eíste mia maïmoú! (part four!)

Just catching up? Here is part one, part two and part three!

Like I said in part three, not all our time was spent hosting camps/clinics for the locals. I also had the ability to travel around Greece and see some amazing sights. Besides touring around Athens, my team also took a day trip out to Corinth. Holy wonder Batman! I wish I had pictures to supplement these stories, but alas, this trip was taken before my lovely digital camera was purchased, and thus, all of my photos have been relegated to stodgy old photo albums somewhere in my parent’s attic. Joy. 😦

I’ll try to paint you a picture though…imagine gorgeous, hilly countryside, dotted with white stucco homes, surrounded by crystal clear turquoise waters….if you’ve ever seen Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2 or Mamma Mia, well, that’s EXACTLY what it looks like. No lie. There are even cute little old couples sitting outside their homes drinking coffee. Bliss. Greece is the land my travel-induced dreams are made of. Besides the beautiful countryside, we had the opportunity to view the Parthenon, the Acropolis, the Bema seat, countless museums and relics from B.C (the time period before Christ)….it was unreal. To stand on a hill that the Apostle Paul preached on….you don’t have to have a belief in God to understand that importance.

Our tours of Greece were not allll educational, and certainly not all tame! Oh, shenanigans were had, mind you! On top of museum visits, there were broken noses, Dutch “boyfriends”, marriage proposals, henna tattoos in shady underground parlors, rooftop surprise parties, “groupie” followings of The Floks (a Greek band we love!!), and much more. You see, when you put an American tourist in a foreign country, you are going to draw attention to yourself. When you put a couple of DOZEN American tourists in a foreign country, well, you might as well set up a tent and charge admission, because honey, you’re going to cause a scene!! 🙂

The broken nose happened to our dear Arley, who obtained the injury after an ENORMOUS Dutch soccer player elbowed her in the face during a scrimmage. You see, during our second orientation week on the Greek island, we played a lot of mini games against various other groups/countries that were representing Sport Quest. One of the groups happened to consist of giant Dutch men. Seriously, they were all welllll over 6 feet tall, each sporting a shockingly bright blond mane of hair, their blue eyes piercing right through your soul. Besides their killer looks, they also had some brute strength, and one day, during another friendly match, Arley’s face just so happened to come into contact with a Dutchman’s burly arm. America – 0, Netherlands – 1.

After that encounter, we were all quite close. In fact, we co-hosted a party for our Greek boys and girls at the end of our stay. Nice men…just beware of their right hook! 😉

I mentioned marriage proposals, didn’t I? Well, I’m Italian, so I know all about passionate men, but let me tell you, Greek men are JUST as “friendly”! During the first week there, after wandering the streets trying to find someone who would sell us bus tickets (seriously…it was like trying to buy a liver on the black market! Not that I would know…), we got tired and paused at a stop light. As I’m wiping the sweat from my brow, looking quite lovely in my sweat-soaked shorts and t-shirt, I hear the words, “MARRY ME!!” I’m sorry…what? Next to me, sitting on a Vespa, was a wiry little Greek man, staring me straight in the eyes (although, I DID have sweat dripping into them…so who knows really…) and professing his love for me. After a bewildered glance at him, and another double take, he shouted louder, “MARRRRRY ME!” Again, seriously? What was he expecting me to do? Jump on the back of his scooter and ride off into happily ever after? Actually…I think he was. Sorry sir, I don’t like to date and dash.

With all the sights and sounds a new city brings, it is only natural that one would get distracted by seedy, neon signs showcasing HENNA and TATTOOS! Right? Or am I the only one that gets drawn to the prospect of needles and possible skin infections? Yeah, I’m going to just let that comment sit in the inevitable awkward silence….During a lunch break on one of our touring days, a group of us (all girls, mind you…) decided to peek about the square by the restaurant we had just eaten in (McDonalds….so classy). That’s when we spotted the Tattoo parlor. And that’s when we went underground. It’s where we got inked up (henna, not real!), took longer than our allotted time, freaked out our leaders, caused a minor panic and got scolded in front of the group. But it’s also where I ended up with some sweet chocolate-brown ink on my now tanned skin. I’d like to say it was the start of my tattoo obsession (I have two, going on a third), but who am I kidding…that started when I was 13. After all, it’s only natural for a budding teenager to dream of covering her body in permanent drawings…right? Okay, I’m sensing a pattern here. Note to self: stop confessing incriminating personal details. Over.

You might be wondering about our “groupie” behavior. That would be courtesy of the delightful Greek band, The Floks. The amazing-ness that is Marcos, Yiannis, Theo, Thanos, Bill, Dimitris and Yiorgos. Our dear friend Yiannis was one of our liaisons during our stay in Greece, and he also just so happened to be an amazing guitar player and singer…and part of a band. We watched them perform, took night-time tours of the back alleys of Athens with them, were invited into their homes. It was a true groupie experience..well, without the….ahem, you know. Yiannis truly was an amazing friend during our time in Greece, helping to bridge the language and cultural gaps that so easily divided us there. Without him, I’m sure I would have gone on naively being called a monkey, smiling each time I heard it. 🙂 So, for that, I’d just like to say “efaristo” Yiannis!

Stay tuned for the final recap!

hearts and henna-ed hugs,

B.

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Comments

  1. Okay this post is the best reason I’ve heard yet for seeing Mama Mia and/or the Travelling Pants movies (yeah, I haven’t seen either… culturally irrelevant, that’s me!). Sounds sooooo fun! And gorgeous! And more fun. (And all my Europe pics were pre-digital era too so I feel your pain!)

    • yes! the movies are sort of cheese ball (although I had a deep love for ABBA! :)) but still, worth seeing if you want to catch the beautiful scenery!!

      oh, and one of these days I’m going to take all those photos and try to scan them into my comp! one of these days…..probably not today….ha.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Missed all the others? Here is part one, part two, part three, and part four! […]

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