Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ziploc bags

So they don’t have Ziploc bags in Greece. I even Googled it to see if I had just missed them and came across someone’s blog that had heard this and stockpiled them before moving here. Even weirder is that people look at you weird when you eat your lunch you brought from home. I don’t really get it but apparently no one brings a home lunch to school with them. I for one am not going to buy a lunch every day that would be absurdly expensive.
 I have also learned that however much I don’t fit in with Americans in the clothing department it’s like a million times worst in Greece. So as you all know I’m not way into fashion or shopping or brands or anything and the other study abroad students are. The other day they were talking about how forever 21 is ‘very European’ and how excited they were that it was. I don’t even know if we have a forever  21 in the Provo Towne Centre. My clothes are ‘too bright’; I was told that even my hoodies were bright. Well I guess I will just be the American with bright clothes. I do go out of my way to find bright colored clothes I like them and I’m not changing.

Classes are really small. They are capped at like 20 students. Some of my classes only have like 4 students. My biggest class has like 22 students and some of them were there today getting special forms signed so they could be in it because it’s over capacity.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

First solo metro ride

So church on Sunday was awesome! Everyone was so nice and it was mostly in English. The Relief Society president, Sister Hicks, told me that on her way to church she was thinking hey since my son is sick today I can give someone a ride home from church. I was extremely happy not to have to walk home since it takes me like 40 min to walk there. While at church they made an announcement about an activity for the Greek holiday Clean Monday. I asked how to get there and the sister missionaries said they would meet me at the metro at Akropoli. I had no idea how to get there so sister Hicks drew me a map of the metro system and how to get to where they would meet.
Monday morning I woke up and started on my first solo excursion into Athens. I could not remember where they told us to buy bus passes and I missed the first bus to the metro. But this nice old lady helped me even though she only knew like 3 words in English and I only know like 5 words in Greek we figured it out and I got on the next bus and made it all the way to the church activity without getting lost! I was really proud of myself.
So the church in Greece is really small. I met these girls there and asked them about how many YSA and YW and YM there were and they were like well were like the only ones in young womens so it’s really small. When I got there and I was talking to people this couple sister missionary from across the room yells over to me you sound like you could be from Utah! I just laughed and she came over and was like I’m from Richfield and I told her where I was from then she goes I made funeral potatoes for today. I was so excited to go hang out with people who didn’t swear all the time. They told me that every Saturday night at 7 they have young adult night. I am excited to go to that on Saturday nights. It will give me a good reason not to go out to bars with all the study abroad students.
I also met a missionary that is from Provo! He said he went to Provo high and I told him where I lived and all the missionaries asked if that was close to the MTC so we explained that if you stood at the MTC gates facing the temple and look at the mountains to the right of the Y that’s where I live.

Sorry I forgot my camera but I will remember it next time for sure. I’ll post pictures of what the church looks like and the views from it they are amazing.

Today was the first day of classes. I went to two classes. The first one had 6 students and the second had 4 but I want to drop that class I was super confused and don’t feel that I would do well in it. I think I would put that homework last and end up never doing it.
Also today I found cheddar cheese. I think I am going to start a list of things I want to eat when I get back to America. I feel like it’s going to be a long long list.
This morning it was snowing when we went to class and
as I was sitting on my bed writing my blog I looked out the window
and it looked so beautiful so here's the picture

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Culture Shock

So going from Mapleton to Ephraim to Cedar City and having never visited a big city where you have to use public transportation then all the sudden moving to a city of like 4 million people and learning how to use public transportation in a foreign language is a huge culture shock. Another huge culture shock is being the only LDS person around instead of being one of the many. You instantly stand out. My roommates asked me if I have ever gotten drunk and I said no. They couldn’t believe that you could have parties and have fun without getting drunk. I feel my friends and I have way better parties because we think of fun activities to do so we are always doing something different, not just going to the bar and getting drunk. Also swearing every other word is something I just don’t get.

