You may or may not remember that when we left off in last week’s A Week in Greece, I was spending the night at Kendra’s apartment after a midnight Easter service. Her cat cuddled with me through part of the night, which sent me into paroxysms of joy. When I move into my own apartment, I am probably almost definitely going to get a cat. THEY ARE SO GREAT. Speaking of apartments and cats, I spent Sunday morning doing the dishes from our party the night before (Kendra left early in the morning and kindly let me, a stranger, sleep in). I’d offered to do the dishes in thanks for her hospitality, and it is a sign of how desperately I miss having a home that I thoroughly enjoyed the mundane household chore. Plus, the cat kept following me around and flopping down at my feet, so – enjoyable!
I met up with Rosie, Damaris, and Mercy around 1:00 p.m. Most of the city was shut down for Easter, so we walked to the center where a few places were open for tourists. Restaurants were roasting the traditional Easter lamb on a spit in the middle of the road, and we commented at one, “But these won’t be ready for a while.” The opportunistic host at the next-door restaurant called, “Ours is done!” and sure enough, their spit was empty. We ate a delicious lunch and continued to get to know one another. I really like them! I want to be in their friend group.
We walked through the National Gardens after eating and before watching the changing of the guard. We got ice cream near Syntagma; Rosie has an actual spreadsheet (with questions like “Happiness Increase” and “Shop’s Theme Music”) to determine the city’s best ice cream shop, which is amazing. At 4:00 I caught a bus back to Pikermi (the metro was closed for the holiday) but got off two stops too early. Buses were running slower than usual, so I thought, no big, I’ll walk. WHOOPS, the express bus stops very irregularly, so it took me a full hour to get to the 314 stop. At least I got in a little holiday exercise.
Monday & Tuesday
All of Greece was shut down for the holiday (Monday for Easter, Tuesday for a retroactive May 1st), so I spent the days lazily reading and productively packing! It feels weird to be saying goodbye to my little dorm room, but I am so ready to have more space (and a kitchen)!
On Tuesday I went out to lunch with Olga, the only other girl staying at the school during their Easter break, and Tatiana, who lives nearby. We had a really great time, and it made me a little sad that I won’t see the students as often. But honestly, I think I’ll be a lot more social when I have space of my own and can invite people over to a home that is not immediately my bedroom.
Back to HD! Wednesdays will normally be 12 Step meetings led by Dina, but since she is out of the country we improvise. Today we cleaned the upstairs, since the kitchen renovations are done and everything is dusty. I was assigned the windows, and I used the wrong product. Once corrected, I tried again, and Francisca said, “Uh…why don’t you vacuum the floor over there?” and when I turned around, she started cleaning the windows herself. I would have been offended, but they really looked a lot better after she was done.
Later, Francisca asked if I was going to clean my apartment before I moved in. “Yeah, I guess,” I said. “I think they got someone else to do some cleaning, though.”
She looked at me. “What are you going to use to clean?”
“Mmm…a mop? And soap.”
She looked at me harder. “Can I make you a list of everything you need to buy?”
She also offered to come clean with me, but as you will soon see, the world conspired against that plan.
This should have been a full day of classes, but “A” was on her period and feeling awful, so we let her go home at 1:30. This reminded me of how nice it will be when the girls actually live in the house and can take breaks in their bedrooms and will have all there comfort things nearby. One more week!
Since we got off early, Anthi took me to The Mart, which is a Sam’s Club/Costco type store with really cheap home and business supplies. For instance, I got a set of six tall glasses for €3.50 and a full-size bookcase for €25, and a nice office chair for €30. I bought two carts full of supplies (including all the cleaning products Francisca suggested) for only €176! I hate spending money, but I’ve been mentally assuring myself for weeks now that it is okay to spend the money I’ve saved on things that will make my house feel like a home. It helps that the things at The Mart are actually pretty cute (like an adorable teal coffee maker) while also being cheap (for only €13). No, this is not sponsored, but BOY I WISH IT WERE.
I stood at the bus stop for thirty minutes, wondering why the 8:15 bus hadn’t come. It had been late all last week (for Easter) and I was trying to decide how I would convince my coworkers that I hadn’t slept in. Then Francisca called and told me that the buses and metro were on strike, and since she, “A,” and I all relied on public transport to get to HD, classes were cancelled for the day. I ran back to my dorm room and called Anthi. “Can we move today instead of tomorrow!?” She agreed, and an hour later we were packing her car with my things.
We unloaded just when Anthi’s cousin arrived. He had a desk he no longer wanted for me, and after he put it together he also assembled the chair and bookcase from The Mart. While he worked, I cleaned! UGH. I really hate cleaning. Especially when I know that despite my pride in its initial sparkliness, it will only be two weeks before I think, “Eeehhh, that layer of dust is not SO BAD.”
I spent the whole day unpacking and arranging the few pieces of furniture I currently have. Both “A” and Anthi gave me a lot of kitchen and bedroom supplies, so those are pretty set. And with my purchases, I’ve turned the second bedroom into a nice little office. The living room is completely empty, but that’s okay for now.
I LOVE IT. I love walking out of my room into the bathroom. I love having a kitchen sink. I love having cabinets for food. I love having my computer in a room other than my bedroom. I love having a bookcase. I love having a full refrigerator. I love having my own apartment!!
I’ll make a video tour soon.
The other thing about Friday is that while I was cleaning and unpacking, Dina was hanging out with my mom in Peoria! We got to Facetime a couple times, and it was so much fun to see my Woodland friends cooking Greek food with Dina. My mom planned a fundraising dinner, and I SO WISH I could have been there too. It just solidified my desire to do the fundraising myself next year.
The buses and metro are still on strike today, which is fine because I want to spend the day getting to know my new area of Athens! I also don’t have wireless at my apartment yet, so I’ve been walking to the HD office to use theirs. When I arrived, I got a lot of texts from my mom of pictures from the fundraiser, and AGH. I’m so glad so many people showed up, and I felt so fond and so sad looking at them all. The consequence of loving too many places and people at once.
Next I’ll wander around a little, and I think later this afternoon I will have coffee at the fancy place in the park just a few blocks from my new home. I love living in a part of the city where there are so many places to go and so many things to see!