Oh Hey, Friday! 5 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GREEK AND US CULTURE

Oh Hey Friday & 5 on Friday

My first Oh Hey, Friday! in Greece.  This is a link-up from September Farm and 5 on Friday from A. Liz Adventures, and I figured a listicle was a great way to address some of the differences I’ve noticed about daily life since moving to Greece.  I’ll probably do this again on another Friday, because Lord knows there are more than five differences.


5 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GREEK AND US CULTURE

1|  Where the Toilet Paper Goes

As a U.S. citizen, I was raised with relatively recent plumbing and could therefore flush toilet paper without a second thought.  Not so in Greece, whose sewer pipes are 2 inches in diameter (as opposed to 4 inches in the U.S) and were created centuries before the invention of toilet paper.  So in Greece, every toilet has a little wastebin next to it.  You wipe, then throw it away.

Some people on trips to Greece (or Turkey, or Mongolia, or anywhere with a culture older than ours) freak out about this.  It doesn’t really bother me, since traveling inspires in me an “oh well” attitude toward unusual bathroom habits (see my story about going to the bathroom in Mongolia: Tricia Accepts the Inevitability of Peeing in Public).  After all, the wastebins have lids, so you’re not looking at used toilet paper while you brush your teeth.  And I have a room to myself, so it’s only my own filth, and I can throw out the bag any time I want.

For me, the problem is in remembering to toss the TP in the wastebin.  But it’s been five days now, and I’m nearly at a 100% success rate. Continue reading

Oh Hey, Friday! 5 RESOLUTIONS FOR 2016

It’s been awhile since I’ve done an Oh Hey, Friday! link-up from September Farm and 5 on Friday from A. Liz Adventures, but when’s a better time to start than the first of the year?  However, committing to doing one of these every Friday is NOT one of my resolutions.

5 RESOLUTIONS FOR 2016

1|  Say yes to more things that scare me.  

Moving to another country is bound to create more opportunities to step outside of my comfort zone.  I’m not crazy enough to commit to saying yes to everything, all the time.  An introvert needs to reserve the right to say “I’m staying home, thanks!”  But I don’t want to let the chance to expand my comfort zone pass me by, so whether it’s hanging out with new people past midnight, jumping into the ocean, or giving up my weekend for an adventure, I want to say yes.   Continue reading

Oh Hey, Friday! #8 HAVE A LAUGH WITH STEPHEN COLBERT

It’s another round of the Oh Hey, Friday! link-up from September Farm and 5 on Friday from A. Liz Adventures!  

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Stephen Colbert is the celebrity I would most want to marry…if he were twenty years younger.  Luckily, things like “age compatibility” don’t matter on YouTube, so I’ve spent quite a bit of time this week watching clips from his time hosting The Late Show.  Here are five of my favorites,  perfect for your viewing weekend pleasure.

HAVE A LAUGH WITH STEPHEN COLBERT  

1|  Stephen & Emily Blunt Have a Fake Vomit-Off

Continue reading

Oh Hey, Friday! #7 HOW TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL ROAD TRIP

It’s another round of the Oh Hey, Friday! link-up from September Farm and 5 on Friday from A. Liz Adventures!  

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HOW TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL ROAD TRIP

1|  Make plans, but stay flexible

Before I left on my trip, I made calendars, lists, and overly detailed schedules for daily travel that included what time I needed to leave one place in order to get to the next place down to the exact minute.  I didn’t end up using those insanely comprehensive plans after the first day, but it made me feel better to know that I had a general plan for how things could go down.

I needed to know who I was staying with and for how long, but twice I changed plans for the better.  Once was to stay with my second cousins in Spartanburg, and the other was to stay another day in Dallas and recharge.  Because I am ever-so-slightly anal-retentive, it was hard for me to accept that plans are changeable.  But being flexible made my trip so much more enjoyable, so make changes when necessary.   Continue reading

Oh Hey, Friday! #6 MEMORIES FROM UNION UNIVERSITY

It’s another round of the Oh Hey, Friday! link-up from September Farm and 5 on Friday from A. Liz Adventures!  

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today’s five:  MEMORIES FROM UNION UNIVERSITY
Since I spent yesterday wandering around Union’s campus, meeting with old professors and coworkers and generally immersing myself into nostalgia, this topic seemed obvious!

