Greek Walmart and Greek Chipotle

More shopping! This time to the Jumbo, which we discovered is more like if Walmart and Dollar General had a baby. Super cheap and super claustrophobic. And super crowded, ugh. No stores are ever open on Sunday in Greece, so everyone squeezes all of their shopping in on Saturdays. I’d had high hopes that we could also pop by the baby store to pick up a high chair and a changing table. But that turned out to be wildly over ambitious. We waited 30 minutes for a bus, shopped for an hour or so, bought way too much stuff that we could barely carry, then waited another 30 minutes for the return trip. By the time we got home, all of us were too tired and cranky to go back out again.

We told Liam he could pick out a toy to take home as long as he could carry it himself. He found a police car toy with a ramp and elevator in a pretty big box, but he insisted he could definitely carry it. And because he’d really been very patient waiting so long for the bus and we knew he’d been missing all his toys (looks like they may not be arriving until end of March, urgh), we gave in. And he carried it! All the way from the check out to the parking lot! To be fair, I think he would have carried it the whole way home, but James thought we were walking too slow, so he took over all of the carrying duties while Liam and I just concentrated on keeping up.

Violet got a lot of attention on the bus both there and back. The ladies LOVE her. Seriously, I may pick up the words for “cutie pie” and “sweetie” in Greek just from the way they go on about her. On the way home I sat down next to a grandmotherly woman who gestured to Liam and asked him if he’d like to sit on her lap since there weren’t any other seats open on the crowded bus. He was a bit dubious, so I told him to tell her “no thank you,” which he dutifully did. But she didn’t know English, and she wasn’t taking no for an answer. She pulled him on over and plopped him down. I reassured him that it was fine, and she was very sweet to him, holding him around the waist and patting his leg like a familiar grandmother would do. It was really very sweet. I could tell he thought it was a little weird. But I told him later that this is just one of the things that we’ll find different between our cultures.

The Greeks like to take an afternoon siesta, and we embraced the tradition ourselves with some much needed quiet time at home. I’m still completely intimidated by our kitchen appliances and the procurement of ingredients, so after nap time we decided to head out for dinner and explore our neighborhood a bit. Just a few blocks from our house we found a wonderful little playground right in the center of the shopping district. It was getting dark, so I promised Liam I’d take him there tomorrow. The streets were lined with restaurants, clubs and upscale shops, and I spied quite a few palm trees. Sigh…palm trees.

Online James had found a Mexican restaurant very much like Chipotle, called Anchos. Liam has a new-found love of tacos, and he proclaimed his steak soft taco even better than Taco Bell. Way to set the bar high, son! I ordered pretty much what I usually do at Chipotle: a chicken burrito bowl with rice, black beans, pico, sour cream and cheese. But they also had sautéed mushrooms as an option, so I threw those on as well. And they had churros and strawberry frozen margaritas. So I was happy, and James liked his, as well. Funny enough, our favorite eateries so far have been a burger place (Home Burger), an Italian place (La Famiglia) and this Mexican place. But I’m sure we’ll find good Mediterranean food when we’ve had a chance to try more restaurants. It amazes me the variety of food here!

20160130_202305544_iOSOn the way home we popped by the local “supermarket”… the one I’d been to last week. Upon closer inspection the produce was ick and the meat was questionable, which doesn’t bode well for my chances of actually cooking food in our house. I did find this wine, and I got it because I actually recognized the letters, which Liam had taught me. Upside down V is an L, and the u with a tail is an M. So it says Lemea. I think. Whatever, it’s red wine no matter what language the label is in.

Later in the evening James and I did a little research on getting groceries delivered from Amazon.com, but it turns out most of the pantry items can’t be shipped to a DPO (aka, the Embassy, where all our mail goes). Walmart.com, however, had a pretty vast selection with the ability to be shipped overseas, and shipping was free for orders over $50. Yeah, our shopping dilemma is over! Except, hold the phone, our order won’t get here until March 1. Boo! Well, I guess it’s better than nothing. Perhaps things will improve when our car gets here.

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