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Friday, June 30, 2006 

Embarkation

This will be my last post before I head to Athens for two weeks. I'm being sent on a school conference, some EU deal called Socrates, where a bunch of pharmaceutical PhDs are treated to lectures by the EU's best pharmacy professors.

Sounds pretty cool, huh? I was really excited at first but now am feeling extremely anxious for reasons I'm not entirely sure of. Might as well list them out, and have all you readers laugh at them/reassure me.


1. Two weeks is a long time.
2. A really long time to be in Athens for a vegetarian.
3. I only get one day off, with 12 days on. Not exactly a holiday.
4. My lodging is 3.87 euros a night, yes I'm sleeping in the University of Athens dorms.
5. Anything that's 3.87/night probably doesn't have A/C or decent beds.
6. I am going with someone I work with, but I don't like her very much (and probably vice versa.) She's a perfectly nice person but we just don't get on.
7. She's extremely negative about the trip and I feel her emotions infecting me.
8. It appears to be very poorly organized (i.e. introduction welcome dinner being pushed back to another night, leaving us on our own the first night.)
9. This is the farthest east I've ever been in my life.
10. Worried about reading street signs, etc in a non-Romance language, yikes!
11. The current temperature is 90F with 50% humidity, after living two years in London, that scares me.
12. My professor and I got in a huge row about it. It has not been a good few weeks at work.
13. People have been telling me that Athens is loud and dirty and not very nice at all.
14. Once I'm out of the country, England will probably win the World Cup and I'll miss it all.
15. I'll be spending my 29th birthday completely alone (or at best, hopefully with some nice strangers...)


Alright, I'm done whinging about it (excellent British word: whinging.) I imagine that it's just a fear of the unknown and I'll be settled once I'm there.

Wish me luck!

Wah! I have to go to Greece for 2 weeks, wah!

Wah! I don't know the language, wah!

Wah! Im going with a nice girl that I dont like, wah!

Wah! I have to pay 3.5 Euros a night, wah!

Wah! They have vegetarian food there, but not my favorite vegetarian food, wah!

Wah! It's been 2 years since Ive seen the sun, wah! Im gonna melt, wah!

Wah!

-Senor Sourkraut

Yea I totally deserve that. At least don't have to worry about #14 anymore though.

Hi,
I think I found you through one of the expat blog listings...anyway, just wanted to let you know that when I went to Athens last year:
1) It was fairly clean, certainly on par with London
2) Everyone I (and my boss who refuses to speak any language but English) met spoke decent English, and they weren't snotty about speaking it. I tried my best to use some Greek, and my poor attempts were received with smiles, but I managed to get around with little problems.
3) The Metro is great, very clean and efficient, with stations that double as archeological museums.
4) London is going to be about 90 degrees F the next few days - I'd rather be in a city that knows how to deal with heat like Athens than to be here!
5) There are vegetarian dishes in Athens - the salads are quite good
6) The Acropolis is crowded with tourists, but there are archeological reminders of Greece's glory days almost everywhere you look - I found it very inspiring and awe-inducing
7) Have fun! I enjoyed my trip far more than I thought I would, and I hope you will too!

I envy you on the Athens trip. Sure it's going to be 99% work, but I'm sure you can make the most out of it. I'd give my eye teeth to go to Greece! At least you don't have to worry about the World Cup issue anymore! Have fun on your trip and be safe.

Laine

Well I hope you have a goodtime despite your worries. I was in Athens about 8 weeks ago and loved it.

1) Relative to what?
2) Greek food has tons of options plus there always pizza hut if you get need a fix
3) the evenings will be long and that is when Athens really comes good
4) It'll be fine (plus are you being held at gunpoint to stay there?)
5) Easy Tiger
6) Ummmm stuck on that one
7) Well dig deep into that American spirit of everything is great and enjoy the ancient city of Athens with all its wonders
8) You'll not get bored, it's a city like all others - I was there alone and had a ball
9) Heaven forbid!
10) They are in English too (mostly)
11) It's about to get disgusting in London - you'll find it better in Athens as the other post said - they can do heat
12) Pass.
13) They lied, it's like London but more ancient
14) We never really had a chance but it is always great to get caught up in the hype and at least you'll miss the week of mourning
15) OK, champagne for the Clever American Lass with a chaperone in the OXO tower overlooking the Thames upon your return!

Have a great time and enjoy the view from the top of the Acropolis, it is majestical

sp_999@hotmail.com

Well I wish you luck and hope you are finding time to enjoy yourself!

As for #11) It'll just remind you of those years you spent in NC with 90(+) degree days and 90%(+) humidity... ahhhh, the good ole days!

Have fun and Happy Birthday!
-Dan R

Hello!

I found your blog through one of the expat listings. I'm an American, living in the Oxford area. I've been here 3-1/2 years...the last half year married to the lovely Englishman who got me over here in the first place. I run training courses for the oil industry, sometimes in London and other times in other spots around the world.

I'll follow your expat story. Just don't forget that there are quite a few of us here. And although I sometimes get homesick for the States, more often than not I find myself feeling very comfortable here.

Take care...and enjoy Athens!

Janet

(lordcelery.blogspot.com)

Wah! I want to go to Greece, too! Wah!

Hope you had a great birthday, sweetie!

Happy Belated Bday!!!! Hope it was great, I'm sure it was!!! I'm envious, I've always wanted to see Greece. have fun and be careful :)

LB

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