What Time Is It?

It’s 4:50 in the evening on Tuesday…which means it’s 6:50 am Tuesday in Moscow, Idaho – where you’re ten hours behind. And…for those playing on the East coast, it’s 8:50am – where you’re 8 hours behind.

A sure sign that I’m getting older is the time it takes for my internal body clock to adjust. I feel like I’ve been awake all night and now I’m exhausted. The last few days my Mom and I have been taking naps at around 3:00pm, but today I suggested we go for a long walk. The nap makes it difficult for me to fall asleep and stay asleep. Greeks, like Italians, love their afternoon naps. Of course you need a nap if you’re staying up all night.

I’ve been falling asleep to Greek television, which in itself is a snooze fest, but the combination of Greek subtitles and movies from the 60’s is oddly entertaining. Maybe I should try reading.

Tonight I’m taking dinner to my Aunt’s neighbors – they eat at 8:30pm. So I’m passing up the nap and forging on quietly while my Mom and Aunt are asleep. And tonight while all of Greece is smashing plates and drinking Ouzo…I’ll be sound asleep.

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

A few weeks ago, when I was sitting at my Aunt’s side making her laugh, I asked her if she had any pictures of her family when she and her siblings were children. She told me that my Pappou (Grandfather) had taken many photos and the pictures were in a box under her bed.

There are so many wonderful photos in my Auntie Berta’s house. For the last few days, my Mom and I have been going through photo albums and boxes of old photos and finding treasures. It’s lovely to hear my Mom say, “Oh my goodness, that’s my Father and his siblings.” Or, “That was my boyfriend.” “That is your Great Aunt.” “That is my cousin and you will meet his children next week.”

In addition to my relatives, I also came across pictures of my Mom when she was a young woman. Before and after her nose surgery. She was playing field hockey, got hit in the nose and it left her with a crooked nose. When she started modeling she decided to get it fixed. She looked more Greek before the nose job, but she looked breathtaking after it.

I also came across pictures of me as a child. I was adorable. Well…I’m still adorable but in a different way. ;) I’m bringing home pictures of my brother and sister for their children to see. My brother was so darn cute. I found a picture of my sister and I that made me get all teary-eyed. I’ll post it on my blog once I get a chance to scan it. I need to have it enlarged to poster size. It makes me smile.

Rotary Phones, Albums, & Dial-Up

The wireless network I was using a few weeks ago here in Greece is gone. My laptop card can’t get a signal and using it would cost a fortune. I asked the young man, Giorgos (George), who lives downstairs what he uses for internet connection and he began to explain. He told me I could buy access from the local kiosk where they sell newspapers and stuff. I was confused so he went to get his access card. A card with instructions and a username and password. He then demonstrated how he disconnected the cord from the phone and plugged it in to his hard drive. His English is good and when I said, “You use dial-up?” He smiled and said yes. I honestly thought he was describing some new method of connectivity I had never used.

We visited the kiosk and bought 20 hours of connectivity. It took me a few minutes to remember how to use dial-up, but I got it working. I never thought I’d get excited at the sound of my modem dialing out – but I did. And now we have access in our little flat.

When I told my sister Paula we were back up and running with dial-up, she asked if we were in Ancient Greece. We’re connected and I’m a happy girl.

It’s Snowing In Greece

We’re talking lots of snow and not a snow shovel in sight. So far, 170 people have been injured by slipping in the snow. They’ve canceled everything. School, work, mail delivery, and more. I’m trying not to laugh. My Mom and I walked through the slush to buy a few things and had quite an adventure.

Pray for my Mom. She thought she was avoiding the Idaho snow…only to be in Greece for a freak snow storm.

It’s All About Sanctification

I’m here in Greece. The journey wasn’t without some drama. I dropped off the rental car in Spokane at 2:00am and made my way to the ticket counter. Alaska Airlines suggested I get to the ticket counter two hours before departure to secure my seat assignment. And so I was there with a handful of early birds. The rep from Alaska rolled in at 3:30am. Got good seats and made my way to security, which didn’t allow us to go through until 4:20am. Our flight to Seattle began boarding at 4:30am. Now normally this wouldn’t be a problem since the airport was empty, but there wasn’t anywhere to buy water on the street side of security and it takes about an hour for Dramamine to take effect. I finally bought a bottle of water at 4:25am and downed the pill.

Halfway to Seattle I turned green and had to fight nausea. Very humiliating to say the least. Made my way to the gate for the next leg of my flight and that’s when the Dramamine took effect. I fell asleep and nearly missed my flight. God is gracious and I woke up to the sound of my flight being called. The flight was pleasant but the nausea never passed. I arrived at Newark with only thirty minutes to make it to my gate.

The Airtrain between terminals A, B, and C was broken with no estimated fix time. The only way to make it from terminal A to C was by bus. I went outside to the spot where the bus would arrive and waited and waited. Finally, the bus arrived and I made it to terminal C. I stood in line for security along with everyone else and my plane departed without me. I went to the Continental counter to inquire about rebooking my flight and was sent to another counter. And another counter. And another counter. Finally, after being passed around SEVEN times, I fell apart.

They have four huge sections of the airport set aside to deal with people who missed their connecting flights. LOTS of people miss their connecting flights. Now I’m not an engineer, but I hardly think you need a degree to figure out that something is wrong at Newark airport.

There I stood crying, nauseated, and working a Dramamine buzz as the Continental ticket woman had the audacity to tell me it was my fault I missed the flight. I said something about my inability to land the plane earlier or fix the airtrain, or drive the bus faster. She then announced that there were no more flights to Athens. The next available flight was the next day at 5:30pm. The thought of spending the night at Newark airport brought forth more tears. Mine…not hers. She booked me on the flight and gave me a complimentary room in a hotel for the night. I’m thankful I didn’t have to sleep at the airport so I’ll leave out the nightmare that was Howard Johnson’s. Needless to say, you get what you pay for.

My flight to Athens was fantastic. Great seats. A lovely Greek woman sat next to me which helped the time pass more quickly. We exchanged information and I promised to contact her when I arrived home.

Another stamp in my passport. My baggage arrived in Athens. My Mom was waiting for me. I am a happy girl.

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