There are roosters crowing outside. Or cooing? Cocking? Do not know the correct term.
It is super late, but a lot happened today so I want to make sure to get it all down! And by today I mean from Saturday at 10am until now, Monday at 5am. Time zones are weird. Okay so! It all started when my sisters and Noah so kindly took me to the airport because my parents are in Russia. There was barely any traffic and going through security literally took approx 2 min so I had some time to kill before my first flight, which went to Philadelphia. Didn’t really do much, uneventful flight, landed lalalala and then went to the gate for my flight to Athens. This was the longest flight I’ve ever been on (9.5 hrs) so it was a little rough, mostly because I was kinda lonely. But I slept for a bit (which my neck did not approve of), did crosswords, and watched Mamma Mia in the last couple of hours to get in the zone of Greek things. I hadn’t been feeling too much nervousness, but not excitement either- I guess it hadn’t really hit me yet, until I got to Athens and was feeling more excited.
I then checked in for my flight to Ikaria, which ended up being an hour late because we had to switch planes due to the plane not working. Crucial flaw. That puts the plane count up to 4 now technically! Ikaria is absolutely stunning, there are a lot of mountains and they go right up to the coast. It has a really rural feel to it. The teacher of the language school met me and a bunch of other students at the airport and we departed in a few cars to head to the center where we live/the school is. It was about an hour drive, and was so amazing. It’s like a combination of the Caribbean, the Rockies, and Europe. There were SO many mountain switchbacks (mom you would’ve hated it) (hi mom) and amazing views throughout. We got here, put our stuff down, and then headed to a nearby mountainside taverna where we had delicious noms because it was almost 5pm and travelling/time zones/delay had us all hungry. We did it family style ish, like when you’re at a Chinese restaurant with a Chinese person and they just say things to the waiter and food magically arrives. For a total of 10 euros each, we had horiatiki, tzatziki, a garlic spread, cheese spread, huge pieces of bread, white wine, lamb, pork, french fries, a dark greens salad, spinach pies, local homemade cheese made from the milk of the goats all around the island, watermelon, and potentially other things that I can’t remember.
We returned back here after our wonderful meal, and I went with two other people down to the nearest beach. It was pretty rocky and the waves were rough but once you got in it was fine and the water felt amazing. I’ll talk about all the other people sometime soon, im a lil sleepy and want to get this out. Then I came back, showered, and got changed for this festival thing that was in a nearby town. I almost changed my mind and didn’t go because I was super exhausted, but Ive been telling myself that I should really do most things that I have a chance to do. All in all I’m glad I went, because it was a really good example of traditional Greek customs and culture. Also I zZZzed hardcore in both directions which helped with the tiredness. My typical relationship with cars. I got to do the traditional greek dancing stuff that we learned at the Greek Easter festivals at school, and I also got to see the traditional custom they have of running through fire. It was SO COOL omg. I have pictures on my camera which I’ll upload when I’m home. It was mostly cool because we actually learned about that in class last semester, so getting to see everything in action was really exciting. Omg. That rooster sounds in pain. Anyway. The only thing was it took like an hour and a half to get there because we were simultaneously looking for gas, because the tank was actually on empty. It’s honesty a Christmas miracle that we made it back without getting stranded (we never found gas) and it was a shorter trip coming home which was good because we left really late. There were 5 of us in the car, all from different places, and I had this realization that towards the end we were probably all praying that the car would keep going, except saying the same thing in 5 different languages in our heads. Maybe i was delirious or maybe that was actually cool but worth a mention.
I feel like there were other things I wanted to say but it is late and the longer I’m up in this room by myself the more lonely I’m getting/more weirded out by roosters I’m getting. Now I’m just convinced they’re mating and that I’m committing some weird form of voyeurism. Oh! I’m attaching a picture of the view from my room. More to come tomorrow, the first day of class!