Saturday, August 29, 2009

My timeline

My blog friend Willoughby had this amazing idea for a blog post the other day, regarding a past and future timeline. Many followed her example, and now it is my turn to do so.

29th August, 2009 - 24 years old: I am in Mytilene, having finished the trimester of training as an agricultural doctor. Today I finally found a place to stay (yay!), and I am anxious about Monday, the first day to start working on my own, with real patients to treat. My summer has been amazing, having done a lot of fun stuff and having met many interesting people. I am a little worried about next week, when I'll fly to Germany to visit Ernesto. I wonder how I will feel after seeing him, and what his own reaction will be...

29th August, 2008 - 23 years old: I really should have been preparing myself for the final 2 exams I need to take, in order to graduate in September, but I haven't. I am bored sick, and thinking only of vacation. Ernesto and I had an amazing time on our trip to Berlin, but now I am back in Heraklion, feeling miserable and nervous. I don't know which specialty to choose, and I really don't want to go to Germany to start a residency, as Ernesto suggests. I really, trully, don't want to do it. My mother moves to Germany, to work as a teacher there, and my father anxiously awaits his papers to come, in order to join her with my younger brother. It turns out that they will spend 3 months apart, which will be a painful process for all of us.

29th August, 2007 - 22 years old: I am really excited - Ernesto and I will be moving to Prague for 4 months, for an ERASMUS scholarship! We'll have a great time there, and we'll manage to visit many European cities. Our vacation to Barcelona has been traumatic (I was robbed for the first time) but 'colourful' and fun as well. I am also planning our wedding for next year, which will not take place in the end. I don't know it yet, but his parents will break my heart when asking him to not marry me and break up with me. Nevertheless, we will stay together. Also, I will decide not to take the Radiology exam in September, which will be a terrible mistake, and will lead me to graduate 3 months later than expected. This year my grandmother will follow my grandfather to Heaven (or wherever it is that we go after) and oddly, her going exactly one year after him, will seem to make perfect sense.

29th August, 2006 - 21 years old: I am now in Norway, on a HELMSIC scholarship, working as a Pathologist. It is the first month I am spending away from Ernesto since we got together, but oddly, I am enjoying myself. The working conditions here are amazing, and I am experiencing a non-stress working environment for the first time in my life. I am meeting a lot of interesting people, of different nationalities, and doing many stuff I'd never thought I would do (like climbing on a glacier, or swimming when the water temperature is 4 degrees C!) This is the last year my grandfather will be spending with us, and I will not get to see him before he goes, which will result in me suffering from guilt for the years to come.

29th August, 2003 - 18 years old: This is the first summer Ernesto and I will spend together as a couple. We will have a crappy weekend vacation in Chania, but it won't bother us much. We have Phoebs in our home for a month now, and she is naughtier than ever. Eventually, she will calm down and be the perfect dog, but she will chew on many shoes, flip flops, sheets, towels and even cables, until she gets there! Ernesto thinks that she will be a temporary guest in our apartment, but she will end up being with me longer than he himself will! My parents are moving back to Trikala, but I am not surprised.

29th August, 2002 - 17 years old: I have just found out that I will not be studying Greek literature in Athens, which I originally had applied for, but Medicine in Crete! This is a great surprise, and I am worried sick! I don't want to go there - it seems too far away, and I am not sure I even want to study Medicine! Meanwhile, my parents are moving to Athens, after living in Trikala for 10 years. In about a month, I will meet Ernesto, and I will fall in love with him.

29th August, 2001 - 16 years old: I have just finished the first set of exams for the university (2 years total) and my grades are outstanding. Our family vacations in Naxos have been amazing, as always - but I discovered something shocking: I am not eligible to apply for a translator/guide/ambassador place at the University of Corfu, as I had aspired! What will I do now? Nothing else seems to interest me, and I will definitely not apply for Greek literature, like my parents! Maybe choosing the "theoretical" branch of studies was not so clever, after all... If I had chosen differently, I could even have applied for Medicine. Medicine! How cool would that be?

29th August, 2000 - 15 years old: I am preparing for the final 2 years of high school, which will end up in two sets of exams. I have chosen the "theoretical" branch of studies, partly because I think I hate Math (I end up loving it), and partly because I want my father to teach me at home, rather than spending half of my day at private tuition. I want to be an interpreter/guide/ambassador, after studying at the University of Corfu. My social life is suffering hard, but at least I have my best friend to rely on. I don't know it yet, but once high school ends, our friendship will end too, and on the worst terms possible.

29th August, 1999 - 14 years old: This has been a most tiring year. After finishing top of my class, while getting 2 degrees in English and 1 in Italian and playing at a piano recital, I feel exhausted. I just wanna have a little fun instead. I decide not to take up so many things next year, and I end up being a TV addict and gaining 10 lbs! This is the last summer I will be spending with my 2 best friends from high school.

