To Nafplion

Long drive but relatively easy. No crashes, a few close calls (hell, this is Greece, you can’t walk out the door without a few close calls) but we made it all the way to the peninsula town of Nafplion. Nothing much to report so let me share a few lists I’ve made.

Things that have surprised me in Greece
1) this is still a smoking society. Non-smoking is outside a few blocks down, thank you very much.
2) Not many sewers can deal with toilet paper so we’re still depositing it in garbage cans. Never knew TP would be so tough.
3) All the menus list frozen food and what oil was used. Unfortunately, much of the seafood was listed as frozen or else I would have gone seafood nuts.
4) Pollution. With so many cars, motorbikes, scooters and 2 stroke engines puttering around, the taste of the air is often pretty grim. Being green has not even remotely hit many parts of Greece traffic-wise.
5) English is creeping into signage and common usage. Mini-mart. Transfer. Business (and my favourite, a misspelling, signage spelled singage). The Greeks survived the Arabs and Venetians and Turks but may well fall to the power of English.
6) That so many roads have been started, so many building renovations begun, but so few finished. It’s almost like they get paid to start but then have to move on to get paid to start something new.
7) Graffiti is everywhere. I’m surprised the car hasn’t been sprayed but graffiti sure does take away from the beauty of quaint alleys or thousand- year-old buildings. The Greeks need to get a handle on this.
8) With the exception of the police and both the car repair guys, many people here speak enough English for us to get along. Knowing how little Greek we speak, hell how little French we speak, it’s to their credit that they know so many languages. I hang my head in shame.
9) The Michelin map was, at best, a best guess at roads. Michelin! Map! I think M will be writing a letter.

Six things I will not Bring next time
1) Writing. No time for it. It’s all I can do to keep a blog going.
2) Beige socks. Who wears beige socks? (either that, or I’ll have to bring beige pants)
3) Ipod. Only time I went to use it, it had run out of power.
4) Bath-gel. Every place has soap. What was I thinking?
5) 8 pens. I kept putting a pen in a suitcase forgetting I’d put one there already. What a doof.
6) Shoe polish. Not used much on sandals.

Seven Things I Will Have To Remember to Bring
1) small book to write notes in. Hard to make notes on your laptop while talking to the police.
2) Half socks that allow me to wear shoes and shorts. For some of the tough walks, sandals just don’t cut it/
3) Books that both M and I are interested in. As it stands, today, M has run out of books to read and doesn’t want to read the ones I brought
4) A picture of home or something to show to people who express interest. Could be something to use the Ipod for, so maybe delete #3 above
5) A freaking hat. A baseball cap. Something.
6) Better shoes. I have good walking shoes for Victoria walking but on rough or wet surfaces, they weren’t much better than sandals. Could be that I need to be in better shape too but I like the blame the shoes, yes, the shoes, it was their fault.
7) A cell phone (and figure out how to use it) Pay phones blow.

Things I Miss About Home
1) Freya. Fortunately we have the most incredible, amazing young woman looking after our little girlie but still, we miss her.
2) News. Oh, I know, it sure didn’t really do me any harm not to hear about the typhoons or earthquakes or latest atrocities of man on man but what about Obama and Clinton, what about the Champion’s cup, what about Britney, is she still bald and insane?!? These are things I need to know
3) Flushing toilet paper town the toilet.
4) Drivers that obey signs, drivers that obey traffic laws, drivers that don’t honk, honk, honk all the time, drivers that park in designated parking stalls, drivers that don’t pass me on the left while I make a left hand turn. I told M, for 3 months, anytime I made a peep about local traffic, all she had to do to shut me up was say, “Greece.”
5) Internet connection. Instant. Internet. Poor M has been driven to using some very salty language by hit and miss connections. Could be something with our computer but I’d rather blame the Greeks.
6) Friends. I know, kinda cheesy but we miss them and want to know how they are doing. Has Sean come out of the closet at last? Have Sheila’s kids all decided to go to Egypt with her? Is Gord back at work? Where the hell in Greece is Paul from? Are we driving Helga and Paula mad with our vague foodie descriptions? Is Mark Lindenberg really plotting to kill me? Is anyone still reading the blog or should I have put in more sex?
7) Our comfy bed. Not that the beds here have been that bad but we are getting old now, oh yes, and one night on a bad bed is like a week on the rack. Sadly, we are creaky and fussy and I doubt this will get better any time soon.
8) Freya

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