Amélie Poulain's Journal
11th June, 2005. 7:27 pm. Things that I've done for the first time in Greece.
1. left the country.
2. drank bad-tasting coffee. ("it's not bad or weird, it's DIFFERENT.")
3. paid five bucks for two scoops of ice cream in a non-disposable cup.
4. washed dishes.
5. went on a boat.
6. inhabited a three by ten foot space with one other person (quite literally...the room was a giant bed. we had to put our suitcases on it as well as sleep on it. Good thing I'm not claustrophobic!)
7. swam in the sea.
8. ate octopus.
9. learned to make a Greek salad.
10. washed dishes -- by hand! While conserving water! (no fresh supply on the boats; only tanks that are refilled when we dock every two days) -- it was sooo fun too. I felt centered afterward. So zen.
11. walked around alone and felt safe.
12. went to a club.
13. went to a bar.
14. danced with a boy (several boys at different times actually, but don't worry, it wasn't too crazy -- it was always someone from UNO).
15. endured two complete days with absolutely no sleep.
16. wore a two-piece bathing suit.
17. slept in a hotel room alone.
18. skipped two days between showers (everyone was doing it; we had to. Note #10 -- water conservation).
19. saw a mountain.
20. watched the sunrise (even though it was blocked by one of those silly mountains).
21. was kissed by a complete stranger (several, actually. it's what they do here).
22. saw a dolphin not in a tank, but just swimming around.
23. got a nice tan (seriously. Now I bet you can't wait to see me!)
24. went for a walk in the city (but not unattended) at 3am.
25. ate dinner ate 11pm (every night you guys. Breakfast at 7, lunch beginning at 3-4, dinner beginning somewhere between 9-11. There's no way I'm going to get back into the swing of things).
Well I'm sure there are more. I'll show you all my pictures when I return. My internet time is running out so I have to stop, but I'm leaving tomorrow morning and I'll see you all this week!
27th May, 2005. 8:10 am. Greetings from Olympia!
Hi everyone! I'm sure you have all by now figured out why you haven't seen me in so long, and that is because right now I am in Greece!
I've already been to Athens and Nafplion, and at the moment I'm in Olympia at an internet cafe with one of my friends from the trip. There's a balcony to my right, and I'm able to see an orange-roofed house with many potted plants, and I know that if I stood up, I'd be able to see a mountain. Actually, I think I'm on a mountain right now. At least, I had to walk considerably uphill to get to this place. I don't know, there are mountains everywhere. There are also stray animals everywhere, but they don't bother anyone.
You guys, this town is soooo tiny; it's way smaller than Luling. There are only 1,000 permanent residents! We got here yesterday, and we've already gotten to know people. Today at lunch we saw a bartender from a club that the group went to (where I learned how the Greeks dance and I will be more than happy to show you when I get back), and also the DJ drove by on a moped on our way to this cafe just a few minutes ago. The hotel here is fabulous; it's the first one we've stayed in with a pool.
I really love it here; the people are mostly very nice, except for those few anti-Americans, and it's SO safe here. On our last night in Athens, five of us girls were walking back to the hotel at about ten pm, and there was a little boy that couldn't have been more than eight years old playing the guitar and singing on the roadside by himself. And in Nafplion, the kids' playground was filled with children playing in the dark.
Nafplion was awesome; it's a seaside resort town with cobblestone streets and vendors that sell pastries and little Greek kids that try to get you to buy roses from them (and they're so cute that you sometimes just can't help but buy a few). I did almost all of my shopping there, and I found it an extremely friendly place, AND there, I was able to taste "the most famous gelato in Greece." I had hazelnut. *melts* I'm never eating ice cream in the US again.
For some reason though, Athens was my favorite. I guess because I love cities...if I lived there (which, now, of course, I plan to), I would not need a car, pepper spray, or an umbrella. Everything is right there, plus some. And I'm not quite sure why, but there are about 89 shoe stores on each street. And yes, in New Orleans everything is "right there" and I'm sure there is an abundance of shoe stores, but little kids can't walk home from school by themselves without worrying about being abducted or shot or something. And they talked to us...and in New Orleans, you can't talk to strangers.
It rained today, and instead of using an umbrella I put a hat on. It was sufficient. And there is no humidity. NONE. So although I walked in the rain for a while, my clothes are dry, my hair is not frizzy, and if I may, I think I smell quite nice.
I can't remember off of the top of my head where our next stop is, but there are internet cafes everywhere (even in this tiny town, there are two on one street), so I will do my best to update if I can! And that means that I'll be able to read your comments, so even though I haven't used livejournal in months, I hope you still think about me and will leave me a nice note to read when I return to the world wide web!
