So I have wrapped up my first week as an intern in Thessaloniki, Greece and a lot has happened! Mainly getting to know the lovely seaside cit of Thess, moving into my first “big girl apartment” and trying to put the seven words of Greek that I can speak to good use. This first week included a lot of meandering around the city. I have a trick to finding my way in a new place: get as lost as possible. Then at that point, when you look up at the street sign and realize you have no idea where you are, you pull out a map and try to get home. There is no prouder feeling than making it back to where you started!
One minor detail: everything is written in Greek letters. Therefore I cannot simply point to a map and ask someone how to get to any street. Instead, I’m lost and looking for a street that begins with a triangle, followed by a squiggly line, then an M then a circle with a line through it. Suddenly, everything is a lot harder. Thanks to Iowa State Greek life, I have been taught all of the pronunciations of the Greek letters SO if I stare at a street sign for 3-4 minutes sounding out each individual letter like a kindergartner, I am able to figure it out after a little while!
Here is a quick run-down of what I have learned about Thessaloniki so far:
- The gyros come with French Fries in them, which means they’re my new favorite food.
- Highway lane lines are merely suggestions
- …as are stop lights
- …….and parking spots for that matter
- Therefore, say a prayer before crossing any street at any time
- Everyone can speak at least a little English. So…keep your thoughts about the cute boy on the bus to yourself because he will laugh and say “Thank You”.
- Gus from My Big Fat Greek Wedding was right: all words stem from Greek words.
- The seafood is super duper fresh–even raw!
- Nothing is what it seems.
- Cheese with a goat on the front? Must be goat cheese! Nope, Feta.
- A medium sized fruit with an orange peel? Must be an orange! Nope, grapefruit.
- A bottle labeled “Wash and Go!”? Must be body wash! Nope, conditioner (although my skin is very soft now)
I am really excited to see what the rest of the summer has in store. I have been reaching out to make a few new friends and have been trying to learn some Greek! Luckily the men and women I work with speak English very well and are very dedicated to teaching me! I will fill in more about my work when I get a little more settled with the job. Until then, yasas!
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