Greece

An Essay By Ben // 5/2/2002

Dear Homeschooling Friends,

I'm writing you from Kalamata, Greece right now! My semester in Roma finished on the 25th of April, and the day after I took a ferry over to Patras. I have visited Athens, the Delphi, and many other places since. I just left Pylos, one of the most beautiful places in the world (in my humble opinion).

Here are some excerpts from the journal that I am keeping...

From May 1st:

...All the buses I've traveled on have icons of Mary and the Christ Child, except for one bus that only had a huge red sticker heart pasted on the rearview mirror. BP is really the largest gasoline provider here....
...I had a great time visiting/discovering the ruins in Mycenae - the castle of Agamemnon (from Homer's Iliad). At first I was mostly tired as I walked up to it. I hadn't had anything to eat but two cookies since lunch the day before (24 hours ago), and that lunch was small. I'm just not hungry here! I long for my stomach to growl again. I eat, and it tastes good, but then 5 hours later even the smell of cooking does nothing to me to speak of. Maybe it is nervousness combined with Greece's different water and food. But, anyway, once I began walking and jumping around the ruins like a goat I was enthralled. I "discovered" storage areas, wells, an underground passage, pieces of pottery, some animals - a large turtle, lizards, a dung beetle, a hawk or falcon, and a piece of marble with a figure cut into it. Today I spent about 2 hours searching for the tombs outside the castle walls. I wandered through olive groves and prickly bush - but with no results. It seems the archeology work continues still. It is really incredible to stand where the characters in ancient history and literature once lived....
...Today has been so long I can't remember all of it! I took a bus from Mycenae to Argos at 11am. An old woman spoke lots of Greek to me as we paged through my archeology book and waited for the bus to arrive. Then she had me sit next to her on the bus as she made jokes. A lady had passed us before without saying "kalimera" (good morning), and the old lady said she was a proud one. I laughed. When we reached Argos I had to wait about 3 hours for the bus to Tripoli. I was feeling so footsore that I just waited in the bus station room for most of the time. I did get a gyro and 3 oranges from the open-air market, though. I put out a cigarette for an old woman. It seems old women have a particular affinity for me. Just before dinner I was walking in Pylos around 9:45 and an old woman was having trouble opening her front door. She called me over after I had said "kalispera", and I tried to open it. I couldn't, and she began mourning and praying for divine help. Just after she did this, I leaned on the door - about to leave - and it flew open! She crossed herself in surprise smiling, and I did the same!....

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I'd like to copy out more, but I should go. I didn't realize it when I first came, but this week is Holy Week and Easter for the Greek Orthodox people. There are many people traveling to visit home and family for this special time of the year.

Well, I should go find dinner (even though I'm not feeling hungry) and get to my hotel room before it gets too much later. I don't feel completely comfortable being by myself in this city at night.

enjoy apricotpie!

Ben

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