And I must reccommend Greece. It's so perfect; I don't want to come home, but I miss everyone, so I wish that everyone in Luling would move to Greece. Think about doing that; EVERYTHING is cheaper here. Actually, before I sign off let me just throw one more thing out there that I'm sure will convince you to buy your plane ticket and make your living accomodations immediately. Here it is: twenty ounces of water can be purchased for fifty cents. Taking into account the exchange rate, we'll call it sixty cents. One and one half LITERS of water can be purchased for -- hold on -- NINETY CENTS. So roughly one dollar. I had a lunch of souvlaki, two pieces of bread with lemon, and a bottled water for 1.50 euros. Think about THAT.
I'm saving so much money being here! Just don't buy American products.
Leave me a comment!
Current mood: accomplished.
31st January, 2005. 3:34 pm. Make a colorbar displaying reflexive pronouns.
International Studies students must choose a "concentration" to go along with their major, International Studies being such a broad subject. One's concentration can be in one of two categories:
1. a global sector
2. silliness about diplomacy, economics, and the like.
Of course I knew I wanted to choose a global sector, but which one? After being advised by a few folks, I have finally chosen my career path, and in about five years I will be a translator of French and Arabic, working for the embassies of any of twenty-five African countries of which the official languages include, but are not limited to, French and Arabic.
Morocco, here I come.
College = life.
Current mood: accomplished.
6th January, 2005. 12:22 pm.
4:50am -- I yawn, stretch, and get dressed. I'm wearing a plaid blazer. And my fingernails are so mod.
4:52am -- I leave with my father for the airport.
5:20am -- We arrive at the airport, check in, those sorts of things.
5:50am -- We get onto the plane. This is as far as I've gotten before, and it was on a field trip during writers' camp when I was in...eighth grade, I think. Layla Naquin got fussed at by Ms. Sims for touching the phones that are in the seats.
6:05am -- The plane starts moving, takes off, we fly, et cetera. The flight attendant's name is Gloria. She is Asian, and I like her.
7:06am -- The plane lands in Houston. I have successfully completed my first airplane flight.
7:20am -- Airport shuttle to rental car place.
8:15am -- We arrive at the office building, where I have been ever since.
This is not a big deal for anyone else, but I'm super excited. I'm proud of myself for taking this calmly, and for being the second person in my family ever to get on a plane. Today's trip is in preparation for my trip to Greece, because if I had tried to accomplish everything at once (i.e. plane flight + leaving the country + being away from my parents = nervous breakdown/receding hairline/death), I probably wouldn't have survived. We're flying back this afternoon.
This morning I went to Starbucks, and when the nice man told me that there isn't anymore eggnog, I smiled at him and asked for a gingerbread latte instead. It made me feel Christmasy inside, and I ate pumpkin bread too.
I got to meet my dad's boss and his co-workers and they are nice. Mr. Phu even let me use someone's office who isn't here today. So I'm sitting in this person's office whom I've never met, surrounded by pictures of whom I assume are her family members, and also by many cans of diet coca-cola with lime; one of which I would like to take, but will not because it does not belong to me.
I obtained cassette tapes from the public library. They will help me to say useful things in Modern Greek. I'm going to play these tapes constantly, so that the phrases will burn themselves into my mind whilst I sleep.( Phrases that you might find useful if traveling in GreeceCollapse )
I'm using a really old laptop, and the mouse touchpad clicks if you hit it too hard.
I just sneezed aloud for the first time. Thus I will probably not die because of my sinuses rupturing.
Current mood: accomplished.
30th December, 2004. 4:34 pm.
Yesterday at Olive Garden, I got to see the lunch/dinner transition. You see, when my sister and I got there (around 3:45), all of the silverware was wrapped in white paper napkins. But starting at four o'clock, every time a table left, the busser put green-cloth-napkin-wrapped silverware down. And I found that interesting.
On the interstate, Bety exclaimed "There's Colt Miller!"
But I didn't see him.
She says he saw us, though.
With only a limited amount of time to spend at the mall, I was able to make some quick decision-making, and bought two pair of pants, a necklace, and two shirts, one of which I must return because it is dry-clean only. I think these clothes that I purchased are on the borderline between cute and it's-so-ugly-it's-cute. But I like them. Red corduroy old-looking pants, eggplant-purple-brown pants, a pale yellow shirt, and a really long necklace with three extremely un-matching but at the same time coordinating charms (cameo, pearl, diamond). I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you see me walking around in an ugly ensemble, don't burst my bubble. I love my clothes.