Greeks have a crazy way of life, or at least what I’ve seen of it. They seem to be night owls and I am not a night owl I am an early bird! They also have a quiet time in the city I live in, like siesta, from 3-5pm. All the stores close and you are supposed to keep outside noise to a minimum. I have no clue what store hours are because they seem to be different every day.

It seems like everyone who is on this study abroad spends money like it’s going out of style. And they have all been to Europe before and travel within the United States often. I feel out of place when they talk about all the traveling they have done and when they ask me they can’t believe that this is the first time I have ever left the country. To them that is just unimaginable.   

This is going to be one of the best things I could have done. I don’t think I would’ve ever had an experience like this and I have realized I want to stay in Utah. I like my little towns and grid system. I miss both very much.

Today I went into Athens with 2 other study abroad students. The only way I can see to describe it is take Tijuana, the LA Mart, and the Gateway mall and mix them all together add lots of old churches and columns and you have Athens.

The blogger way of uploading pictures frustrates me sometimes so I’m going to try something new. Tell me if you like it or don’t and I can make changes as necessary.

All pictures should be on this site let me know if you can’t view them and I will find a better way

Found out how to watch TV

I googled a ton and figured out how to use the awesome app Jordan told me about to use the home computer to watch Hulu! So no worries I can still use all of the awesome stuff in America. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Things that don't work in Greece

Hulu- I can’t watch any of my tv shows!

Netflix- ya that’s right a semester of no movies!

I can’t even make my splashtop app work so I can use my tablet to use the home computer to watch hulu.

I even tried just going directly to the sites but even then it says that it detects that I’m in a country that doesn’t allow you to watch them.

I even tried Xfinity. I have got to figure out how to watch American TV shows while here.

If you’re ever bored go to that’s how it comes up every time I open the internet.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Today we had a campus tour. The campus is kinda confusing and its all gated so you need an ID to be able to get in. They broke up the study abroad group and like put us in groups with some native Greeks and of course some of the study abroad students were in your group. I learned a lot about Greece and the culture today. Also I learned that all the study abroad students want to learn is how to swear in Greek. I just tuned those out, which is easy because it’s all Greek to me!

Also you all need to know that websites automatically come up in Greek even if you type .com. Like Google is my homepage and it’s in Greek and it’s kinda hard to get it to be in English you like have to go through the email to turn it into English. Like even Blogger is in Greek. It’s a good thing I remember what buttons do what.
this is my room. I am standing up against the door in
the picture below like in the corner 
Here I'm standing just outside of the sliding glass door

This is the view from my balcony off of my room

This is the other way off of my balcony

and another view off of my balcony

This is on campus. The balls are not secured to the ground when I
jumped up on it it was all wobbly so I didn't want to stand up

I have no clue what these are but they are all over campus
 its like a super fancy garden hose hook up

somewhere in this picture there is the Olympic stadium.
You can see it better in person

A view of Athens from campus

A view of Athens from campus

This is the Soccer field and Olympic sized track.
 Where I'm standing is like right at the pool

This is the pool the Olympic athletes practiced in. There is a dome over it now but in like Aprilish I guess they take it off and it's an outdoor pool.
Hey mom they told us that Michael Phelps always practiced in lane 7 

We saw this shop on the way to the grocery store.
I'm not sure if you want to know what those are if you really do leave a comment
The guy on the far left kinda in shadow is Kostas, hes kind of a native but not really, I dont remember the guys name in the background then the guy with the hat is Lucas hes from Kansas.

I have found what I am addicted to.
All day all I wanted to eat was a peanut butter sandwich.
We finally went to the store at like 6 or 7. It is pretty far from where we live like a 20 min walk or so.
This jar of peanut butter cost 5,72€ which is $7.61 USD The card next to it is the size of a credit card, I didnt want my credit card to be in the picture.

Drivers here are crazy! No one ever has the right of way like seriously no one and everyone at the same time. If you are crossing the street you have to wait for an opening becuase the cars do not stop or slow down for you!
This picture is of a car parked on the sidewalk, which is totally normal, on the corner!

