Evening at Agora
Last night was a bit of a celebration – or at least a release from several weeks of non-stop work. For some of my colleagues it was also the first time to a taverna/ouzerie which is a shame because it is quite the Greek experience. I arrived with Q and Daniel a bit late, but nothing unfashionable and benefitted from not having to wait for the food to arrive. We comprised the meat eating end of what was a primarily vegetarian table. This was fine since we were in no short supply of various pork, beef and lamb dishes. Chicken tends to be a bit scarce these days because of the general not really talked about fear of avian flu. I don’t think it is necessarily scarce, just people tend to not order it and so I suspect stores and restaurants aren’t stocking it in any great quantity.
Since there were around 25 people in our party, we were split into two tables. Most of the students were there in addition to our Greek coordinators and a couple of professors. I had both cameras with me and was snapping off shots with both all night. I captured around 80 or 90 in total which isn’t too bad given the amount of photos I’ve taken for the rest of this trip. Many glasses of ρ&epsilonτσινα (retsina) and Mythos beer were had by some and towards the end of the night there was much laughing and carrying on. Without question it was a great release for everyone. We were also given a number of ideas for things to see and do in Thessaloniki, but unfortunately it might be too little, too late.
Nenad leaves today for Belgrade to (hopefully) collect his Spanish visa. He is scheduled to arrive in Madrid the day before I do. We were given directions from the airport to the various residences and sent a map of the subway system. Both are obviously useful, but from what it sounds like, we are quite the distance from the airport. Essentially we are to get on the line 8 subway from the airport to the end of the line, then get on the line 10 to the end of the line, then get on the line 12 which which we take until the appropriate stop. After that we still have a 5 minute walk (which could be a lot worse, I’m not complaining about that part). The email neglected to mention the time that each of these trips will take, but given the map and my limited knowledge of the geography of Madrid, I suspect it will be a long time. Fortunately we arrive shortly after noon which should get us to the residence at least before dark… maybe :). The other benefit for me is that I am taking the same flight as not one, but all four of my Guatemalan friends, which should eliminate language issues from the equation. I am pleased with the little bit of Spanish I did learn this term, but it wasn’t as much as I planned so having four translators can only be a good thing. I realize now, that this post is starting to veer into a completely different topic than I intended, so I will leave it at that for now.