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