable eating Mary’s little lamb).

Remember when you’re abroad going to museums, talking to locals and going out to bars, clubs or wherever is important but so is trying as many different cultural (and not) dishes as you can.

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Chicken souvlaki on a plate with onions, potatoes, yogurt sauce and tomato. This is a cheap common dish, most people eat it in a pita. My roommate and I had to have eaten this at least twice every week. It just tastes so good and is cheap so it doesn’t break the bank when you’re trying to travel as much as you can.
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Tzatziki! I wish I could bring some home with me. Tzatziki as an appetizer, on a cheeseburger, in a gyro or whatever–you can find it everywhere. It’s basically yogurt with cucumbers. If you get it as an appetizer eat it with bread and save some for your main dish or other appetizers as well.
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Mussels in lemon sauce in Corfu. Delicious! (I think I’m repeating myself too much but what else can I say?) Seafood can be expensive but it’s worth to try a few different dishes. I never had mussels before (I’m more of a clam girl) but I’m always up to trying something new.
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Since I’m Puerto Rican being in Greece was hard. You can’t find Goya products in the supermarket so I’ve had to live without my arroz con pollo for six weeks. When I found out there was a Spanish restaurant in Thessaloniki I had to try it out–twice. Tapas Bar and Restaurant helped satisfy my desire for spanish food. The menu is only in Greek and Spanish and the food is from the Basque region. Here’s paella with seafood.
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A gyro! Again, chicken souvlaki in a pita with potatoes, our favorite tzatziki sauce, ketchup and tomatoes. I will miss these when I go back to New York. I may have to visit the Souvlaki Gr food truck.
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Mushroom risotto with seafood. I got this at a taverna we accidentally stumbled upon when we were trying to go to Tapas Bar and Restaurant one night. Our taxi driver didn’t know where it was so he just left us at a random street. We weren’t angry or anything because in Greece it’s always an adventure.
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Since I went to Tapas I made it my mission to eat at any Spanish restaurant I could find. We had to take two cab rides, ask five different kiosk workers and people on the street to help us find El Burrito. It was funny because once we found it we realized we had walked past it at least three times. These are just toppings that go on fajitas.
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My friend got fajitas but I got chicken tacos. So good! I was a little wary–Mexican food in Greece? I devoured these three tacos in five minutes. I am not ashamed.
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The most expensive dish I had in Greece–sea bass. Totally worth 13 euro. My roommate and I stumbled upon a random restaurant on her last night in Greece after we tried going to TGIF and it was closed. I say thank you Zeus because this was so much better than any food I could have gotten in Friday’s.
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My pants are tight and I blame the ice cream here. You just can’t not try it. Again, most of the flavors are in Greek. I haven’t found a place where the ice cream flavors were in English. I pretty much just point to one and hope for the best. I haven’t been disappointed. Vanilla and chocolate chip, mango, nuts with cherries, black forest and more. Did I mention my pants were feeling tighter than normal? Oops.
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Free dessert with a shot of mango we got in El Burrito. Greece, you really know how to treat a foodie right.
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I have about ten pictures of Greek salad to show my family. For the most part every single picture looks the same. I’m not a huge fan of feta cheese but it’s something you need to try because it tastes different here than in the US–better, fresher. Traditional Greek salad also doesn’t have any lettuce so try to mask your surprise the first time you eat it.
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Look at that fish. I know your mouth is watering. Don’t feel bad about that. My friend and I went to a taverna and she wanted seafood but she didn’t know what any of the dishes were. She asked the waiter and he kept saying dorado, dorado! So she got the dorado, an entire fish in a lemon sauce that she devoured quickly.
You can't come to Greece without trying ouzo. It's too strong for some people but one shot isn't bad. I actually liked the way it tasted and we got the drink for free one night since our waiter enjoyed our company. Who doesn't like free drinks?
You can’t come to Greece without trying ouzo. It’s too strong for some people but one shot isn’t bad. I actually liked the way it tasted and we got the drink for free one night since our waiter enjoyed our company. Who doesn’t like free drinks?

Casually Climbing Up (and falling down) Mount Olympus

Just hanging on for dear life. I actually slipped and fell down right after this picture.
Just hanging on for dear life. I actually slipped and fell down right after this picture.

Truth moment: I’m afraid of heights. I mean really afraid. I’ve never been on a roller coaster before, I hate going to baseball games because I’m afraid of how high up the seats are and I’m even afraid to go down the escalator (that’s a real phobia so stop your laughing).

So I don’t know what was going through my head when one of the trips we were offered to go on involved canyoning with a company called Baseline.

