Let’s Start a Resolution!

19 Jan

I’ve never really been one to make New Year’s resolutions.  As someone who constructs To-Do lists simply as a means of procrastinating, I consider New Year’s resolutions as guidelines for imminent failure.  But since it is now the 19th of January and I have yet to write a blog post, do my laundry, clean my room, or cook a well-balanced meal since I returned to Greece, I figure now is the time to think up a few.  So here goes:

1. Actually learn this gibberish commonly referred to as “Greek”.  Will make everyday interactions much easier.

2. a) Go to bed at a reasonable hour.  b) Wake up on time  ***This has been my ongoing resolution for the past 18 years.  Doubtful that this year will be life changing, but here’s hoping.

3. Lesson plan in advance.

4. Do laundry once a week, as opposed to the “crap I have no underwear and have been wearing dirty socks for 6 days now must shove every article of clothing in the tiny laundry machine so I have something to wear to work” routine.  However, bringing back an extra drawers-worth of socks from home only aids this wretched cycle.

5.  Take advantage of my time in Greece.  Explore Europe.  Soak in the culture.  Make friends.  Have no regrets.

I have been trying to get out of the house more, and watch online television less.  As tempting as “Jersey Shore” is, I have been making more of an effort to eat at funky tavernas, experience the Greek nightlife, talk to the locals, and explore my surroundings.  A few of us have talked about planning our weekends more in advance, so as to avoid wasting our precious free time.  Our success rate?  I spent the last two weekends sleeping until 1:30pm, ordering Domino’s, and watching movies.  Which is exactly why these New Year’s resolutions must kick in ASAP.  But I must say, when you get home at 6am, it’ pretty hard not to sleep until midday.

As much as I want to get the most our of my Grecian days, I honestly don’t mind wasting them away (every once in a while) if they are preceded by great Grecian nights.  This past weekend, those days that I gladly slept through were sacrifices worth making.  On Saturday was Claire’s 21st (part 3) birthday.  Now while that girl isn’t the easiest to fool, we did our best to surprise her throughout the weekend, and were moderately successful.  We arranged a surprise dinner on Friday evening at a wonderful Greek restaurant (where else?) in Halandri, where Claire lives.  The place, Psomi kai Alati (or Bread and Salt for you uncultured English-speaking masses) takes a liberal approach to standard Greek fare, offering a refreshing twist to beloved menu staples and providing your taste buds with new spices, flavors, and mixtures.  Claire wasn’t expecting the dinner, but the restaurant’s glass walls did not make the best atmosphere for a truly startled birthday girl.

The next night, we took Claire out on the town.  Starting in Kolonaki, the posh area of Athens, we marched her to a small club Sarah and I had previously frequented on more than one occasion.  This is an important detail, because it means that we knew the bouncer.  We told him to wish our friend a Happy Birthday when he saw her.  And so up the hill we come, when Claire suddenly hears her name called.  Thinking she’s going to be barred from entering, she’s confused.  Unbeknownst  to her (and us), our friend not only wished her a Happy Birthday, but pulled out a small cake with two candles – 2 3 – on the top and then led everyone in song.  While the dinner may not have done the trick, this little move definitely surprised Claire enough to make up for it.  We eventually moved on to Gazi and danced and drank the night away, making it back to the comfort of our beds at a healthy hour of 6:30am.

And with that, life begins again in Greece.  Yesterday I officially began working in the IB (International Baccalaureate) program, replacing my old duties at the college counseling office.  I’m excited to be working with the students, teachers, and literature that this program has to offer, and Fahrenheit 451 and Madame Bovary are already nestled on my bedside table.

One more thing:  For those of you outside of the US, if you have plans to go see Avatar (which you should), be sure to bring along a friend who either knows the native language or has seen the movie in America.  It makes it a lot easier to understand the film when they start talking in the special Avatar language and the subtitles are in a foreign tongue.  Just a heads up.

One more thing:  If you go to Hooter’s in another country expecting to get the same top-notch buffalo wings, you are fooling yourself.  Now I understand why Chipotle hasn’t graced Europe with its presence.

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