We’ve had a week of rain in this ordinarily sunny locale — I believe they call this the rainy season — so I did a little research and found a cute little museum all about the history of schools in Greece, called the School Life and Education Museum. Liam has little patience for museums, but this one is small, cheap, and caters to both kids and adults with hands-on artifacts from school classrooms.
But first we had to get there. Liam has practically memorized the Metro map, so he knew precisely the bus and train to take, and which stop to disembark on. He’s a little chatterbox on the train (actually, he’s a chatterbox anywhere), constantly talking about the look of the different stations we pass, how many more stations we have until we get off, and where the connections to other lines are. And we always go over the subway rules, which I lifted from this episode of Louie. (Watching this still gives me a heart attack, and if one of my kids ever did this, I would probably react the same or much worse. Ack!) Thankfully Liam is my little rule follower, and he delights in going over precisely what he should do if we get separated. In fact, he’s usually the one who asks me to go over the subway rules with him every time now. He’s turning into quite the little city kid.
The museum is located in the heart of the Plaka, a squirrely neighborhood of restaurants and shops at the foot of the Acropolis. Thanks to AT&T finally unlocking my phone, I could handily use my map app to navigate my way through the maze. Feeling a bit peckish, we stopped at Lulu’s Bakery for some treats. Little miss grabby hands had to eat on the floor lest she knock everything off our table…and she nearly upended the table from the floor. Something tells me this is the kid who’s going to need the toddler leash.
Bellies full, we took a few detours before arriving at the museum. Apparently even Google has trouble navigating the Plaka. It was a cute little place, 3 Euros to enter, and the kids were free. Each room had school books and artifacts dating back to the 1800s, and in the basement was a replica of an old school classroom. My favorite, though, was Liam’s reaction to the typewriter.
“Is it a computer?”
“Is it a printing press?”
So I had to explain to him what this mysterious object was, and he took a turn jamming on the keys. I remember my parents having an old electric typewriter, and my sister and I just LOVED playing with it. These days kids can easily type something up on the computer and print it out, but there’s something kind of fabulous about the noise the key makes as it pounds the paper. I’m sure the concept of White Out will also be a complete mystery to my children.
Most of the signs were written in Greek, but it was just as well — my child has no patience for anyone who wants to bother reading the signs. We were in and out in about 15 minutes. Then it was back to the train, which was the real highlight of his day. He requested we take the red line to the green line connection, then take the green line to the blue line, which is the subway we take home. He just wanted a chance to get to ride all three lines in one day, I think. I swear, we could make a day of riding the subway to the end of the line and back and he’d be over the moon about it.
Back at home I prepared dinner from IKEA the proper way…with mashed potatoes. It still floors me that they don’t serve these at the IKEA in Greece, yet they sell them frozen to take home. I guess I’ll just have to take what I can get. Interesting fact: you won’t find English instructions on any of the packaging. Just Greek, Italian, and other southern European languages. Thankfully I’ve got an app for that!