I don't know exactly how I came across a website for learning Albanian, but I did. And I LOVE it. Mostly because it looks hard, but is actually the easiest language that I've tried to learn. ( For exampleCollapse )
I hope that you kids have a safe New Year.
Current mood: ...sinuses..
27th December, 2004. 4:33 pm. www.orisinal.net
Nineteen hours of last week were spent at La Casa Del Sol, and I feel fulfilled therefore. My boss gave me a project -- I'm going to make cutesy signs to identify the buffet items.
Christmas brought many gifts, including clothing and dishes (yes) and a wall clock that ticks obnoxiously loudly, among other things. I love this clock because it displays different scenes from Breakfast at Tiffany's, one of the best movies ever filmed. And I also like the idea of having a wall clock in my room, because most people just have alarm clocks, I suppose. However, I don't understand how a reasonably sized clock can tick so that with each second, it sounds like a gunshot is being fired. As you can imagine, this clock makes it astoundingly difficult for me to sleep at night. I haven't slept as much since I've gotten it. Therefore, I will very soon invest in some earplugs.
Later this week, I might go to Celebration in the Oaks with Justina, I might go to Michael's house (Lauren, do you want to come with Bety and me to Michael's house IFFFFF I go? He asked if you could), and I will go to Mississippi to visit my dear grandparents. I might also go shopping with my sister. And I will work every day.
I should mention the snow, and how our snowman had peas for eyes. And how I was wearing short sleeves and a skirt and had to borrow my grandmother's clothes. So in all of our pictures of the snow, I look ridiculous.
Hey, Amanda Penick.
Current mood: awake.
12th December, 2004. 4:40 pm. I will never be my own grandpa.
I would hesitate to live in a world in which Chase did not work at Mochaccino's.
Thursday was my last day of finals. Thursday, December ninth. That means that when I go back to school on January...eighteenth, I think it is, I will have been on holiday for over a month. This fills my heart with joy. Thursday afternoon, Dave and I watched Oprah together. When I met him, he said "I hate Oprah." Now he says "...she's okay..." :) Later, we went to Sonic and socialized with Jaime, who happened to be there, and then we went to the band concert, where I saw many people, but not Amanda Penick. :( Last, Robin came with me to bring David back to school, and after we walked him to the dormitory, we RANveryfast to the parking lot because it was 10:30pm and we were in New Orleans and we were scared.
On Friday I worked.
On Saturday I did not. I went to the movies with Jaime. We saw Ocean's Twelve. I scoffed at the robbery that is movie concessions prices. She spent the night at my house. I slept on the floor because I am a kind hostess and I love my cousin. I woke up and went to church and talked to Lee in person for the first time everrr, and I smiled at the little Russian girl.
On Friday, Juan (the manager, my boss) told me to come to work today at three o'clock. I arrived at around 2:55. I walked in and said hello to the hostess/cashier who worked the morning shift. She promptly told me to go home.
ME: But I'm supposed to work. Juan told me to come.
HER: He told ME to come.
HER: I'm staying.
ME: Is Juan here?
ME: Is Kyle here?
ME (to Kyle): She's telling me to go home.
KYLE: Were you supposed to work today?
KYLE: When are you supposed to work again? When CAN you work?
ME: Every day until mid-January. I guess I could just always take the morning shift..
HER: Nope, I've got it covered.
ME: Or I could work the night--
HER: NO. The other girl works at night.
KYLE: Talk to Juan tomorrow.
So I went home, and disappointment consumed me. I've been working there for a long time, and I'm good at what I do. While I don't think that the other cashier was trying to be mean, I wish that we could have worked something out. Oh well. I'm happy now.
Tomorrow I anticipate going to Wal-Mart, where perhaps the purchase of a new crochet hook is necessary. I wish that Mary-Kate and Ashley shampoo and conditioner was still available.
Current mood: I love Ina Garten.
2nd December, 2004. 3:51 pm. grapefruit juice.
I miss my cousin Lauren and the watching of secret boxed sets in which we participated, and the building of zen rock gardens, and the practicing of yoga.
I miss Amanda Penick and how we always said that we'd bake cookies, but never did.
I miss Meredith Juncker and our identical shoes and the swapping of many dance pictures and inside jokes that we eventually forgot.
Erin, it's silly that we don't communicate. We're cousins. I want to hang out with you.
I miss Donell Ellis. I liked how she had a fountain in her front yard.
