Ahoy from Athens!

Chairete, friends!

I’ve landed in fair and summery Greece, which shall be my home for the next four months. At noon today, the plane that moseyed me up from KualaIMG_20150831_181605

Lumpur gave up her jet-lagged dead. And here I am at last in the cradle of feta cheese, democracy, and the totalitarian state. Quite a resume for a nation so mountainous.  Not that the Greeks saw themselves as a nation, let alone a full-fledged state, when goat cheese, Athens, and Sparta were forged. But now I ramble and this is what I promised I would not do. Basically, I’m an incredibly happy classics-history major who’s missing his family lots but glad to be where he be.

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Streets are not crowded, but narrow. Alleyways lead to sudden vast expanses of old ruins, or the steps old churches. Cars cram along the cobblestone (not pictured here.)

 

I’m part of a large, all-American academic centre in Greece, creatively known as the “College Year in Athens” program. The organizers and faculty have been extremely warm, settling me into my new quarters. They also had a cab waiting to ferret me away to an unassuming apartment in central Athens. A friendly cab driver whose IPad kept toppling from its GPS stand. He lost the wheel for a full second trying to catch it. In a tunnel. On a highway. It’s remarkable how unnerving cement can look when approached from a right angle, at 50 miles an hour. Two minutes later he charges down a one way street the wrong way, forcing the approaching car to reverse into a trafficful mainway. “She is very good,” he says, conversationally. Evidently this a matter of course. I compliment a bracelet of icon cameos he keeps on his gearbox. He pulls them out: Cyril and Methodius, the Theotokos (‘God-bearer’ -Mary), and a gleaming Christos Pantokrator, a golden Jesus with a book in his hand and a halo to match his immaculate collarbones. He grins. “For good luck, these ones. Good luck for drive.”

Kyrie Eleison.

But besides IMG_20150831_182502that, I and my luggage have arrived unscathed. I’ve checked-in at the CYA center; I’ve eaten Dominos pizza and good cheese; and I’ve also had a chance to pull out my toasty TARDIS robe. I’ve walked out to the outskirts of the Acropolis, which looks amazing even under renovation. Eek! But more on that when I actually ascend Athena’s hill.  In the meantime, hither by His grace I’m come. All is as it should be.

Take care and eat well!

Josh

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Ten Acropolin! Real Hellenic script forthcoming once my new laptop has the other essentials installed.

 

 

 

 

 

Published by

Joshua Chun Wah Kam

Josh is an omnivorous sophomore. A self-identified Malaysian-Chinese American, he's spent his youth wandering the Pacific Rim, eating sushi and buying books. He likes Tolkien, Hindu myths, Byzantine cathedrals, and cheese. When he's at hope, you might find him at night wandering Lubbers Hall like a wraith. His foray to Greece will be his first real trip to the Mediterranean. He likes meeting people, and baking them things.

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