Dad said to buy cookies but I didn't but wanted to show him they do have Cookies

Well its like now midnight in Greece so good night everyone!

The very interesting trip to Aghia Paraskevi

Ok so I know I said I would post pictures of the airports but I accidently packed my camera in my bag that I checked in so you'll get pictures of Greece soon.
This post I started writing on February 21 and just finished today. But it was pretty much the same day since I didn't really sleep much.
There’s a weird assortment of people in airports and on airplanes. I gave myself plenty of time to get through security and good thing I did because the line was waaaaaay loooooong, and then they put my bag through the scanner 2 times because there were too many cords in it. Ok so I did have my laptop cord, my Xoom cord, my power converter, and my cell phone charger AND like 4 pair of shoes. At the Salt lake airport they make you go through the x-ray things instead of the metal detectors. On my flight from Salt Lake to Dallas I sat next to this girl who acted as though she was better than flying economy in what might be the worst seats on the plane. You can’t see out your window because the engine thingy is blocking it. They overbooked the flight and tried to get me to check in my carry on at the gate but the second person decided that I change flights one too many times for them to be able to keep track of it (this worried me about my bag that I did check) since it has an extra set of clothes and stuff just in case. This was the hottest and loudest flight I had ever been on.

I hate the Dallas Fort Worth airport. It is huge and confusing, and you have to catch a train to get to the other terminals but they do have charging stations so I got all of my electronics charged and ready for this 9 hour flight. I kinda like flying at night it’s interesting to see the clusters of lights and the one lonely house out in the middle of nowhere. I got a good seat on this flight I got a whole row to myself! Granted it’s only two seats but I can lean against the window and stretch out and I don’t have to ask every time I want to get up and walk around. They have TVs in the aisles and the movie playing right now is Footloose, not the old Kevin Bacon one though. Hey they just asked me if I want beef and mashed potatoes or lasagna for dinner, I chose lasagna. It came with a salad and a double chocolate crunch brownie and a roll and Freshers cream crackers and a cheddar gourmet cheese wedge and butter and a small bottle of water. It is currently 6pm Utah time and I have about 8 hours left before I land.

Sleeping on airplanes is kinda hard. I had two seats to myself against a window and it was hard for me to sleep. For breakfast they served a croissant with jam and yogurt and orange juice. Then I landed in Madrid….

Let’s talk about the most confusing and scariest airport ever. There are signs that have the same information on them right next to each other with arrows pointing different ways. So I was so lost and I took two different trains and went up and down so many elevators I could not tell you how on earth I found my gate. Oh also I was so lost and scared I asked a security guard and before I finished my question he just yelled at me! And said you American and pointed so I just walked that way.

So once I did get on my flight there was like a school group on it and they were super loud and by this point I was so airplane sick and tired and everyone just stood up and talked to each other and walked around it was so weird. Then I finally landed in Greece and that airport made way more sense than the Dallas one and way way more sense than the Madrid one. Then I waited for my bag to come out, the baggage claim there is like the one at the long beach airport but inside before you go out through security. As soon as I walked out of security I saw the study abroad office guy with the sign and was so relieved that I could finally talk in English not broken Spanish. His name is George Daskalakis everyone just calls him George.

