I moved! Now, I live together with a greek girl, we laugh a lot and take care of some cockroaches in our kitchen. I am happy to live further away from work and not to live alone anymore. These past days I have been experimenting and exploring more of the city and its life, ranging from small aspects of daily life to meeting a bunch of new people from all over Europe.
Saturday: biking in Thessaloniki.
I bought my red little cruiser and already love my 8-minutes-way to work in the morning.
Sunday: bike in the elevator.
As my flatmate got already 8 crappy bikes stolen outside of our house, I decided to take mine up on the terrace as she does. Taking this red lobster up to the 5th floor with an open elevator sounded easier than it turned out to be. I blocked the elevator for a while to figure out the position of the bike in the elevator (plus me). After a while, I gave the elevator some time for other passengers. This is how I got to know my new neighbor, an old crumpy guy, who came out of the elevator when I was making my spatial calculations in the lobby. He started screaming in Greek, gesticulating, pointing at the bike and the elevator. Unfortunately I understood nothing but the “no”. Learn Greek, learn Greek, learn Greek!
Yes, I have started my greek classes, 3 times a week, 3 hours each. At first I was pretty overwhelmed with reading and writing in slightly different alphabet and felt like a child in its first lessons of primary school. But only after two weeks, I can feel it is slowly improving and i start understanding small phrases. What a release after two helpless weeks without being able to say more than “Kalimera” or “Evcharisto”. It is an interesting experience for me, as I am able to communicate in pretty much all Western and Northern European countries – to live in a country without being able to at least try to read out a name or street yet. Turning this power relation upside down in terms of language gives a notion of how many privileges I have in communication.
Even after keeping my hands off baking powder, butter and flour thanks to newly discovered sweets every day, my love for kneading and the smell of fresh cake is not going to be satisfied without even trying to bake some of the delicacies on my own. So Tuesday it was: the day of oven-testing. My brokkoli-feta-quiche survived with a dark tan on top. My resume: I’m better off with Pfannkuchentorte or raw brownies.
Wednesday: biking home at night.
Check! Even better than during the day.
Thursday: yoga in greek.
… turned out to be a smaller problem than expected as most of the poses were either told in Sanskrit or English. The other I guessed from my neighbors and after repeating the first cycle of pranayamas I could follow “εισπνέω” (ispneo) or “εκπνέω” (ekpneo) as well.
Friday: meeting nice neighbors.
Coming home around 1AM at Friday night, I was relieved to meet a nice neighbor even wishing me “kálo vrádi” after holding the elevator door open for me and the red cruiser and asking me where I come from.
Saturday: market day.
The second time I went to the huge Saturday’s market in the next street: Well equipped with coins in the easy-accessible pocket and the greek numbers up until 100 in my short-term memory, I managed a lot more professionally to fill up the week’s veggie stocks.
The afternoon I spent with Maria in the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Arts, where Yoko Ono hosts an exhibition named “IMAGINE PEACE” in the context of the ongoing Dimitria City Festival. I liked the somehow curious museum building and many of the Greek art pieces, and especially that huge elephant on the deserted fair area next to the MMCA.
Sunday: cinema challenge.
Having mistaken a German movie (“Die Fremde”) as an entirely German speaking movie resulted in me sitting in the screening of a German production with a mainly Turkish speaking cast. Another challenge to my poor knowledge of the Greek language, but I can at least state that I speak more Greek than Turkish. I was impressed by myself how much I had already learned after 2 weeks of classes (at least in terms of reading out words …), and highly recommend that movie with Sibel Kekilli. All in all, a motivation to learn more of that curious language.
P.S. Sorry for spamming you with a lot of sunset pictures – it is what fascinates me most about the city: the variety of colours and atmospheres created in only an hour of each day.