29th August, 1993 - 8 years old: We are moving away from Crete and going back to Trikala, and I am devastated! I don't want to go again - and I will miss all of my new friends. On February I will have a little brother, Alex - and he will be a major pain in the @ss, but I will love him like crazy too.

29th August, 1992 - 7 years old: We are leaving Trikala, to go to Crete! I don't want to go - I feel sick of moving all the time. I desperately ask for a pet, but all I get is a snail! My sister gives me chicken pox on the day that I am supposed to go to a dress up party, and I secretely fantacize murdering her as a revenge! LOL

29th August, 1991 - 6 years old: After spending 3 years in Athens, we are moving to Trikala. It will be fun to know my father's side of the family a little better. My grandparents are weird, and speak a dialect I don't understand, but they seem to be nice people and give me and my little sister sweets all the time. This year I realise I love my sister after all. We play a lot out in the open, and do all sorts of nasty things!

29th August, 1988 - 3 years old: We are now living in Athens. I miss Crete a lot. My little sister is nearly a month old. I am crazy jealous of her, and I can't understand why we need her at all! She is obnoxious, she has no teeth, she cries all the time and my parents seem to be spending all of their time with her and not me! This is the first year I go to kindergarten. Or I am supposed to go, at least. Because, for some weird reason, I contract every disease there is out there, and spend every single day in bed with a fever! Finally, I am having my tonsils removed and things seem to go a little better. And by the way, eating ice cream with a sore throat after the operation is NO fun at all! This is actually the first time ever someone forces me to eat ice cream, and I refuse!

29th August, 1986 - 2 years old: We move to Chania with my parents, and I enjoy myself immensely. Next year I will learn how to read, and I will discover a new, magical world. I love watching cartoons with my dad, going to the zoo and eating all sorts of weird stuff (like lambs' brains, oysters and intestines soup). My mother claims I am the most outgoing baby on Earth. One day, she is shocked to find out that I creep out of the apartment after my dad goes to sleep, visit the local bookstore and pick new books (of course I don't pay for them, because I don't even know what money is!). After that, the whole neighbourhood is on "baby watch" - they keep an eye on me for my safety, but without me ever knowing about it. I still wander about casually, and discover interesting things day by day.

29th August, 1985 - a few months old: My parents graduate from the university of Rethymnon. My first months of life have been extraordinary, with students taking turns into babysitting me, and my mom feeding me while attending political gatherings. I get used to being around many people, and enjoy being in the centre of attention.

29th August, 1984: My mom is 4 months pregnant with me. I don't know why, but they decided to keep me, even though both my parents are students. Also, 4 days ago, they got married. They will regret this in the end (the marriage process itself, not them being together), but at least they won't regret keeping me. I am still only a tiny mass in my mom's uterus, but I am grateful.

So that's it, guys! I hope you enjoyed my timeline - I sure did! I will come back with my future timeline as well at some point.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Some bad news

My not having posted for a while now is no news, nor something that needs an elaborate explanation: It was simply a result of enjoying the last days of the summer, and also the last days of the best trimester of my life so far.

As I have explained before, I will be working as an agricultural doctor in Lesvos for a whole year. The first 3 months are spent in Mytilene, where each one of us is trained at the hospital here. After this educational trimester ends, we are to move to our village of choice (the one we applied for 6 months ago) and actually start working.

I guess that my everyday life at the village will be interesting, challenging, funny and with a few surprises. I promise to share my experiences, good and bad, along the way. But until Monday 31st, my first day at work as a "real" doctor, I am still a trainee.

A trainee not being trained, actually - but this is for another future post. But as a result of the flexible hours and the everything-but-intensive schedule, I have lots of free time. Free time to make friends, swim, sunbathe, watch interesting movies (or cr@ppy ones - it doesn't matter, as long as you have good company!), play board games, enjoy long drives in my car (and occasionally create a new bump or two), drink yummy cocktails and gain 100 pounds by enjoying the local cuisine! In short, free time to have fun.

Somewhere along the way, I feel the annoying presence of guilt for not studying, and not being 100% dedicated to my job. But you know what? In my 24 years of life, I can't remember myself having much fun. It was always a race, a competition - I had to give my best, I had to be the best. And after going through the incredibly painful process of Greek exams, upon entering Med school, I discovered that I had been cheated - where was all the "fun" I was promised, right after the exam torment had ended? Not only things were not "fun", they were even harder then! In fact, I had to study more than ever before!

And I did. And I will, until the very last day of my life. Because Medicine requires true dedication, and it is a science that always evolves. There are no givens, and no golden rules. Everything we take for granted now, may change tomorrow. So we must always be up-to-date.

So, for the last 3 months, I decided to tell my guilt to shut it and go away. It was one of my very few opportunities to have fun, and I promised myself to take it. And I did. And it was amazing!

But today, I feel awful. I know, it is ok to be a little sorry that the trimester is ending, and also a little (or a lot!) terrified that starting Monday, I will be responsible for real, flesh and bones, people.

