Living in Greece

Welcome to My Greek Home

Months ago, I was told that I would get a room to myself when I moved into the school in Pikermi.  A week before I left, I was told: actually, maybe not.  I tried to prepare myself for 24/7 socialization.  I’ve gone 27 years with my own room, and maybe it was time I learned to share my space?  I’m an introvert, but surely it would, like, be helpful to have a roommate in a new country?  A guaranteed friend?  That is, if she and I would even be compatible.  The whole flight over to Athens, I reassured myself that rooming with someone would not be the end of the world.

PSYCH, it turns out I DO have a room to myself!  Hallelujah, I can be honest:  no way could I stand to have someone always around.  No way could I come back from a draining day of language learning or counseling or teaching and say Hello and make Small Talk, ugh.  When I’m stressed, I need, at minimum, five hours to myself.  Hahaha, I wish I were joking, but on Tuesday I spent eight hours alone in my room recovering from five hours of desperately trying to listen to Greek conversation.

So I’m rooming alone, but in a dorm building, so my new friends Olga and Natasha are just a few dozen feet away.  Lunch is communal, so I’m always meeting new people there.  I’m socializing – I just have an escape route.  And a cute little cozy one, too!  Here, let me give you a tour. 

The front door opens to a narrow hallway lined with SO MUCH CLOSET.  Amazingly, two suitcases of possessions can do a pretty good job of filling them up.  This is also a really great demonstration of why I love moving and getting rid of stuff – this is just a TINY percentage of the things I own, and I still managed to fill an entire bedroom/bathroom.  Ridiculous.

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Those super high closet cabinets are the perfect size to stow suitcases for a year.

 

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I had five shirts more than hangers provided.  Oh, the materialistic shame.

The girl who lived here before me, Olympia, worked for the school and was therefore allowed to add a lot of personalized touches, including these pull out shoe drawers.  I find them impractical and amazing.

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Why?  WHY NOT, is the better question.

After coming through the hallway, you make a slight left turn with your body, and BEHOLD.  My room.

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I forgot to take the bowl off of my bed before taking this picture.  Whoops.

Although the single room is pretty tiny, it’s got a living room area (aka loveseat), a kitchen area (aka wall-mounted mini-fridge + bookshelf of food goods, a study (aka desk), AND bedroom (aka bed).  Oh, and I guess like…a coffee bar?  breakfast nook (aka coffee shelf).  I am VERY pleased by it all, and I plan to enjoy how neat and clean it is for at least three more days.  After that, my laziness will overpower my aversion to filth, and it’ll all be downhill.

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Living room/kitchen.
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Study/bedroom.
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Coffee bar (on the wall at the foot of my bed next to the bathroom door).  The electric kettle was provided, saving me € 10 or so!

Most of the dorms are shared by two people, and their bathrooms are, in turn, shared between two rooms and therefore four people.  I, on the other hand, have a bathroom of my own!  This, more than anything, makes me realize I’m like, an adult?  Like, the school actually considers me a ministry volunteer to provide for, and….that’s what I am.  But.  WHAT.  When did I become a person who gets special privileges (all the time, I know I know, my life has been one privilege after another, but WOW, my own bathroom in Greece feels like an added bonus).

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Yes, it is just as hard to keep shower water from getting all over the floor as it seems.

 

I ALSO have a balcony!  It overlooks a car repair shop, so it is kind of awkward to stand outside and just….stare.  I hope to eventually buy a chair so I can read outside and maybe hunch below the view of passersby.

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Fun fact: you have to raise the blinds to go out, and I’ve hit my head twice because I didn’t raise them far enough.
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Someone left me plants!  We’ll see how long they live while I forget to do anything with them.

That’s my room!  It’s amazing.  There’s noise from the hallways, which I don’t totally love, and noise from the city outside, which I actually do.  Cars speeding by, dogs barking, machines whirring, people talking – I LOVE IT.  I leave my window open throughout the day and night, and it makes me feel so peaceful and connected to be so close to so many people.  That’s a very INFJ thing, I think, to want to be alone and connected at the same time?  Regardless, it’s what I have, and I am so grateful!

 

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12 thoughts on “Welcome to My Greek Home”

  1. How funny. I can count one hand the number of years I’ve had my own room. Family of four kids, then military college, then military, then marriage. Hahaha. The second half of my time in Afghanistan I quasi moved in to someone else’s space who was gone for a number of months, and had my own little container box (no joke) to go home to at night. It felt luxurious and I loved it. I had a two bedroom apartment in my first place (before Mike and I married) and had NO ONE living with me. Also felt luxurious. I can totally appreciate “your own space” and what that can do for the soul.

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    1. You are a true hero. I just….can’t even imagine how I would avoid spinning off into insanity. I would definitely be looking for a container box to call my own. Maybe you can put one in the corner of your bedroom? You could get another for Mike.

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