So, clearly, I didn’t have internet for the past … six months. I didn’t forget about this blog, I just switched to writing on my computer (diary style) since I couldn’t post. But a friend gave us a mobile internet stick and I am actually writing this from our house. So this is what we’ve been up to for the past six months:
We moved back to the same island. Instead of living in the village where we lived last year, down by the sea, we moved into a small but TWO ROOM apartment (this is exciting – last year it was one room) in the Capital Village (I love saying that) of the island, a huge metropolis of about 100 people. But it has two grocery stores and a green grocer / butcher! And restaurants that didn’t close until mid-November! And a convenience store that only stopped selling newspapers in December! And my husband can walk to work every day but Thursdays!
I love living in the capital, which is called Chora, which is the same name as the capital village of almost every island in this part of Greece. Chora means “country,” but in this case it means something like “place where people live” as opposed to “fields.” I love that I can go shopping every day (which I do) for our daily groceries, and that there are more people around so I don’t feel lonely.
Our apartment is pretty good too. I will post photos when I have the patience to upload them but the view, in every direction, is breathtaking. The apartment has a bedroom, a bathroom, and a unified area that serves as a kitchen, dining area, and living room. The kitchen is better than last year for several reasons. The refrigerator is the same size (mini) but it *has a freezer* and the freezer does work. It’s just a shoebox size, but that’s okay. I’ll take it. The oven/stove is worse, though. It’s only got ONE burner. Think of something really easy to cook. Spaghetti with tomato sauce. You need a pot to boil the pasta, and a pan to make the sauce. What do I do? I boil the pasta. When it’s almost ready, I put the pot, without draining, in the sink, and then make the sauce. Then when the sauce is ready, I strain the pasta and add it to the sauce. It about doubles the cooking time, of course. But, that said, it has an oven, which sort of works, which measures about 18″ wide. It’s okay.
I have a lot more space. I have counters! I have a whole counter dedicated just to spices and herbs! I have a coffee corner! I have cupboards! I have a long garlic braid hanging on the wall! I have a double sink! And best of all, thanks to my amazing mother in law, I have a pressure cooker, which has completely changed my life and has saved us huge amounts of money in water and electricity, not to mention time.
We don’t have a washing machine or a dryer, so I do the laundry by hand most mornings. It’s okay … it’s worth it for the other perks.
Aside from the house, we have been doing community theater (my husband thought of it, organized it, and is the director; I’m an actress in it), Spanish lessons, and a political science course in which we learn about Greek and European Union politics (the whole ‘how a bill becomes a law’ thing, which we all learn in school about our own country, but you never learn how they do it in other countries). I also teach English to a friend. My husband runs two choruses, one for kids and one for adults. So our evenings are pretty full. During the day, after the chores (shopping, laundry, cooking, cleaning), I work on my dissertation (which, I must be honest, was easier when I had internet access).
I do miss the academic community in Athens but I love living here. My husband and I spend a lot of time together, we eat really well (everything is still homemade, I’ve just gotten better at it), and we are still on the same really strict budget we’ve been on since last June. It’s all going pretty well.
We traveled a bit: we went to Syros, a big island out here, and Corfu, a big island far away, for a few days around New Year’s. We’re planning to hold a wedding and reception (didn’t do that when we actually got married…) in Corfu, so we had to scout out a venue and all that. We still aren”t sure how to fit it into our budget of almost nothing, but we’ve been saving for it in any case.
There’s a lot more to say and I’ll come back to say it soon, now that I seem to have internet access finally!