1|  creating a Condoleezza Rice greeting dance for the 2009 Scholarship Banquet

I worked as a student aid at the Alumni Office for three years, and our biggest event was the yearly Scholarship Banquet.  Each fall someone famous came to speak to people who paid thousands of dollars for the privilege of participating….and me, a lowly aid, who went for free.  I would get dressed up (in the same black-and-white dress each year), go early to set up, and direct rich people around before getting my picture taken with the Famous Person.  One year Peyton Manning came to speak, and I walked him backstage with my boss.  He tripped on the stairs in front of me, and the enormous joy I felt from having better balance in heels than a millionaire football superstar was overwhelming.

But this is about Condoleezza Rice.  My senior year, I managed to get a job at the Alumni Office for my friend Stephanie.  At the Scholarship Banquet that year, we were assigned the task of greeting the U.S. Secretary of State at the door and escorting her to a particular room.  This job involved waiting for at least half an hour, so naturally Stephanie and I made up a dance with which to greet her.  There was a lot of spinning and 8-counts involved.  We were in the middle of rehearsing it when her security opened the door, so we scurried into professionalism just in time to shake her hand and walk her where she needed to go. Continue reading

Oh Hey, Friday! #5 THINGS I MISS

It’s another round of the Oh Hey, Friday! link-up from September Farm and 5 on Friday from A. Liz Adventures!  

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TODAY’S FIVE:  things I miss while roadtripping

1|  Rory

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No surprise here:  I miss my cuddly little furbucket every single day.  Life is just so much more enjoyable when I wake up to a purring cat sitting by my head, who follows me around during the day, sits on me whenever possible, and puts his tiny beanfoot on my face to get my attention.

I had partially planned that this month-long separation would prepare me to leave him for a year when I move to Greece, but instead I’m just dreading it even more.   Continue reading

Oh Hey, Friday! #4

It’s another round of the Oh Hey, Friday! link-up from September Farm and 5 on Friday from A. Liz Adventures!  
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TODAY’S FIVE

1|  Letters Between Friends

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I love creatively collaborating with friends.  Lindsay is one of my nearest and dearest, and since she has a blog, we’re going to start a weekly series writing back and forth to each other called Letters Between Friends.  Originally we were going to wait until I was in Greece, but we got so excited we decided to launch early!  And since I’m traveling the month of October, it’s great practice.

2|  Fall Is Coming

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Autumn is my favorite season.  I love the jackets, scarves, rainboots, and changing leaves.  I hoped that by traveling east, I might get an early glimpse of the best of seasons, and I have!  So far, western Pennsylvania has the best red/gold/green tree combinations.  Yesterday in Maryland it rained, so I outfitted myself with umbrella, boots, and jacket.  IT WAS SO DELIGHTFUL.

3|  Asian Everything

I’m staying with my friend Elizabeth for five days, and more often than not, we’re doing something Asian related.  We had an entire Japanese-themed trip to Washington DC, we’ve visited an Asian supermarket in Rockville, and we spent the afternoon hanging out at the Asian Bakery Cafe drinking bubble tea yesterday, then ate Vietnamese bahn mi for dinner.  I wish it weren’t so expensive to go to Asia (Japan specifically).  Of course, spending money to go to cheaper places in the meantime isn’t helping me save up or anything.

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4|  Fundraising

This monthlong road trip is for “fun and fundraising.”  Every day so far, I’ve had someone contact me to let me know that they want to donate to me, which has been so hugely encouraging!  I was praying especially that God would connect me to people I wasn’t expecting, and so far I’ve seen one friend excitedly tell me that her boss is very interested in ending human trafficking, and could she take some of my info to show him?  Um, YES.  I still need to raise about $10,000.  If you haven’t given already, please consider it, and donate online here!

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5|  Sleeping In

Admittedly, this is stretching things in terms of “what ought to be blogged about.”  But I’m using my best material in my daily blogs about my adventures!  Having spent the last two months working as a secretary, getting up at 6:40 am in order to be at church by 8:00, it is SO GREAT to sleep in until 9:00.  The life of a couch-surfer is a good one.