Friday, September 04, 2009

Home again

I'm seriously jetlagged, so this post will be all over the place...more to come after I get in touch with my circadian rhythms again!
Some random observations:
1) I still think, after 2 visits there, that Crete is just too far from North America. If it could just be moved a wee bit closer, I'd be there all the time. (On the other hand, maybe it's special because it's so far away!) We took 4 flights to get there and 4 flights home. If you're curious, that would be:
We said hello to our luggage in Chicago, but it appears to have chosen to have a longer side trip with a stop to see the Art Institute or something. Or maybe the suitcases just needed a cup of coffee and missed the connection. We know we saw all of the luggage recently though, so there's a good chance it will arrive later today.
2) Toilet paper (whew, bet you didn't think I was going there!) When one uses the facilities in Crete (or is all Greece?) there's a little trashcan in there. That's for all the paper that one might flush away in North America. The reason is basically to do with the plumbing, which can be easily clogged. While this seems sort of yucky at first, you get used to it. It also strikes me as being possibly less trouble in terms of dealing with sewage clean up. You also end up using less tissue, which is probably more environmentally friendly. In any case, it is distinctly less yucky than going by the side of the road. We saw lots of folks doing that along the highways!
3) I am a great fan of Greek coffee (medium sugar, please) and discovered that simply ordering one, even in English, was like magic. Apparently in the eyes of the locals, I immediately was upgraded from "darn tourist" to "woman who knows a good thing when she sees it!" I managed to pick up a briki for 3.5 Euros --about $5 US-- to make my own and although it isn't a fancy one like in that photo, it's modern looking, stainless steel with a long plastic handle our luggage. I hope I see it soon. I could use a Greek coffee about now. I have transitioned with enormous cups of strong tea instead.
4) Identity--I tend not to wear trendy clothes with writing on them, I buy clothes from all over...and what you wear often defines nationality. Also, my looks are such that I blend in until I open my mouth. (As a teenager on an international flight, somebody talked to me in French, so I spoke French was pretty good then. It seemed clear I didn't speak French first, so they switched to Hebrew. I spoke Hebrew...and so on. Eventually they'd hit English!)
So that said, in Greece, well, I look Greek. Sometimes people spoke to me in Greek and when I didn't understand, they sometimes got frustrated and thought I was rude! The more positive response was--I'd respond in one word of Greek, we'd figure out how to communicate in English or sometimes French, and they'd say, "Wow, you really look Greek to me!" and I'd get to say "thank you." It's a compliment. I also apparently look French and Turkish. Fine..those are all ok with me. It's all good when people are offering you coffee and raki, in my opinion!
5) Internet access has improved in Crete, but it was nice to have a wee break from it all. The trip was restful, which I really needed after all the travelling and moving and packing around here. I have lots more to tell you about...including stuff about yarn, spinning, and embroidery. For now, though, I'm going to consider an early lunch and a nice long nap with a dog or two. It's good to be home, but I'm also a little sorry to leave Crete.

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Blogger Alison said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip!

September 4, 2009 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Greek coffee...Yum!

So glad to know you are both home safely. Harry and Sally must be ecstatic!

September 4, 2009 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Welcome back. Sounds like it was a well-deserved vacation.

September 4, 2009 at 6:36 PM  
Blogger PghCathy said...

Glad to hear you're back & that you had a restful time. Hope your luggage catches up with you before too long.

September 4, 2009 at 8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In college, I had a roommate (in a quad) who made us Greek coffee. Dangerous stuff. Strong and habit-forming. Lovely.

Glad you had a good trip!

September 4, 2009 at 11:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In college, I had a roommate (in a quad) who made us Greek coffee. Dangerous stuff. Strong and habit-forming. Lovely.

Glad you had a good trip!

September 4, 2009 at 11:12 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Bosnian/Croatian coffee (which I had when I visited my sister there back in 2003) is made in the same kind of vessel -- it's wonderful!!

September 5, 2009 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Sarah Jean said...

Wow, four flights is quite the trip, but it sounds like it was worth it!

September 5, 2009 at 8:11 PM  

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