So it took like no time at all to get to the apartments from the airport like maybe 40-45 minutes and there were like no cars on the road but no one uses blinkers and they just change lanes at the weirdest times. Then like 20 min after I arrived there was a meeting/dinner thing for all the study abroad students. And you know how people say that when they travel and they say they are from Utah one of the first questions is so are you Mormon? Well at the dinner thing we went around and said our names and where we were from and like everyone after was like so where are you from again and when I would say Utah they had that look like should I ask or not then someone would finally ask and be like so are you Mormon? And I always answered yes I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we usually call ourselves LDS. Well that night everyone got a really small crash course in LDS standards, they all wanted to go to a bar because the legal drinking age is 18 and no one ID’s here and about half of the group is under 21 so I went with them. They were seeing if they could all just split the cost of a bottle of wine so they were asking everyone who wanted wine and stuff and they asked me and I said no thanks I don’t drink I’ll just have a sprite, (which by the way is not like sprite in the US or like Mexico it pretty much tastes like they took some limes and some lemons and squeezed them into soda water and added like a pinch of sugar) so of course they asked me if I just didn’t drink because I wasn’t legal or what and when I said well we just believe that you shouldn’t drink we have a word of wisdom and in it it says not to drink. Well then the questions just kept coming like one girl was like ya you like can’t kiss and stuff like that so I hopefully put a lot of superstitions to rest and helped them to understand it better. I left what they said was early in the night and came back and unpacked and tried to sleep.

My roommates are alright. They are way more into make-up and looks and stuff than I am and are kind of like the artificial, of the world type of girls but I think I can learn to live with it. So one is from South Africa and has kind of an English type accent, one is from Maine but goes to school at San Francisco University, and one is from Jersey Shore. Also they think I way under packed to be here for a semester they all brought like 4 checked bags and I brought one and a small carryon. And most of my clothes fit in it I don’t even think I have four suitcases worth of clothes at home. When they found out I only brought one bag they were like well how many pairs of shoes did you bring? I said like two or three casual shoes and like two or three pair of church shoes they were all like church shoes? What are church shoes? So I explained that I have like shoes I don’t wear every day I usually just wear them to church and they were like you’re going to church while you’re here? And I was like ya every Sunday. And they asked me how I knew there was a church here and I said well the churches website lets you find a meeting house wherever you are. I think the biggest culture shock is being the minority instead of the majority. Really being the only LDS person is weird. And on Saturday  they are all going to what they call a carnival but Kostas said its kinda more like mardigras than like a carnival, everyone just gets drunk and parties all day and they won't be back in time for church so I said I didn’t want to go and they were like so you like can’t miss church and I was like no I can I would just rather go to church.

It’s weird that you can’t just go next door and walk into an apartment full of priesthood holders.

Also these people are like made of money. Their boyfriends and parents and brothers and everyone is going to come out to visit them.

Friday, February 17, 2012


I now have all of my papers needed to leave the country along with airport pick up, and room confirmations now just if my statistics book could come today that would be extremely helpful. Everyone keeps asking me what I’m going to take/do in Greece. Well first I’m going to have a ton of fun I set up my schedule so I don’t have any classes before like 10 and they end at like 2 or 3 so lots of fun is in store. The classes I’m going to take are: Modern Greece(a history class) Mathematics for computing( I took this class as SUU and was 3 questions away from passing the class L) Statistics for business and economics, Cultural perspectives on music, and Tennis.

The School, The American College of Greece Deree, takes the study abroad students on 3 trips. They are to Nafplion and a Greek Winery Tour, Ancient Delphi & Arachova, and Hydra Island.

The housing for the study abroad students is the Olympic housing that they used in the 2004 summer Olympics. I’ve seen some pictures and they seem like apartments in America so I think it will be ok. Also my dad Googled to make sure they have peanut butter and Google says they do so if nothing else I can eat lots of peanut butter sandwiches.

I leave on Tuesday and return in June on father’s day. I sure hope the Chicago airport has some interesting stores because I have a 12 hour layover there in the middle of the night! Well the middle of the night for Chicago but it will be like morning for me since I’ll probably still be running on Greek time.

Thank you aunt Nancy for the books I can now count in 4 languages to ten!

Another thing people keep asking me is if I’m excited or scared or ……to go to Greece for that long. The answer is yes I am all of those things at once and if there was a word to describe excitement, scared, adventurous, nervous, worried, not worried, interested, etc. I would use it often.

Well my next blog will be full of pictures of Greece and various airports and my adventure of getting to Greece and going through customs.

Also I found an app that lets me download youtube videos so I can watch them off line I found lots of videos on how to speak Greek. This one is days of the week and how to count.