Monday, March 29, 2010

It's too late, too bad, she's too far gone.

The past few days have been spent in Naples. Although both of my cameras already hold hundreds upon hundreds of pictures, none will be able to be uploaded for the next week and a half, please maintain patience few and faithful readers. To begin, we discuss a 24 hour travel to Italy. Sic hour train ride overnight to Athens, metro, metro, train, train, sleeping in Athens airport 7 hours, flight to Rome, metro, Train to Naples, cab to hostel. All this to save 50 euros. Ah, high times. In any effect we arrived. The hostel owner gave us incredible descriptions of tours and maps which inevitably made Napoli even more exciting. With a great night's sleep on pillow like mattresses, our first day consisted of a scenic walk.. shopping.. shopping... most fantastic pizza.. a tour of the underground city and dinner at the hostel graciously provided by Giovanni. Day 2 we decided there was more to see in Napoli and less in expensive Positano, so we elected to arrange an extra night in Napoli and an extra night in Roma. In any effect, Day 2 - Pompei. An incredible experience involving 4 hours of "everything the same". In all seriousness, Pompei was a mind-blowing realization of a civilization's tragedy 2,000 years ago, but it is incredibly extensive. If I were to narrow down high points of diversity it would be : bodies, 2 houses with remaining paintings on wall, grand theater, the vineyard, brothel, and the public forum. The majority of streets are lined with ruins which closely resemble each other, in no way is this negative, but after 4 hours you begin to wish you had chosen carefully about sites instead of wandering in wonder. We then ventured back to the hostel and rested before going in search of a small restaurant to "ciao" down in ;-). Today we went to the island of Capri, which was in every way the most beautiful place I have ever gazed at. My mother in particular, would have felt at home here. Despite the high end, high nose, shops available, the city is lined with viewpoints of the rocks of mountain beneath and white crested waves crashing over them. As my marathon training has taken the backseat to my travels, it would seem helpful that the 2 miles of stair climbing I did for a good picture could in one way or another be cross training. And it's true, my calves have never been so stretched. Unfortunately, I have never been so concerned that my knee would blow up in the most horrible times and lead to my ultimate demise upon rocktops. My dear knee is cursing my name, but atleast she's healing from last week's face dive. Tomorrow morning our plans take us to Rome, and the colosseum. We will see the Vatican on Wednesday, and lords knows what on Thursday. My final thoughts, Napoli, if you ever come to Thessaloniki, look me up. Thinking fondly of my Greece, looking forward to coming adventures.

How can you ever see falling in a negative way, not in this way. I'd fall with you doll, anyday.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's best if you just wait your turn.

A quick update, as I have 1.3 hours to finish packing. Tonight i board a train to Athens, then spend the morning killing time in Athens - followed by a 2 hour flight to Rome. From Rome immediately I am taking a bus to Naples. I have a couple of days in each main city, so from Naples i will visit Pompei. I will travel to Positano next, and make a day trip to Capri while there. Then is it back to Rome for 3 days and off to Cairo after! Oh my the complications that could unravel. Mais, I think we will be fine. The picture of my skinned knee (which I might add I havent had since I was in elementary school) happened during a run. I went 4 miles, busted ass, and ran another 4. Hoorah. 3 weeks to marathon, time to pick up the steam. It is a necessity to run in Italy, and impossible to run in Egypt. Of no matter, the race will be fine. It's muh knee we must be concerned with. Also pictured is a round of goblets, which I explained in a blog somewhere around mid - late Feb. have a lovely couple of weeks, I have reason to believe I will be fairly out of touch for a bit. Anywhozum - pack pack pack!

One thought, what idiot said all good things have to end?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Flashy lights, everywhere we are.

I'm going wabbit huntin' when the city is dark and the streets are full. When the poles need hugs and I can still run in heels.

I love the night in this city. Most days are so beautiful, increasingly beautiful, that you wish the night would never come. But once the night has begun, it's as if you could go on forever in this darkness peaked by neon lights.  In any effect, Spring Break starts this week on Thursday. I leave Thursday night for Athens, then take my flight to Italy. The adventure continues! Tomorrow I work with B. again, looking forward to it!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A for Apple

