Thursday, March 29, 2007

showers and driving (aka playing frogger)

i have officially hit the 1-week mark so the “i’m on vacation” feeling is somewhat over and reality has set in that living here is my reality. God is VERY good to arrange for the navy to send us here. YAY! i thought to myself, “i don’t have a job i have to get back to. this is not a vacation!! ya-HOOOOOOO!!” i had to catch my breath. this unemployment thing could work out. ;o) (rest assured, i will eat my words when i find something to do with my time. but first i have to unpack, entertain my first guest, colleen who arrives in 2 weeks, and travel a little bit.) today i slept in until 10am and it was wonderful. our window has a built in shade, which makes it pitch black for a great night of sleep. the little jet lag i bragged about in my previous post came back to bite me as i’ve been a little tired over the last couple of days. today our electricity was off at the house (2x since i’ve been here??), so i came into base to take a shower and go to my greek customs class. i have to say the shower was heavenly! 15 minutes of constant, flowing HOT water. i mean hot. (joni, i know you’re amazed it wasn’t more like 30 minutes but some things can change!) so hot i had the dial in the middle so i didn’t scorch myself and make my “red face & neck” syndrome permanent. don’t get me wrong, our house has pretty hot (ok maybe warm) water, but submarine style is in effect. yes, ladies and gents, you’ll be turning the water off in between lathering up. trust me though if i, the most high maintenance shower-taker i know, can get used to it…so can you. :o) the instructor didn’t show up for my greek customs class so instead of going home to unpack my house, i’m avoiding chores and opting for a quick email check and blog post.

now, my goal is not to “complain” about things here in crete but from time to time, i will share some of my “challenges.” the driving here is CRAZY. and by CRAZY, i mean NUTS. and by NUTS i mean INSANE!!! cretan drivers make new yorkers look like they’re driving around on a sunday afternoon in the country. being a first timer to europe, i had no idea that the driving here is starkly different than in the states. but i think the cretan drivers must take the cake. i have no other EU countries to compare to yet, but my driving instructor said so, so it must be true! i like how he described Americans as “defensive” drivers and cretans as “aggressive” drivers. i can think of a few other words to describe them but this is a kid-friendly blog. ;o) 2 days ago, i went to the town of kooni (it has a long greek name but I have no idea how to spell it) to pick up some additional shelves for our kitchen cabinets. definitely almost hit a car.
i have no idea how we didn’t crash. so for now i’m the grandma driver hugging the right side of the road. nevermind that on some roads my big isuzu trooper and another car do not fit. i will have to get used to driving in reverse when i’m on these 1-car roads. nice. but most days i like that i’m the bigger car. poor ernesto (the loving affectionate name we gave our suv) has a lot of new scratches and scrapes. if he comes back to the states in 1 piece, i’ll be amazed! ken’s jalopy on the other hand is a hoot! i’ll have to take a picture one of these days and send it. i think i’m going to call it scooter. it’s a tan opel (like a 4-door ford escort) and ken thinks it might need some engine work. no problem though…working on a car is therapy for him. it may not be pretty, but it does run! so far this week he hasn’t had any problems driving to and from base.) too bad i can’t drive a standard so by default ernesto is mine. :) finally, i'm including a few pictures from my 7:15 am (when the sun rises) walk with echo a couple of days ago.

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