Living in Greece, Personal, Travel, Weekly Series

A Week in Greece #46: THANKSGIVING, STRESS SICKNESS, and BUSY WEEKEND

This week was full of highs and lows, but I ended on a high so this will sound optimistic.

On Tuesday, Dina and Argyris invited Luciana, Giorgos, and I over to their house for dinner after work.  Dina had prepared a feast, and then we all sat around their living room drinking coffee and watching YouTube videos of places we’ve traveled to.  It was a really fun combination of people, and I liked getting to hang out with Dina and Argyris without it being work related.  We used to do a lot more of that earlier this year when I lived at the Bible college, but now I’m so far away it rarely happens.

On the way home, I felt my throat getting sore, and by Wednesday I knew I had a cold.  Bad timing, because we celebrated Thanksgiving at HD on Wednesday.  I threw all my remaining energy into having a good time, and it was actually a really awesome day!  We all cooked together in the morning.  I had to run to the grocery store to get milk, and D came with me.  She doesn’t speak English, so I struggled through Greek, and she was very complimentary and therefore kept me trying.  Some of our volunteers joined us for the meal, and afterward I read them a short history of Thanksgiving that included the less glamorous genocide part of things.  They reacted really positively, either because it confirmed their idea of the US being power hungry and violent or because they too live in a country with a significant history of slavery and land-stealing.  We’re all messed up.  But we still have a lot to be thankful for, including a cross-cultural holiday celebration.

As soon as I went home, though, I crashed.  I wound up cancelling my plans Wednesday and Thursday nights so that I could just go home, fall asleep, wake up to watch some Battlestar Galactica, and then fall asleep again.  Since I’m going to be flying next week, I wanted to get this cold over with fast (I HATE flying with a cold and getting excruciating ear pressure).  The good news is, it worked!  Two miserable days later, Friday found me on the mend.

I’d promised Luciana that I’d buy her a book for her birthday, and we agreed to meet at Public for their Black Friday sale.  Giorgos came too, and he just had his birthday, so I also bought him a book.  And Luciana bought ME a book as a Temporary Goodbye gift, so it was all very sweet.  The mall was overrun with people, and all of us are not fond of crowds, so we headed back to Holargos and got souvlaki together.  Then they went lightswitch shopping and I went home to snuggle with Hans Harrison before they picked me up and took me to their apartment for a night of video games.  Luciana fell asleep around 11:30, and Giorgos didn’t want her to miss the plot development, so he took me home.  I really love both of them so much.  It’s always such a treat to find couples that are fun individually and as a unit.

On Saturday I met up with Meredith for coffee at Cap Cap, whose theme is now a Christmas-centric Home Alone.  Meredith has been volunteering at HD through OM for several weeks, and after our hangout I feel confident that she is one of those kindred-spirits-passing-in-the-night people.  She’s leaving Greece this week, but headed to Sweden, one of the countries at the top of my Must Visit list.  Sounds like an opportunity to me.

That night I bought five computer games for less than $10 on Steam, and I spent the rest of the night playing Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, a 90’s point-and-click game that I played as a kid and is still just as appealing and frustrating.

As for today, it’s been great!  I sat next to a guy who, after we started singing, seemed very familiar.  But I don’t like to interact with strangers, so there was nothing for it.  After the service I tried to side-eye his face, and he asked, “Are you still at the Bible school?”  Crisis averted, I talked to him, and then ANOTHER Bible school student happened to be visiting, and it was a nice little throwback.

The youth group had a fundraiser at their ministry center selling overpriced coffee (post-church coffee is not a thing in Greece), and almost everyone headed there to spend over an hour chatting and drinking coffee.  It feels so great to have church friends now.  I need a posse to feel secure.  After the coffee fundraiser, we all went to Danielle’s apartment for a house warming party.  She shipped all of her furniture from Rome, so it already looks STUNNING, and I realized how low “decorating” is on my skill set list.  We mostly debating about whether or not we would be willing to die on Mars, which is why I really like these friends.

Next week is my last one in Greece for 2016!  Then I’m off to Lille for debriefing, then to the United States for the holidays.  Everything is happening so fast!

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