It has been an incredible week. Some amazing opportunities have presented themselves here. Options have opened up for me, in creating a life here, that I had not expected. The majority of these new options will be discussed at a later date when final decisions have been reached, but this week there was one even that I would particularly like to share. I've begun a part-time nanny position. My job in the process, while playing with my assigned munchkin, is to facilitate her learning English. As of now she can count to ten. Other than that, she speaks no English and I speak only a small amount of Greek. I am however really excited about the work I'm doing. The family I'm working for consists of a Mother, Father, and 3 girls. The two older girls (around 8-10) are doing well with English and are not my priority, but the 4 year old, she is mine to work with. I must say, she's very enjoyable. While she hasn't remembered anything yet, and we haven't done any intensive work (as we are just beginning) she does really well repeating after me. In our first meeting together I did not overwhelm her with anything, I played with her, she was really excited to show me her room. I was surprised at how easily she warmed up to me, her mother was there for the initial translation purposes and would listen to B. then tell me " She says she doesn't want you to leave. She wants to know when you are coming back. She'd like to hold your hand and show you her room." B. shared with me her Strawberry Shortcake doll, who smells like strawberries. She loves hello kitty, barbies, and baby dolls. Does that remind you of anyone? So we played, in two different languages we played, you'd be surprised how easy it is to communicate when everything must be visually translated. When we did speak, I would say first what I wished to tell her in Greek, then repeat it in English and have her repeat after me. My hope is that she begins to associate my Greek words with what follows in English. I've been researching teaching techniques online this morning, and in a short while I intend to go in search for English Alphabet flash cards with pictures, I think these will be quite helpful. She has a couple of little books with stickers in English that you attach to pictures, these should become helpful later - as they seem a bit advanced right now. Interestingly enough, the family must have felt comfortable with me because they have invited me to accompany them for a couple weeks in summer as they travel through their properties throughout Greece. Don't misunderstand, the mother is not one of those who does not enjoy being with her children. In fact, its very easy to see that she spends a lot of time with her daughters, but she did make reference to me that not only does she want B. to learn English from a native speaker, but B. tends to get lonely - as the other girls are closer in age and play together- the very active B. could use a playmate. When V. (mother) is helping the older girls with their studies, it is useful to her to have someone like me around to play with B. and hopefully enhance her learning process as well. In any effect, a productive week.

And the sunshine in this city.. glorious.

Now the below photos are a proposition. :-) Awkward huh?

Monday, March 15, 2010

And the view from the top could take your breath away

If you stand at the very near top of the mountain, and find yourself unamazed. Consider yourself normal. But if you later review any photographic evidence and continue not to commence amazement, consider yourself hopeless. There is a certain point when it clicks that yes - places like this do exist. And yes there is a thriving metropolis at the end of the windy, wet roads you took to reach this peak. Indeed, just another hour away is a peninsula containing lively beach fronts and tiki stands. You realize that the wonders of the world are not only at your fingertips, and for all intensive purposes almost visible from the high point at which you stand, but that these wonders have always been at your fingertips. Indeed does money make the world go 'round. But the world is accessible. It is huge and expansive, risk-worthy. What few lack understanding in is the idea that terrible ideas are often the most prosperous. For instance, I know a gentleman here who traveled to Athens and returned home to Thessaloniki with not even a wallet on him, intentionally. By hitchhiking, playing music in the streets, and a random encounter with friends staying in a hotel. This is the accessibility of the world. I argue that this life, and this land is what you make it. Fear is an object to be overcome. Fear is what hold's one back from jumping out of a plane, and feeling the rush when you hope to whatever god you randomly claimed that instant that the parachute you yourself packed opens without a hitch. Enjoy the view kids, there is nothing like the eye of the bird when joined with the mental capacity of a human, see what is beneath you. Here is the best part, and most gruesome, even if the parachute didn't open, death would hit at a moment of exuberance. People, why fear the things that can get you killed? Why fear the things that can cause you harm? Let us acknowledge that this example of courageous living, and the reasons behind its question are quite unorthodox but the point being made is this - at one point do we acknowledge that the consequences of our actions may actually be worth the possible positive outcomes? In a rather abstract manner I advise - you must live in many directions - never lose your childlike wonder.

Regrets are just moments of the past crippling you in the future. Move on, get jiggy with it.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fresh, Fly, So Damn High

I've inserted a video as todays blog, taking you through my daily routine. This video is intended to share with you the incredible variety of architecture that lies only blocks from my apartment. For reference - In what sounds like "Kollegeo Anatolia" (Anatolia College) I very mcuh pronounce the G wrong. The sound is a very odd sound, difficult to develop from an American standpoint. Signomee!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

And what if he has hair in his ears?

Above I have inserted a video of the Aegean sea line, where my runs typically take place. This was taken on an incredibly cold day, as the weather seems to be fluctuating lately. For instance, last week we were rocking t-shirts until the evenings hours when only a light jacket was required - this week, if hail is not falling it should be. My plan, in order to spice up this blog, and hopefully provide interested readers with a greater feel for Thessaloniki is to begin taking videos around the city. In the next few days, i intend on taking all interested parties on a walk to the bus stop with me. If i can muster up the courage to reveal my American (English speaking) identity on the crowded streets then perhaps you can also expect a small narration by me. My hope is that the sun will come out, because as you can see even in the video I've already posted - the city's life expresses itself much more with the sun tearing down on it. What I will say, as an introduction to Thessaloniki, is that it is not (at face value) a beautiful city. Please take no offense, by that I mean it is no Paris.. or Aruba.. or Santorini for that matter, which if any of you have googled "Greece" would have more than likely familiarized yourself with the appearance of the island of Santorini not the actual cities. The city is more than beauty, I assure you, its offerings are much more valuable.
In addition, I recently began following a blog of a man in Rotterdam who simply has one goal. Aptly described, set the camera to a 2 second timer and run as far as you can. So, I tried this in my apartment. Let me restate - I tried this in my studio apartment. Upon reaching an obstacle, my bed, I hopped right over it. I'll say one thing, I'd do it again.

