It’s been hard not to get sucked down the rabbit hole of political news from the US this week. To keep my spirits up, I’m attempting to live in my little overseas bubble. So, here are some silly little things that happened to me in Athens this week.
First, the good. Remember how I have to stand in line at the post office every month to pay my housekeeper’s health insurance? I usually have to take a number, then wait around 45 minutes until they call my number, much like the DMV. Well, last week I found another post office at Avenue, a sleepy shopping mall only a 5-minute drive from my house. And there is never a line. Plus, there’s a huge Carrefour grocery store in the mall, so I can get all my household shopping done while I’m at it. And the mall has free parking. Fabulous! I tried it out on Tuesday, and I was in and out of the post office in less than 10 minutes. The Carrefour had a huge selection of booze…my kinda place…and on a whim I picked up this beer.
I love how the label says ALEXANDER the GREAT beer. Like you have to believe that this beer is GREAT. All caps. Mmmm…what do you know? It is indeed GREAT.
Now for the bad, which turned out okay in the end. I had a play date at the IKEA on Wednesday morning with my Greek-Irish friend Katy. As I sat in the café, she texted me to tell me she had arrived. But I couldn’t find her anywhere. Finally I called her…and she was at the other IKEA! Yes, Athens has two IKEAs! Such a foreign concept to me. Back in Wichita I had to drive 3 hours to the nearest IKEA, and the next nearest location was several hundred miles in another direction. At any rate, I drove about 30 minutes to the other IKEA, and it turns out I should have been going to this one all along. First of all, the cafeteria actually served mashed potatoes! Swoon! They also had a better play area for the kids, and it wasn’t nearly so crowded. After lunch and some shopping, Katy took me next door to another huge shopping center, where I had THE BEST hot chocolate at Coffeeway. They had a handful of options, and I picked white chocolate. There’s a Coffeeway in Halandri…this might just replace Chai Latte from Starbucks as my favorite wintertime drink. (On a side note, it’s interesting to me to see so many huge shopping centers here. I figured the US had pretty much cornered the market on these types of gigantic malls, but I guess Athens has recently jumped on the box store phenomenon, as well. It’s a welcome respite from the hectic traffic and medieval layout of my neighborhood.)
Finally, the smelly. Earlier in the week, after running errands, Violet and I returned home to a house that absolutely reeked of cat piss. I almost thought a cat got trapped in our house until I was able to narrow down the offending odor to our foyer. More specifically, our front door, which sported a HEE-UGE urine-stain at about medium-dog height. It must have seeped under the door or something. I scrubbed the heck out of the floor, but it still smelled the next day. Thankfully, our super hero housekeeper saved the day with some baking soda, vinegar, and a mop. One of the many nuisances of having a front door that just opens to a busy sidewalk. I sure hope it doesn’t happen again!