However, the reason for my bad mood is a bit more practical. There is a problem with my accomodation at the village. I was going to rent an appartment there for 9 months, and started looking for one with my colleague, a while back (we agreed to not stay together, for various reasons, so we had to find one for each). There had to be good heating, because the village is on the top of a mountain and it is cold in the winter, and since it was for 9 months only, it would be better if they were already furnished (because after 18395 moves, dragging my furniture across the other end of Greece was not an option).

We searched a lot, and found only 2 suitable places. My colleague and I liked the same one, but I decided it was just not worth fighting for, so I went for the other. She herself closed the deal with hers, and today I phoned the owner of "mine", in order to agree on some last details.

But guess what? The owner decided that she won't accept me, because I have a dog! I was furious! Don't get me wrong, it is TOTALLY her right not to want pets at her property. However, we had talked about this TWICE before, and she had said there was no problem whatsoever! Not only did she not need convincing, but she seemed more than ok with Phoebs.

And today, 4 days before my move and while we had unofficially agreed and I had stopped searching for something else, she decided against us! I did not see that coming - and I am wondering what to do now.

I asked again, and there are no other accomodation options at the village that suit my needs. So, my only 2 options are: 1) Rent an unfurnished appartment and spend a small fortune (which I lack at the moment) equipping it for a stay of just 9 months - not to add the need to transfer every single piece in my tiny car, because having the shop move it is not possible, or 2) Rent an appartment in Mytilene, and go back and forth every single day, driving in potentially dangerous roads, with snow and ice in the winter (not to mention also spending a small fortune on gas).

I am really frustrated right now, and feel that I am out of time. Also, next weekend I will be off to Germany (I'll share the details in another post) and will have no time to deal with all this, so the pressure of finding a solution fast is overwhelming.

I know it's not possible to help me from so far away (and I am sure that, not knowing the specific details of the accomodation process, it all sounds Greek to you! LOL) but you can at least send me your good vibes and wishes for a viable solution. Or you can try voodoo on the owner for being so inconsistent and untrustworthy. Whichever suits you best...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Where have you been, young lady?????!!!!!

I know, I know - I am a terrible blogger. I write less posts than Paris Hilton wears undies, so I get it if you don't want to hang out at my place any more.

To my defence, I haven't had an internet connection for several weeks. But honestly, that's not reason enough. Because I could have gone on a crusade and done whatever needed to be done, never stopping, never getting tired, until I found a way to post. My mom doesn't call me a stubborn mule for no reason. I could have done it... had I been focused.

But alas, I were anything but focused. But hey, don't blame me and my wandering mind. Don't blame the hospital and the hard work, or the merciless sun, or the occassional fling either (for the record, there hasn't been any of the latter! :( ) My friends, if you need to blame somebody / something, blame the water.

The crystal, refreshing, gorgeous water of the beaches of Mytilene. I have actually been more of a dolphin than a human for the last weeks. Ok, the glittering sand, the breathtaking landscapes, the fun company and the delicious cocktails served at beach bars rule also, but the water is something else.

And to prove this to you, this is where I have been for the last weeks:

1) Eresos: My favourite beach in the whole island (located a little over 1 1/2 hours from Mytilene). Several kilometers of white sand, crystal clean water, a laid-back atmosphere and friendly people are all it takes to feel at home. Seriously, Eresos is the most relaxing place in the whole world for me so far.

2) Agios Isidoros: Time for a dive in a "Blue Lagoon" scenery. The colours of the water are amazing, and the white pebbles are ideal for those who are not very fond of sand.

3) Agios Ermogenis: If you want to find the best beach there is, while staying at a close proximity to Mytilene, look no futher. Once you enjoy the panoramic view of the beach, you will be hooked - one glance will be enough to fall in love with it! Also, the unique scenery with the pine trees virtually getting into the sea and the little white church up the hill will add to your infatuation.

4) Faneromeni: Not for the weak of heart. Located near Sigri, the westernmost part of the island, Faneromeni is rarely calm. Instead, it is windy, wild, deserted and non-organised. It almost makes you feel unwanted there. Unfortunately, most passionate love stories start with contempt and rejection - and before you realise it, you will keep coming back for more!

5) Anaxos: This is the best beach in the northern part of the island. Anaxos is a strange story indeed. While being organised, with umbrellas and water sports, family - oriented and surrounded by cafes and restaurants, the water is still crystal clean and manages to enchant beach snobs like myself. I don't know how it does it, but every time I go there, I greatly enjoy it.

This is my top 5 of the beaches of Lesvos so far. But the list doesn't stop here. Charamida, Ksampelia, Vatera, Molyvos, Eftalou, Chroussos are all amazing beaches too. And the best part? I have many more to discover!

So there, enjoy some pictures of the aforementioned beaches. I hope you like them, and they make up for the hiatus my blog is going through every now and then.

Or instead, you can hate me for making you jealous and decide to follow me never again. Oh, cr@p!