Canyoning is pretty much jumping off Mount Olympus and into the water. Some jumps can range from as little (little, please!) as 25 feet to 50 ft or more.

I think I was dehydrated or something when I signed up because I don’t like nature or hiking. I’m from New York, the most we do is run after buses or trains.

I figured I’d try to conquer my fear but I won’t pretend like I actually did. I can’t lie, I didn’t jump. I tried three times. First we went on a small twenty minute hike, the two men from Baseline gave us instructions on how to jump properly so we didn’t hurt ourselves and how to make a knot and properly secure our harnesses to a rope if we needed to rappel down. It sounded simple enough and I figured we’d jump off a small little cliff, maybe 10 ft, and I would be okay. As we walked to the first one, slipping and sliding in the water, tripping over rocks and trying to ignore the bugs around us, the fear seeped into me and never left.

I was supposed to be the third person to jump but my body didn’t budge from its position. Swinging my arms and trying to jump off proved useless because my legs were sending a strong signal to my brain that we weren’t going anywhere.

Even though I didn’t jump I’m proud of myself. Just signing up was a big deal for me. The day was filled with firsts–my first hike, the first time I didn’t care I was swimming with bugs, dirt and leaves and I even went down water slides, something I’m too afraid to do whenever I go to water parks.

How many people can honestly say they rappelled down Mount Olympus and slid down it too?

Trying to get my body used to the cold water.
Trying to get my body used to the cold water
Getting ready to hike up Mount Olympus in our bikinis.
Getting ready to hike up Mount Olympus in our bikinis.
Our view from Mount Olympus.
Our view from Mount Olympus.
Nathan, one of our guides, tying my shoe before I went down. Remember, safety first!
Nathan, one of our guides, tying my shoe before I went down. Remember, safety first!

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The group of girls I was with. They were daring--they all jumped!
The group of girls I was with. They were daring–they all jumped!

Italia Rubato il Mio Cuore

Italia Rubato il Mio Cuore

I’m jealous of Europeans. It’s so easy for them to travel from one country to another. In the United States you can travel from state to state but it isn’t the same, you’re still in the US. In Europe you travel an hour or two and you’re in a completely different world, the language is different, the food and the way of life.

I was lucky enough to travel like a European and visited Milan for a weekend. We booked our tickets with Ryanair. They were pretty cheap but if we had bought them earlier than a week in advance they would have been cheaper. Another group of students also went to Milan and they paid about 40 euro less than we did.

The cost didn’t matter to me even though I was on a budget. I was going to Italy.

Italy!

I have to admit I felt really lucky. I never imagined I’d ever get to visit Greece so at the mere idea of seeing a small glimpse of Italy ( a small expensive part) made me shout with excitement. It was all I could talk about on the phone with my mother. I was driving my roommate crazy with my constant rambling about wanting to eat pizza, pasta and say ciao to Italians (real ones! not Italian Americans!).

Looking back, I was probably really annoying to be around.

Anyway, since we had limited time because I refuse to miss class unless I’m bleeding from my head or losing a limb, we left Thursday night and had to come back Sunday morning. Not a lot of time to explore and we didn’t exactly plan it well. We figured we’d just fly to Italy, find a cheap hotel and survive.

Finding a cheap hotel in Milan can be hard, especially when you can’t use your cellphone to look up prices at any given moment. My roommate had a list of hotels she found online but then forgot it in our room. We used the Wifi we had while waiting for the plane in Thessaloniki to call a few places to see if they had a room available for three people.

The cheapest ones were quickly crossed off the list because each time they called the person on the other end only spoke Italian.

Let me just take a moment to reveal something to you all, it may shock you but when I was younger I used to speak Italian. I studied Italian in middle school and back then (when you’re young and have barely any friends) learning a new language is easy.

I can’t speak Italian anymore but I can speak what I like to call Spanglish. I’ve been studying Spanish since high school and it hasn’t been easy. It was too similar to Italian which made me confused but that brings me to my main point.

I can speak enough Spanish (not very well but give me some credit) to understand someone in Italian. The languages are different but similar enough. However, my roommate and friend were not confident in my ability.

Which is why we stayed in a very expensive hotel the first night.

Hotel Florence is someplace I’d stay again in the future so it was fine with me. The rooms were small but when you’re fitting three people in one room it’s bound to be smaller than others. We were only there for the night anyway. I’ve stayed in inns and motels before with roaches so as long as there are no bugs (that I can see or feel) and hot water I’m good to go.

