We went out and visited Corinth, Mycene, and Nauplio yesterday, along with a friend of the Kaplan’s who lives in Corinth. She gave us a condensed tour of pottery and sculpture, along with basic architecture. What’s more, though, is that she invited us into her home and served us tea, lemonade, and homemade corn/apple bread. There aren’t many houses in Athens; instead, the streets are crowded with apartments stacked upon one another. One reason for this is because Athens is a city, the capital in fact, so taking up vertical space is just about the only way to go with such a miniscule amount of land to house 1/3 of Greece’s inhabitants. Another explanation lies in Greece’s familial peculiarities, meaning the way in which the Greek family interacts with one another. In most cases, families tend to stick together, living nearer to each other than most American families are comfortable with: this means that the apartments serve as a multilayer home for different branches of the family. I certainly wouldn’t want to live this way, but I can see the appeal of it to a family-based culture.
Anyway, since there aren’t many houses in Athens, it was cool to see one out in Corinth while we snacked on the bread.
Afterwards, we climber more mountains and looked at more rocks, carefully stalked deep into a cave thing, ran through a museum (or at least I did), checked out a tomb, and finished the day off by the sea. There was a castle by said sea, one which we drove to rather than climbing 999 steps (or something like that).
While we were by the ocean, I persuaded Mary to jump in the water by the bay with me (what can I say? The ocean was calling). Nicki, Hannah and Chase did as well, and we were soaking wet all the way back to the dorms.
Today was less traveling and more of just…whatever. After Jimmy gave his presentation on the Agora downtown (which was very well done), the girls and I headed for home with hopes of picking up some groceries, which we were in desperate need of…but there’s this thing, you see. Most places are closed on Sundays, including all of the stores we hunted down on the way back. In fact, store times also close during siesta time everyday, which is from around 2-5:30. This time slot is reserved for relaxation and naps, which can either be extremely welcoming or horrifyingly inconvenient. Most of the time we just work around it, which is easy to do because the bulk of our classes are during that time anyway. It didn’t work so well for us today, obviously, and it makes me eternally grateful for the accessibility of nearly anything back in the US.
At the same time, though, this whole practice of taking time out of everyday life to enjoy oneself is somewhat novel, and, even more so, respectable. Of course most Americans couldn’t take this kind of time for themselves and enjoy it, because our ideals provoke us to utilize every second of our time in attempts of accomplishing something. Or at the very least, dedicating ourselves in the pursuit of something.