I miss Brido and how he makes informational websites about tea. I think we need to talk again.
I miss Suzanne Wineke and the note that she wrote in my yearbook during P.E. at J.B. Martin.
Over the Christmas holidays, I will send an instant message to Chase Chauffe.
I miss watching scary movies with Nichole Maher.
The only time that I ever hung out in a group that included Renee Rivette, she said "hey Sarah, I like you." That made me always want to tell people whom I like that I like them.
I miss Ryan Kinler. I think he disappeared.
I miss Reon Bailey too. But I still see him from time to time.
I miss Jena Terrebonne and how sometimes, on really cold days, we'd see who could keep their hand on the window the longest.
I miss passing notes to Stacie Gordon.
Echo Luquette and I used to look alike. There's a girl in my biology class that looks just like her.
I feel that I should mention Matthew Haindle, because I like him.
Once I went shopping with Ashley Webre, and I think that we should go shopping again.
If Gerard Green had a party at his house, I would attend.
And I miss Amanda Chester. I just do.
I like college though; it's fun, and much less stressful than high school. And I continue to make many new friends, most of whom have interesting names and are from interesting places. Like Shreveport and Georgia and Florida and Nicaragua. Diversity.
Me: Professor, are those essays REALLY due on Friday?
Professor: Of course not. Turn them in when you're ready.
I want to make a color bar about college.
Next time you see Steve, notice his clothes. I like his new clothes.
I wish that I still saw Hannah every day.
I bought lunch for a stranger at school the other day. I found out later that his name was Wes. I haven't seen him again.
I've suddenly learned a way to get to my Greek literature class several minutes faster. But I'm only going once more. What a waste.
I have a friend named David. He's from Georgia. And I like him lots.
Tomorrow I'm going to take Corey Weeks shopping at Privateer Mart, because I can.
Last weekend, Ben Botnick and I watched Gladiator with no sound, and made up our own dialogue.
I miss Horacio Alvarez Hernandez and how he used to loan me Edward Norton films.
Visit La Casa del Sol. Please. I want to see you there. All of you.
Once, in early September, as Jeffrey Penick was driving me to school, I sang the "Law and Order: SVU" theme song to him.
Can I go anytime to get my yearbook?
I'm going to crochet a lot over the holidays, because I don't have school for over a month.
August Tang is a good person.
I think it's time for me to eat some bacon-flavored crackers.
Hearts for everything.
I love family gatherings.
Il ne faut pas fumer//you must not smoke.
Current mood: appreciative.
1st November, 2004. 4:31 pm.
May twenty-first is the day that I leave New Orleans.
May twenty-second is the day that I arrive in Athens.
June twelfth is the day that I return to New Orleans.
Twenty-two days in Greece, thirty-four hours on an airplane.
While in Greece, I will...
climb Mount Olympos,
have dinner with Greek university students,
spend an entire week on a sailboat-yacht,
before that I'll learn to swim,
visit the birthplace of Homer,
eat lots of mousaka,
stay in eight different hotels,
attempt to speak Greek to the natives (maybe),
consume much fish oil.
My first plane ride ever will be seventeen hours long. I think we will stop in New York on the way to get on a different plane. I don't know how these things work. I have to fit clothes for over three weeks into a twenty-two-inch suitcase. I'm really excited about this, you guys. I wish it weren't seven months away.
I don't know anyone else that's going. I really hope that Steve can go. And benkilpatrick. And David Ross LeBlanc. If not, I think that's ok. I'll chill with Dr. Blanton. She's cool.
This will be the first step toward involvement in international affairs. When I return, I will feel very cultured. And I will have a better chance at getting a job.
Oh, and since I get six credit hours for going on this trip, when I come back I'll be eighteen hours ahead. That means that I can graduate early. Heh.
I think I'm going to learn Greek now. Andi'o sas!
Current mood: culturally sound.
16th August, 2004. 3:26 pm. ...si tu n'étais pas là.
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There's a Revlon commercial circulating right now that has four versions. Each stars either Halle Berry, Eva Gardner, Julianne Moore, or this other girl. They walk around the streets of New York around tall buildings while someone in the background says repeatedly "mon amour." Then they enter a building and see a picture of themselves on the wall, and smile. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS COMMERCIAL. Someone, please explain it to me.
I thought I was brave enough to watch a program about an entity called "the headless torso." I guess I'm not.
College soon. iheartcoreyweeks.
"If 'Law and Order: SVU' was a drug, I'd be in rehab." -Bety
Without you, the emotions of today would be only the dead skin of the emotions of other times.
Current mood: busy.