The Dog Days Are NOT Over

So some dogs chased Charlie today. She went to pet it (which really wasn’t a great idea, but he DID look sorta nice) and he basically growled and chased her a bit. There are a lot of stray animals here, primarily cats and dogs and especially dogs. Most of them are sickly looking, mangy, and definitely not owned by any singular person. What I mean by that is that some of these dogs are owned communally, by neighborhood. Some have collars, some don’t, some are friendly, some aren’t. There was one that followed Mary and I as we came back from shopping one evening. He had a collar on, and he didn’t snap at us, so we decided to feed him a ham sandwich and give him some water. We see food and water laid out here and there, presumably for dogs like these.

But I mean it when I say there are a lot of dogs. Why? We discussed this briefly in one of our classes, actually. The Greeks don’t spay or neuter their animals, more or less because they view the suppression of one’s sex to be demeaning. It’s against the culture, so in this case, the animals run rampant. Unfortunately, though they may view this suppression negatively, they feel just fine leaving poisoned food out to take care of the overpopulation, or so I remember hearing.

This is just another vast difference from the States, where spaying and neutering is an extreme commonality in just about every household. We still put animals down, particularly the stray ones, but I view the our population control factor as more…maybe humane isn’t the right word, but efficient certainly is.

…I feel as though I sound like some government official from a futuristic Sci-Fi flick.


Shot Down on Sunday

I’m feeling Dursley-eque at the moment. Similar sentiment, wrong connotation. If you ever happen to visit Greece, keep in mind that a lot of public places are closed on Sundays, especially if you have to go grocery shopping like us. Unfortunately were barred from most food sources that didn’t include a waiter. The kiosks were available, but that can only supply so much (like chips, ice cream, milk, beverages, and candy).

So why are all these places closed? Same reason why places close in small towns in the US: it’s a holy day, a day for God. At least, that’s what I’ve been told. I did a little research on my own (very little) and I saw that a few people mentioned a law of some sort that made it illegal for most any shops to be open on Sunday. I don’t know why that is, because the link I tried to hunt down was broken. It might be illegal because of the religious connotation, which makes it so only florists, bakeries, restaurants, and kiosks are open.

This is certainly different from the States, Heaven knows what kind of riots would break out if the soccer moms couldn’t stock up on Gatorade for the rest of the week. The US is built to cater to convenience as it is, and such a religious notion is lost among the throngs of multiculturalism that the States house. You might see stores closed on Sunday in a small town, probably near the Bible Belt, but that’s about it.

We wanted to pick up ingredients to make brownies, so it wasn’t a big deal, but it sure sucked to walk all over the place in hopes of finding at least one open market. I wonder if the Greeks have considered opening up Sunday, especially with their economy in mind.

The Burnout Inferno

So…tired…windmill…powering cities…ughhh.

The gist of this, if you haven’t caught on, is that I’m running outta fuel. I’m beat, worn out, spent, running on fumes, knackered, bushed, bone tired. Not so much from schoolwork or anything, but just from everyday chores and the trips with the Kaplans. All the walking, talking, cleaning, observing, and absorbing is wearing me thin, and I was really happy that today ended up being very, very chill. Mary and I watched a little bit of Rome and Game of Thrones before heading out to class. Yesterday was all classes, and nothing happened other than taking notes and food shopping.

Instead of cooking tonight, though, we went out to eat (yet again), and a piece of Greek culture caught my attention today just like it did when we first arrived. The dining here works a bit differently, meaning that the check usually doesn’t come unless you ask for it…and sometimes that can take a while. This is so unlike American dining, where the check comes immediately after the waiter/waitress knows you’re finished eating. We’ve discussed this in class, that the dining here is more of a social tool rather than a mode for eating: the food comes second while the conversation with family and friends comes first. This is primarily concerning cafes, but restaurants are also used in this manner. Even the type of furniture relays this aspect, most places having more couches and coffee tables rather than chairs and high tables.

Our art history professor at a rather awkward moment

Ah, and there was a little soccer match after our pot luck last night. I decided to edit a bit of the footage I got: enjoy.