Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Lesson in Clubbing and A Trip to Ikea

So this weekend, we had a trip to Ikea (pronouced here as IK-KEY-AH otherwise no one know what the hell you're talking about) planned. We has been concerned about the old cash flow, I find these Euro things a bit difficult to get on with, but decided to go an have a look anyway, and with a budget in mind, I knew would be able to get a few bits needed to add a few more homely touches to chez moi's bedroom.

Apparently a trip to IK-KEY-AH is something of a family outting in Athens! We zipped around the upstairs enjoying the views of fabulously put together show rooms, silently wishing our empty echoey lounge would somehow transform in to an Ikea palace. So far, our prayers to the God of Soft Furnishings have gone unanswered. Off we went to the downstairs, where you can actually touch things and put them in your yellow bag to BUY!!! As we went down the stairs, it was like entering the inside on an ant's nest - people everywhere - suddenly your I kea bag turns in to a form of defence saying you from being battered by mad Athenians with armfuls of material and crockery.

My main reason to go enter the Sweedish den was to purchase a fabulous bed set. I have discovered the secret to loving my room is all about colour at the moment, and on my last trip, had spied a fabulous, if slightly garish, duvet cover. Well this was where the nightmare really started. We started in very British manner, no please you go first and all that jazz, but after 30 minutes of trying to decide which cover i wanted, as slightly garish cover unavilable, we were sweating and had headaches of the worst degree. It was time for full on elbow out, Greek grabbing what you wanted as soon as you could, and if you bruise someone in the process, well never mind, their fault for being in the way!

As we made our way to the checkout, we were both exhausted, hungry and feeling a little fragile. Combine this with a half hour wait for a cab, there was a need for crisps and juice as we sat waiting for a cab to collect. Eventually, the yellow light of hope arrived, and off we sped to heaven, also known as home, to relax before getting out dancing shoes on!

After some stop starting, yes and noing, to and froing, we decided yes we would hit Gazi for giggles and good times! The excitement started to get going as we decided what to wear, spangle shorts for Saturday night dancing for me, and a sexy backless number for my lovely flatmate. Off we tottered in eagerness, hailed a cab and off we sped!

Or so we thought...after THE most slow and jerky journey we finally reached Gazi. We trotted to Soho Bar, said hello to our friends that work there, and relaxed enjoying the music, a drink and some snacks which arrive at our table. We sat for a wee while, untill the pumping bassline was too much we hit the dancefloor.

Ahhh English Girls, a salute for us where ever we are in the world, I think we know how to have fun the best! As we strutted our stuff on the dancefloor, giggles at each other and just had general silly-ness, we noticed we were the only girls dancing, and that we were quickly becoming victims of murder on the dancefloor. Yes sir, it seems the Greek girls have an unwriten rule: CLUBBING INVOLVES STANDING ON THE DANCEFLOOR, POSING AND SIPPING ONES DRINK. ONE MUST NEVER LOOK LIKE ONE IS HAVING FUN! They laugh, make fun, push and make any kind of spitefull look is thrown in our direction. On this occassion, it really felt much worse than usual. Is there a reason to behave like this?

I feel unfair to tar all Greek girls with the same brush - we have some lovely Greek female friends, who I really like, and have never ever behaved this way towards us. But it saddens me to think this is the way to behave towards us, after all we're looking to have a good time and get on aren't we?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A step back in time

One month in Athens....and even though it is passing so quickly, I'm still not completely there yet. My friend and I always seem to end up having coffee and discussing the fact that, actually, Greece, or maybe its just Athens, is stuck in the 1980's.

The teenagers all love 80's rock music, and nothing is simple. For example, we needed to pay our electricity bill, and so the whole of Kalithea seems to need to do the same thing. So off we go, after the obligatory coffee, to the electricity office to pay the bill. It appeared that the whole of Kalithea was also there, with the que right out of the door. And before you ask, no you can not pay on th ineternet or just post a cheque.

Last weekend I took myself off to The National Archealogical Museam in Pireaus. I thought this would be the ideal opportunityto be a culture vulture and enjoy the treasures unearthed in the harbour. So there I was enjoying the most amazing bronze sculptures, when a small old man with a wonky eye accosts me. I couldn't escape from him, because he worked at the musuem!!! He followed me arouns and told me that I should NOT be learning Greek but that I should just know it, that I needed to find a nice doctor to make me glamrous?? and that he was very lonely. It was only when a Japanease tourist approached for important photographic opportunity, that i siezed my chande and ran like the wind out of the museum and in to the street.

So having only used up 20 minutes of the afternoon set aside for musuem'ness'. I headed in to Athens, to be typical Ally and go shopping along Ermou. Mango, Zara, H & M and Marks and SSparks all have residency here, its amazing!

So we are learning that its impossible to pay any bills, that you need a guard with you when entering musuems, and also that when you go jogging its important to remember to run along side streets or else traffic is at a standstill and tooting car hors can be heard for miles as you run along in all your sweaty glory.

Have I told you how much I love living in Athens?