One month in, 47 to go

This morning while Liam dressed for school…

Liam: Mommy, what’s your favorite thing about Greece so far?
Liam: Mom? Are you going to answer?
Me: … Well, what’s your favorite thing?
Liam: Riding the Metro!!

How am I not surprised? What did surprise me was my hesitation in answering that simple question. Sure, I enjoyed seeing the Acropolis and the Agora, climbing all over the Battleship Averof, discovering the Leiki, and making new friends. I went to a dinner and met the Ambassador dressed to the nines, I successfully navigated my way to the Embassy via mass transit, and I had a few hours of fun at a salon. But this month has also been exhausting. Figuring out the appliances, the cooking, the shopping. How to get around the city. Waiting and waiting and waiting for the bus with two children who aren’t always in the mood. Getting our internet to work in the whole house, our voicemail to speak in English, my iPhone unlocked. (We have yet to accomplish those three things.)

Then I realized that perhaps I can’t answer that question because I haven’t been to the one place I was the most excited to go. The beach!!! I have been landlocked for almost three years in Kansas, and I’m ready to see the ocean again! I’ve been told Greece has some of the loveliest beaches in the world, and I plan to put that theory to the test the minute it gets above 80 degrees.

I also have to remember that there is a considerable adjustment period whenever we move, made doubly difficult by moving overseas. We got our first shipment of things on Friday, a 700 lb pack of boxes containing our most essential things. Mostly the kids’ toys. And while that has made life easier with the kids, it’s hard to settle in when we’re missing all of our kitchen accoutrements, I’m still missing about 75% of my wardrobe and James is missing about 80% of his books and DVDs. In fact, I think James is having an even harder time adjusting because he likes having time to himself to watch TV when he gets home from work, and because of some complications with the internet that we still need to work out, he can’t do that. So he’s been watching the same History Channel special on Netflix all week while I watch shows on my computer with my headphones on in the living room because that’s the only place we can get the internet to work reliably in the house. Not ideal. It’s these damn high ceilings and concrete walls!

We’re expecting our last shipment of goods to arrive in March or maybe April. And our car should be arriving then, too. Perhaps we’ll feel a bit more settled then, especially if we can fix this whole internet problem. In the meantime there are a ton of activities offered at the Embassy — play dates, Greek language classes, outings to the zoo, trivia night with the Marines, weekend getaways to Delphi and Mount Parnassos — all of which we’re going to take advantage of. With any luck, in a month or two when Liam asks me my favorite thing about Greece, I’ll have more to say.

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