This was the bed my roommate and I shared during our stay in Hotel Florence. Clean, comfortable and spacious.
This was the bed my roommate and I shared during our stay in Hotel Florence. Clean, comfortable and spacious.

We left our first hotel for one that was just as expensive but closer to the city center. Again, we really didn’t do our research and they didn’t want to stay in a hostel just yet so my wallet that was full before I came to Milan was getting lighter by the hour.

Hotel Bristol was where we ended up next. The hotel was beautiful. The room was amazing. The bed was so comfortable I felt like I was sleeping on clouds and if we had a question or problem the staff responded within seconds (seriously, I counted, we made a call downstairs and they came to the door thirty seconds later, you don’t get that kind of service in New York).

Our key was so heavy. I liked the design so I had to take a picture. I guess it's better than the cards they give you in the United States or the flimsy regular keys which are easy to use. I felt like something was always weighing me down when I carried it but since we were three girls in a city where we didn't speak the language the front desk held the key for us whenever we went out.
Our key was heavy; I liked the design so I had to take a picture. I guess it’s better than the cards they give you in the United States or the flimsy regular keys which are easy to lose. I felt like something was always weighing me down when I carried it but since we were three girls in a city where we didn’t speak the language the front desk held the key for us whenever we went out.
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I loved the body wash they gave us. It made my skin feel really smooth.
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This was the view from our hotel room window.
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The bed I shared with my friend. It was the best sleep I’ve gotten since I left New York.

The best thing about the hotel was the location because the train station was right across from it which is where our journey really began.

(Just a side note: Before I go on I’ll let you know we stayed in a hostel for our final night. Flower Hostel was in the middle of nowhere, seriously, taxi drivers didn’t know where it was, each one we had to keep asking another or looking at their maps. They say hot showers, all we had was cold water, there was no fan in our room so it was really hot, mosquitos kept flying inside and I’m allergic so I kept getting bit and felt horrible but the worst part was the fact that we couldn’t even charge our phones. If something happened to us we wouldn’t have been able to contact anyone. Listen to me: Do not stay there).

When I go to other countries or states I like to learn the history and to see the churches, museums or monuments. I’m the annoying person that wakes up really early and wants to start walking from place to place until the sun goes down. We decided to take the hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus to get a tour of the city. I think it was worth it because we didn’t know where we were going.

I wanted to get off at almost every stop naturally but we didn’t. It was hot and the people I was with didn’t want to see everything so taking pictures was a challenge.

There was one place I wanted to see that I wouldn’t have budged on and thankfully everyone wanted to see it too.

I am a semi-religious person. I went to Catholic School when I was younger, Mother Theresa used to be my idol, my niece is my goddaughter and even though I don’t remember all the prayers and I don’t go to church anymore (and I don’t agree with everything the Catholic religion talks about) I still appreciate it which is why I wanted to visit Duomo di Milano, the Milan Cathedral.

The moment I laid my eyes on the cathedral I was speechless. Dedicated to Saint Mary Nascent, it is the fifth largest cathedral in world and took almost six centuries to complete. A picture doesn’t do it justice, neither does ten minutes staring at the outside of it. We couldn’t go inside because our dresses didn’t have sleeves, the guards were rejecting people left and right because of their “inappropriate” clothing. The next time I go to Milan I plan to go inside, memorize every statue, walk up to the roof and appreciate the hard work that went into building the cathedral.

Italy stole my heart. I can’t wait to go back.

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Greek Humor: Funny or…?

One thing I learned about Greeks early on is they have an interesting sense of humor. Our advisors told us we should meet a Greek, become friends with them and then ask them to tell us a joke–and then explain it. If that doesn’t sum up Greek humor I don’t know what does.

The one Greek joke I know:

We know Jesus is Greek because he thinks his mother is a virgin and she thinks he’s God.

…At least they try.

I found these hanging on a bulletin board around some offices at school. They made me laugh (thankfully, because I was starting to get worried).

 

Corfu Island: A Little Piece of Paradise

Enjoying the view and the wind.
Here I am enjoying the view and the wind.

For a mere three days I visited Corfu Island. I’m pretty sure Corfu really means paradise in Greek because as we traveled by ferry (first, a four hour hellish bus ride) to reach the island I felt like I was in paradise.

The wind was blowing, the sun was shining and the water looked blue. If you haven’t visited New York before let me tell you a secret–the water isn’t blue, don’t go in the water, just don’t do it.

Seeing clean blue water is a big deal to me. The only time I go to the beach is when I’m in Puerto Rico and the strong waves make standing a workout.

