Archive for the ‘greece’ Category

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A Brief Respite

September 18, 2010

The next week or so of our vacation was nice, but pretty uneventful. We saw a temple of Poseidon and a temple of Artemis near Athens. Then we headed out to the villages Ritsa’s family is fun and spent some time with her uncle and aunt Constantine and Helen. The second day, Ritsa’s friend R showed up to join us.

We spent time in the villages with various and assorted members of Ritsa’s family, and we managed to squeeze in another trip to Monemvassia. There was also a fair amount of time spent swimming at the beach.

The highlight of the time in Livadi was watching Aunt Helen climb up on to the kitchen counter with a broom to kill a wasp. As you can see, we had a nice, relaxing time there.

On to bigger and brighter things: Lesvos. Lesvos (or as the Greeks call it, Mitilini) is a Greek Island near Turkey. It is the home of Sappho and where the term “lesbians” is derived from. These days, it as well known for ouzo as it is lesbians.

We shared a beach house with R, and we could actually see Turkey from our house. Swimming and day trips ensued. I will get into the day trips in the next post, but one interesting thing we did at the beach house is buy produce from the vans that drive by. We bought of kilogram of dried chickpeas (which we did not finish and will bring home with us) and a kilogram of sword fish, of which we ate about 2/3 and some cats ate the other 1/3.

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And Don’t Call Me Shirley

September 16, 2010

I am finally getting  a chance to blog about my vacation.  Everyone give thanks to Galata Life Hotel.  I will be starting with the beginning of the trip, which was August 26th, 2010.

We flew from Dulles International Airport (IAD) to Frankfurt, Germany (FRA.)  The only interesting thing about the flight is that I got to drink two cans of complementary Warsteiner.  Lufthansa is nice.

We spent the morning in the executive lounge thanks to my wife’s elite status and our international tickets.  From there we flew to Athens (ATH.)  The flight to ATH was very different from the flight to FRA.

First, there was a LOT more talking.  The flight to FRA was a graveyard compared to the ATH flight.  Greeks are a chatty bunch, and this flight was no exception.

The second, and much funnier part of the FRA-ATH flight was the bathroom five rows ahead of us.  I watched a little old man leave the bathroom, and, a few minutes later, a woman entered the bathroom.  She turned around and came right back out.

I chuckled a little to myself, figuring the man had left a pungent odor in the stall.  I thought I had further proof for my hypothesis when another woman went in and came out a few minutes later, none the worse for wear.

However, I was wrong, because the next person who was supposed to enter the bathroom was a little girl, guided by her mother.  I almost laughed out loud when the little girl poked her head in, pulled it out quickly, and just shook her head “NO!” to her mother.  The mother then, looked in, looked down, made a face, and escorted her child back towards the back of the plane.

Another person also refused to enter the forbidden zone, but she summoned a flight attendant.  The attendant, looked in, looked down, scrunched up her face, and summoned another attendant.  The second attendant looked in, looked down, closed the door and locked it from the outside.  He then went and found a sticker and placed it on the door.

On the way out, I read the sticker.  It said, “Out of Order.  Do not use.”  I never did find out what that little old man did to that poor bathroom.

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In Memory Of…

November 26, 2009

… George Lyssikatos.

I was a foreigner to him.  Xenos.  I was dating his baby girl.  He had never met me before, never talked to me on the phone, even.  Yet, from the moment I met him, he was nothing but nice to me.  I truly believe that the best judge of a person’s character is how they treat strangers.

I was more than a stranger, though.  I was practically an invader.  Darius to his Delian League.  I was inserting myself into his life, though his daughter’s life.

I still remember sitting down with him in his own private room, five degrees hotter than the rest of the house.  That was not why I was sweating, though.  I was asking his permission to marry his youngest child.  The only question he asked me was if our children would be raised Greek Orthodox.  I told him they would be going to Greek school.  After that, he gave me his blessing.  He had already accepted me into his family.  The wedding was only a formality.

He is at peace now, without pain.  After fighting for 17 years with congestive heart failure, he finally wore out.  It takes a lot of strength to fight for 17 years straight.  It was an honor to know him, and become part of his family.  I am glad he was a part of mine.