16 July 2010

And so goes the first week...

The first week of work has been...interesting. It's been frustrating, fun, boring, tedious, and difficult all at the same time. There's been a lot of bone washing, so much so that my hands get all pruney by the end of the day in very bizarre patterns, and when i say a lot of bone washing I mean like over 14 hours worth of washing little bones. We have found some cool things, like an almost in-tact dog skull, a bright purple spiny oyster, lots of vertebrae (which I seem to think are toes most of the time, and Sam constantly makes fun of me for it), and some bones with butcher marks on it. Work has also made me further realize my intense hatred for pottery, mainly because it hurts my back just to stand there and stare at a table for hours, and I simply do not have the patience for it. Yesterday, however, I got to do some work on the frescoes that had been found, which was really one of the only reasons why I decided to return this year, which made me a very happy camper. Today was just 7 hours worth of sorting. It was really hot outside. I had intense amounts of butt/upper thigh sweatage, primarily because I was sitting on a vinyl chair. But it's ok because its friday.

I've found that I've become increasingly more frustrated in the heirarchy of the research "team". I put team in quotes because it can only be loosely defined as one, since I'm sometimes treated as an underlings, instead of as a co-worker. We're being funded, just like theyre being funded. However, the grad students have formed this weirdo little clique because they all live together in another house and in another town. Granted its about a 20 minute drive away, but they make absolutely no effort to try to at least hang out with us, and when I asked them one day if they wanted to come into Mykines that night (they mentioned that they were going to be at home playing cards) I got a really weird look in response and an "uh, yeah. no." And when we're leaving the place they just say bye and drive away. And then they come back the next day talking about how they went to Nafplio to get dinner and how they went out to a bar yadayadayada, even though we are stuck in Mykines by ourselves with not much else to do other than nap, play card games with each other and get hit on by Sotiri. And they all talk amongst themselves, and are only now starting to include me in their conversations. We frequently bitch about this. I'm hopeful that by the end of the four weeks it'll be a little bit more inclusive.

Speaking of Sotiri, he's the 30 something creeper who works at the one and only bar in the city. Unfortunately, he recognized me when we were sitting having a beer, and then he insisted on sitting with us for an hour and making awkward small talk. And when I say he recognized me, I mean he stood sorta behind me and stared at me for a bit trying to remember where he had seen me, and then awkwardly shakes my hand and asks if I'm Dutch. He's also notorious for blatantly hitting on young women. In fact, Dr. Shelton even commented that she thought that he was too old for hitting on girls our age. Ew. We're going back tonight, and hopefully he won't bother us.

I wanted to post pictures of my view from my balcony but I cant seem to find an available USB port on the computer. They arent particularly interesting, but at least it would be able to give people a feel of how small the town is, since I can pretty much see the whole place from the balcony. Sometimes we like to watch drunk people pop wheelies on their motorcycles when they drive by. Sam calls one of them "Tubsters".


  1. Keep your chin up, I think the interactions with the grad students will get better. Can you mention anything to Dr. Shelton to see if she can suggest that they are more inclusive?

    I know the work is hard, but that's part of the "right of passage". It'll be that way with almost anything. Sounds like it may have reinforced your interest and desire to focus on frescoes.

  2. Ah, that sucks. Personally, I think you should say something to them if it doesn't get better in a few days (which I think that it will, just as a course of human behavior). But maybe you should just find the most sympathetic looking one, and flat out tell them of your situation. You two are bored, you need social interaction and you're cool people, invite us along. I'm sure they'll be much more sympathetic if you explain yourself. As for this Sotiri fellow, I find the best way to deal with creepers is to just tell them they're being creepy. They usually find this quite shocking. But eh, some people eventually get the hint with out lurid amounts of bluntness.

    I miss you and I'm sorry work can be gruelling. Bones sound cool though (toes...really? Imagine the spirit of Tim White peering over your shoulder). Frescoes sound more cool. I like spiny purple things.
    Japan is full of crazy.