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From Athens

March 10, 2011

Night before last, I went walking and when it got dark, I stopped into the first little cafe I found. It was perfect- my favorite band, Within Temptation was playing on the stereo, and Nightwish and all of my other favorites. I ordered a pot of tea and I smoked and looked around and watched the people and listened to my favorite music. After I had been there a while, a girl and her two companions asked me to join them- they were curious about the girl who didn’t speak Greek sitting alone. I sat with them for several hours. Sophie, the girl who invited me, and her boyfriend Stravos (spelling) are in University for Civil Engineering (basically what Dad does) and their friend Vilsilios (who spoke less English than them and let me call him Bill because I could not say his name) is in the Army. Stravos suggested I call him John, but I could say his name. We talked about all kinds of really interesting things. I had heard that the Greeks were friendly and welcoming, but I really didn’t expect the outpouring of affection from the whole country. Around midnight, I got hungry and they took me to a vendor on the square that sold amazing pita things and bought me one. I had a great time.

Yesterday, after I got back to the hotel after a long day of walking (as I have done all day, every day since I got here) there was a note slid under my door from Sophie, saying she would be at a specific cafe until ten or so with a girlfriends and Vilsilios and I should come. I did, and I met a few more Greek students. We talked politics and history and philosophy and other things until very late. Stravos came (he doesn’t look anything like a normal Greek- blonde and blue eyed and very, very tall) later and had stopped off and bought more of the amazing pita things as a surprise for us. I’m so surprised at how kind they’ve been to me, and how proud of their country they are. One of the things we spoke on was the problem with wages in Greece- they pay 400 euros plus electric, gas etc., for their apartments, but someone with a masters degree will only make 500-1000 euros a month. It makes me feel even more honored when they didn’t let me pay for my drinks or food.

Tomorrow, Sophie and Vilsilios offered to take me to the archaeological museum near the acropolis.

I hope all is well at home!

Belle

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