My flight was on time, connecting at Charles de Gaulle was flawless (how awesome is that view of the alps?!), meeting the CYA admin at the Athens airport was a breeze, and I didn’t get ripped off on cab fare to my apartment. In other words, everything has gone right and my semester in Greece could not have gotten off to a better start.
After being dropped off outside of my apartment with one of my roommates we did some minimal unpacking before heading over to CYA’s academic center. The apartment is a short five minute walk to the building and we later found out there are two other CYA apartments in our building. We seem to have everything we need in the apartment including a balcony that comes off the bedroom, although the kitchen is a bit tight.
Dinner was provided at CYA after taking care of mobile phone plans and picking up orientation materials (its like first year at Wellesley all over, minus the tears…). There are about 70 people in our program however many were delayed due to the horrible weather. Later that evening I was somehow able stay awake and go out with two of my roommates and some other people we have met to scope out the local bar scene (its very pleasant). At this point I think I had been running on an hour of sleep in the past 40 hours but for some reason that lack of Zzzzzs had not caught up to me yet. Two Heinekens and a taste of ouzo later I was ready to go to bed in my new Athens apartment so I did just that.
Day 1 of orientation began today at 9:30 with breakfast, survival modern Greek, and lots of listening to people talk about life in Athens. Lunch was served followed by a walking tour of our Pangrati neighborhood. Everything is within walking distance (grocery, pharmacy, post office), even the Acropolis takes just 15 minutes to get to (although I have yet to venture there yet). This evening we went to a local Taverna with a member of the staff so that we could try all the wonderful food of Athens. Everything was served family style so we could sample all of the dishes
Overall, the past 48 hours has been so jam packed with activities and to-do lists. Athens has made a positive impression on me so far, there is so much to comment on but I’ll leave that to another post.