26 July 2010

A more detailed update for the weekend...

This weekend Sam and I decided to go to Aegina, since we're both swimming in departmental money. Ok, maybe not swimming, but theres a bit of an excess. Anyways, Aegina, being the most reasonable island to get to from Athens, both with regards to time and money, ended up being one of the most stressfull travel excursions that I've had to do...ever. And I've done many. The whole thing started out perfectly fine. We ran into Dr. S on our walk down to Fichtia to catch the train to Corinth so she drove us the other kilometer that we wouldve otherwise had to walk, in the heat, with no shade. The train rides to Athens ended up being airconditioned and low stress. We even ended up booking a really nice hostel in a nice part of Athens, which is a huge change from the hostels that I've had to stay in before in Athens. Not only did we have our own room, but each room had airconditioning, and I did feel like I was going to be either raped or mugged while walking back to it at night. We were really super close to the Plaka, which is the nice restauranty part of the city, right next to the Agora and under the Acropolis. We had a lovely dinner at this cute little restaurant run by an older woman who started laughing at me when I stood up because I'd been drinking a little bit too much. The one bad part about the hostel was that the airconditioner broke in our original room so they had to move us to a different room that only had one big bed in it. It was fine though...until the airconditioning decided to turn off in the middle of the night and not turn back on again. Unfortunately the only remedy for this was to walk downstairs to the loby and ask the desk person if we could borrow the remote control to turn it on, since they didnt leave them in the room. But apparently he was really stressed about checking these 2 german girls into the hostel at 4:30 in the morning, because when I went downstairs he basically chided me, saying that he would come up there as soon as the kid who had taken it last had brought back the remote. I think the main confusion was that he was telling people to return the remotes after they had turned the airconditioning off, while he meant turn the airconditioning on. Thus, people were keeping their airconditioning remotes until they no longer needed the airconditioning since that would be when they would turn it off. Or maybe I was just a little bit confused because I was wandering downstairs at 4 in the morning.

The next day ended up being the most stressful after we had gone to the new Acropolis Museum at Athens in addition to the Acropolis and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. The city had shut down the only subway line that would take us out to the port city of Piraeus, which is where we would catch our ferry, so we had to take a bus instead. This would have all been fine if Sam or I knew where to get off on the bus, but since neither of us did, we ended up riding it all the way to the end of the line, and then walking the however long it was all the way around the port until we got to the ferry terminals. Its ok though, because I was able to get a soda, and the inside of the ferry boat was airconditioned and I totally knocked out during the trip. Once we got to Agia Marina on Aegina, we found out that the hotel manager had basically cancelled our booking that we had made the week before. Apparently, the Greek family who had been staying in our room had decided to stay an extra couple of days because they said it was too hot to travel. Instead of finding them another place to stay nearby he told us that he gave them our room for more nights and that he had found us another hotel room someplace else, even though we had booked our room well in advance and even payed an 8euro deposit on the room. I dont know if the room was comparable, since I never got to see the original, but we were farther away from the beach. The good thing, though, was that our room had airconditioning, and it was tiny enough that it got cold really really fast.

Despite those little bobbles, the rest of the trip ended up going quite well. We went to the temple of Aphaia on Aegina, which was beautiful and on top of a hill looking out on the ocean on both sides (there will be pictures once I am able to post them, so in about 3 more weeks). The little museum attached to it was adorable and had original statues from the pediment of the newer temple (by newer I mean around 500BC). There were even portions of the sima which still had the original paint on it, which I had never seen before. The best part was that Sam and I are in possession of get into any archaeological site/museum free cards because Dr. S decided to pass us off as grad students, so we got to get into everywhere for free, including the new Acropolis Museum, which is spectacular as usual.

Last night, after we got home, we had a change from our usual routine in that we actually ate dinner with two people who are staying in Dassis with us. It was great being able to add some variety to who we see, since its just us together usually, and then the annoying Dickinson kids who yell good-night to us in Greek, even though they're American and they know that we're American. It also kept Sotiri from bothering us while we were eating dinner.

Museum work has started getting a lot better as the weeks have been progressing. Last Friday, Lynne actually put me in charge of managing sorting since she was not going to be there and since I've seen everthing the longest of the group (except her), so I know what to be looking for. I felt very responsible. And today I found a couple of pottery joins and joked around with the other grad students, which means that my overall happiness about working in the museum has gotten a lot better. I'm still sorta counting down until its over though, just because I'm kinda over Greece and ready to move on to Turkey and have a regular routine revolving around school. That will definitely make the weeks go by faster once I have shit to do. As of right now they just kind of drag by, and it doesnt help that I miss people back at home and 6 months seems like a super long time.

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