Monday, June 17, 2013

Fajitas, Minotaurs and Ryan Seacrest

Only in Greece could you find a church at a gas station, and not just any kind of church but a simply beautiful one. This I learned during a pit stop during our exhausting ride home from Knossos, where we did not find the minotaur. The bus/van has been like a second home to the crew who, no matter how much we complain, has the undeniable need to always ride in the van. And I cannot forget to mention our van driver Theo, he is a man of very few words but the things I've learned about him in my time being his co-pilot are quite funny. 1) He has a extremely wide taste in music from Mariah Carey to the Rolling Stones, he even makes his own mix CDs embellished with his own custom CD label. 2) He laughs (his laugh is infectious by the way) when caravans of cars and buses drive past us on the highway because we go 50 km/hr in a 90 km/hr zone (translation: 30mph on the highway) or when cars honk at us. 3) But he will gun the engine when were on a windy mountain road or if we say we need to go to the bathroom and then he pulls on the "shoulder" and says "pee pee." 4) He can drive, smoke and talk on the cell phone all at the same time. I think that the van crew has been the bain of his existence and also his comic relief (we are all quite funny) because he finally started to laugh at our antics and sing-alongs. On the long drive home I was determined DJ since I figured out how to work the stereosystem. After an hour of searching for stations we stumbled upon Taylor Swift's "I knew you were trouble," cue the van sing-along, and then "Call Me Maybe" came on, cue the van sing-along again. It seems that we can't escape Ryan Seacrest even though we are thousand of miles away since we actually found a radio station that did the American Top 40 Countdown.

Today, we went to the U.S. Naval Base in Souda Bay. One minute we were in Crete then we handed our passports over the officers at the gate and then all of a sudden we were in Florida. Palm trees, signs in English saying "don't drink and drive" and "click it or ticket," diners, laundromats and a convenience store dedicated to Doritos, Heinz Ketchup and other American junk food. Needless to say we were pretty much in awe. For all of us it's been at least 2 weeks since we talked to any other Americans besides each other and our families so for me its was kind of strange to hear the Mid-Western accent of Commander Grimes, who ate lunch with us and gave us the briefing along with Commander Gibson. For lunch we had the army base version of fajitas which weren't exactly chipotle but they did the job of giving some of us a little taste of home again even if it was cafeteria food.

Even though all of the things I said sound rather shallow, I think that there is something to be said about the experiences we had this weekend and the cultural differences that were made blatantly obvious. We went from being completely immersed in the Greek culture for 2 weeks straight and then going into a 3 mile radius (that's probably completely false) U.S. Navy base and you would never think you were in a foreign country but on a college campus. Here in Greece there are no rules of the road and if there are no one follows them. We may complain about the way Theo drives, then again we are Massachusetts/Boston drivers, but we do appreciate the favor he is doing us by driving us around to all our excursions, and we really do have a lot of fun in the bus and I think Theo really does like his Wild Thornberries as Diane puts it. And another plus to the slowness to Theo's driving I was able to take pretty good pictures while the car was in motion.


  1. xa xa xa !!! you are wonderful Marissa !

  2. An article by Theo(keritisriver), for the best guys in the world
    along with best wishes for their future..