So today (technically yesterday…just roll with it) we went to the center of Athens, and therefore the Parthenon. It was quite the walk up, as it is everywhere in Greece…and not much really happened other than that. We took a small tour of the town area, and ate at a dainty restaurant with all sorts of Greek dishes, served in the Greek style as well. That basically means they put a bunch of plates around the table, a little of everything, and everyone picks off a bite or two from each.
Wait, while we’re on the topic of restaurants, I’d like to mention how much I hate the drinkage system they follow here. Complimentary water at most places, yes, very ritzy. But then you order your drink, which consists of s single bottle and empty cup in which you can pour said drink. This means no automatic refills, no fountain sodas (which I have a sick obsession with). I’m having the worst time remembering this whenever we go out to eat, so I end up chugging whatever I have, which of course leaves me with the choice of either buying another drink, or going without it through lunch/dinner.
I won’t die from this. Don’t mock me, I know this pales in comparison to other cultural shock issues I’ll probably be experiencing. But this is a Katie-Awareness thing, and I am hyper aware of fountain beverages. I haven’t quite figured out why this is, but I think I might go with the assumption that most sodas are probably imported, so you know…waste not want not and all that. I haven’t been to any other part of Europe, but I’ve been told that the non-fountain drink thing is all over. Maybe from the importation thing, or maybe because the idea behind it is more of an American pastime that never carried over.
Brief tidbit: today in class (yes, classes started) the professor (British, might I add) mentioned that the pieces of the Parthenon are nearly all replicas due to the damage from smog to the actual remnants. The real parts are stored away, which makes the whole experience a little less captivating. Another worry is that all the grindage from tourist’s feet are wearing down what’s left of the Acropolis, which is a valid issue. It makes you wonder what’s more important: the tourism industry, which supports most of Greece’s economy and requires the Acropolis to remain open; or preserving Greece’s history, which would require reduced exposure but still requires funding from, probably, tourism.