Do you see how blue the water is? No filter people. This is unedited beauty right here.
Do you see how blue the water is? No filter people. This is unedited beauty right here.
A view of Corfu Island while on the ferry.
A view of Corfu Island while on the ferry.

Everyone was excited to visit the island (it was practically a vacation within a vacation) but after four hours on a bus and an hour and a half on a ferry (then a thirty minute bus ride to our hotel) we were all hungry, grumpy and hot.

A closer view of Corfu Island. The picture doesn't do it any justice.
A closer view of Corfu Island. The picture doesn’t do it any justice.

I’m not entirely sure how we survived the weekend. No one wanted to waste any time so the moment we got to the hotel we left about two hours later to check out the town.

Let me tell you something about Corfu that’s really unfortunate. Though beautiful, the downside is that it’s really expensive. We had gotten used to paying 8 euro at most for a taxi in Thessaloniki. On the island it cost my roommate and I 35 euro just to get back from the beach.

But the cost doesn’t matter much when you’re there because you have to experience and see as much as you can. According to my roommate’s Greek friend, Tassos, in three days you can only get a “smell” of the island, a small “taste.” Considering it’s the second largest of the Ionian Islands he’s right.

Embrace the smell and the small taste, ask yourself if sleep is really that important for a three day trip and when will you ever be in Greece again.

Here, I’ll help you with your answers:

Sleep isn’t important. Just get yourself a frappe.

Maybe never, so why waste another minute?

The city was actually inspired by Venice so the buildings and the cobblestone streets give you more of a taste of Italy than Greece.
The city was actually inspired by Venice so the buildings and the cobblestone streets give you more of a taste of Italy than Greece.
They have McDonald's. McDonald's is seriously everywhere in the world, isn't it? It's a little sad that I got excited once I saw it because the franchise reminds me of home.
They have McDonald’s. McDonald’s is seriously everywhere in the world, isn’t it? It’s a little sad that I got excited once I saw it because the franchise reminds me of home.
Music is sometimes played here. You can listen or watch while you sit or walk around the park.
Music is sometimes played here. You can listen or watch while you sit or walk around the park.
Apparently wealthy people take a trip on their boats to Corfu. Many of the girls I was with were excited at the possibility of meeting a rich man (one of them actually met two).
Apparently wealthy people take a trip on their boats to Corfu. Many of the girls I was with were excited at the possibility of meeting a rich man (one of them actually met two).
The food was expensive but seafood in general is expensive in Greece. It doesn't matter though, you need to have some while you're here. Our mussels were in lemon juice and just out of this world delicious.
The food was expensive but seafood in general is pricey in Greece. It doesn’t matter though, you need to have some while you’re here. Our mussels were in lemon juice and out of this world delicious.
Here was my main dish, chicken with potatoes and vegetables. The chicken fell right off the bone and nearly melted in my mouth (now I'm getting hungry just thinking about it).
Here was my main dish, chicken with potatoes and vegetables. The chicken fell right off the bone and nearly melted in my mouth
The highlight of my trip was visiting Achilleion palace where Empress of Austria Elisabeth of Bavaria loved. According to our tour guide, Elisabeth was a very unhappy woman and she suffered from anorexia.
The highlight of my trip was visiting Achilleion palace where Empress of Austria Elisabeth of Bavaria lived. According to our tour guide, Elisabeth was a very unhappy woman and she suffered from anorexia.
A look inside the palace and down the stairs.
A look inside the palace and down the stairs.
Elisabeth was actually a tall woman but her bed appears to be for a shorter person. During her time people used to sleep sitting up with pillows behind them because they felt laying down looked too much like the dead.
Elisabeth was actually a tall woman but her bed appears to be for a shorter person. During her time, people used to sleep sitting up with pillows behind them because they felt laying down made them look too much like the dead.
Besides the beautiful garden, Greek statues surround the outside.
Besides the beautiful garden, Greek statues surround the outside.
Take a quiet walk through the gardens, you won't be disappointed with the view at the end.
Take a quiet walk through the gardens, you won’t be disappointed with the view at the end.
The palace is named after Achilles. There are statues and paintings which depict Achilles and scenes from the Trojan War.
The palace is named after Achilles. There are statues and paintings which depict Achilles and scenes from the Trojan War.
Probably one of my favorite paintings, next to Las Meninas (by Diego Velazquez), The Triumph of Achilles by Franz von Matsch. Here he is dragging Hector's body from the gates of Troy.
Probably one of my favorite paintings, next to Las Meninas (by Diego Velazquez), The Triumph of Achilles by Franz von Matsch. Here he is dragging Hector’s body from the gates of Troy.