Let's take the "ex" out of experiment, for the good ones shouldn't be "ex"s - feel me kiddo?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Human nature, it's a choice you know?

It has been a few days since my last writing, this week has been a busy one. I am happy to say that Spring Break - is booked. Flights were done a couple weeks ago, last night we booked all hostels for Italy and we are in the final arrangements of the private tour through Cairo. A couple of exciting known plans, we will get to have a beautiful beach day on the sands of Italy, and a camel ride through the pyramids at Giza. If that isn't in the makings for a great time I just don't know what is. And the pasta I will get to eat.. those who know me well enough know my strong affiliation with carbohydrates and starches alike. I teach again tomorrow, I should have more to discuss at that point on that subject. I received a 95 on my first International Law exam. Hello :-) I have another exam on Tuesday in my Politics of Econ. Relations course, which will prove to be very challenging as I understand, the instructor however is an incredible mind. She is a very intelligent, well traveled woman who has made herself very accessible to students - man I wish she read this blog. At any rate, moments to pick apart her brain are always appreciated.
I've inserted a video for viewing pleasure, I understand my finger covers most of the screen but I do feel that there are times when the image behind is easily visible and understood, it's very short but I would recommend turning down the volume on your computers. This was the water condition the morning of one of my runs here in Thessaloniki, along the Aegean. I'll say it again, I run along the Aegean Sea. Hi, my name is Chelsea and I live six blocks from the mediterranean, so I run the sea line every morning. Would you believe that the Greek military is the most common honker of horns? (Finetically spelled) - " Koukla, Koukla!!" Which means "cutie" in essence. Efharisto.
I'd like to take this time to discuss a blossoming mind. I have come to realize the incredibly short amount of time I have in this life, and even more so the incredible possibilities that are at three arms reach.For instance, it is plausible that an individual from the states can go to a country, fall in love with it, and stay. It's a thought that has potential, who says you have to remain in your country of origin, who says the adventure of moving to a place you adore and starting over - isn't possible? As a descendant of a country made of other countries migrants, would it not be encouraged to continue the global population flow? There is this overly romanticized idea flowing that said individual could start a whole other lineage within their family, they could marry the foreign, create the foreign, and be forever known as the family member who started a new life in Greece. I told you, don't test me.
I'm discovering that maybe I don't know what I want to do after all. Maybe I just know where I want to be. Maybe it would be more important to choose a career that fits into my life, than choose a career that makes my life. I have a growing interest in religious diversity, political comedy, human rights, legal matters (Duh), language, business.. I wonder, who wants to pay me to just be a student all my life? With that thought, I leave you. A hot shower, a cup of coffee, and a slip into bed. Kalinihta Koukla-s.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Rise and Shine

Mornings in Thessaloniki are an experience in themselves. As I have it set up, I wake up with no choice but to look directly out of my balcony door, for which I open the curtains intentionally before bed. Most days, the sun is already shining. My first few breaths in wake are the most calm, the most peaceful, the most rested. I'll have you know this is not influenced by the comfortability of my bed, which is only slightly softer than rock solid. Of course, if I recall correctly from a very popular, very reputable, witty film - "Two Weeks Notice" - I could also mention that a firmer mattress puts more pressure on the 4th and 5th vertebrae which influences a deeper sleep. If you can't trust Sandra Bullock, who can you trust? I live in one of the highest apt. buildings in my neighborhood, there is a woman in the building who every morning about this time puts her laundry out to dry. These are not small loads, mind you, which leads me to believe that there may be a rather sizable group of people living in that apartment. This, from what I understand is not uncommon. Not only from an economical perspective but also from the strong family ties which seem to lie in almost every culture except American culture. In the apartment above her, I have only seen the tenant in the window once. It's a very small window.. originally I saw what appeared to be a bed comforter dangling out of the window - but when I looked again I saw a figure passing the window.. wearing the bed cover. I must wonder - did I miss a strip show? The tops of the buildings are the most intriguing to me. They have roofs, then extra construction materials atop said roofs. Just int eh one next to me, I identify a mailbox looking items (for the stork ?), dispersed free standing bricks, an AC unit, a couple of cylinder things, and few square objects. Might I also mention, there is an office chair atop this roof. Yes, an office chair. Sitting directly outside of the window which is barred. What observations. I tell you, without naivety, in the morning hours, afternoons, and lively night hours, I love no place more than this. Mark my words, all I need is Cleo to make this home.