On Friday night my parea threw me a going away party at ICE BAR. It was so kind of them and I loved being surrounded by my closest Greek friends. A couple times throughout the night I teared up but I wouldn’t let the tears spill over. It wasn’t time to cry yet. George and Marina picked me up at 11:30 and we stayed at ICE until 3.
We had a table outside and we were drinking vodka with lemonade and orange juice. Around 2 am the bar brought out complimentary champagne, which is always such a treat. George, Thanassis, Marina, Maria, Sevi, and Nikos all came along with one of Niko’s friend and one of Marina’s friends. Unfortunately Alex and Daphne had already left for their houses in Halkidiki so they were unable to come :( But I was very, very glad that those who were able to come did come. Do you realize how special I felt to be the sole American there, the closest American friend they had all made? I am fully a part of their parea. I was talking with an ACT american the other day and he said: “You’re always with your greek group.” Yeah, Yeah I am. I love them. They’re so kind, warm, funny, appreciative, joyful. I am so happy when I’m around them. I know it was my goodbye party, but I don’t think any of us really consider it a goodbye, more of a see-you-later.
Luckily, we got lots of good pictures.
|maria, me, sevi, & marina|
|free champagne! Yeia Mas!|
After we left ICE at 3, we headed to a small Crete party. Nikos is from Crete and apparently it’s a huge source of pride and there is a large crete student community here in Thess. The party was held in a swanky little run-down room and it was put on by students. There was probably 40 people there, all sitting in chairs and chatting and drinking Rackia and smoking. There was a circle of guys singing and playing some sort of guitar. I got a little video of it so you can see what I was made a part of. It was fascinating, I felt privileged to be included in such a crack-in-the-wall-gathering. It was so intimate and relaxed. Now that was cool.
When Nikos introduced me to a few guys I introduced myself as “loula” because it was fairly loud and Greeks tend to struggle with “Lily.” Vagellis at school calls me loula because you can tag -oula on any name for the feminine version of “little” like “gat-oula” would mean little cat rather than “gata.” Thus, Vagellis took my name, and tacked a “oula” on it, and since Loula is a greek name, I decided to use it here at the Crete party. That didn’t go over so smoothly with George. He was like “whaaaaaaaat?” Apparently, he hadn’t connected the “oula” dots and thought it was too far of a stretch for my name. It was funny the look of shock on his face. It’s not uncommon to use fake names in America, sometimes I introduce myself as Joy or Stacy, just for kicks. I guess they don’t use pseudonyms here.
We all were wiped so George, Marina and I headed home at 5 am. Vicky was leaving at 5:30 am so I stayed up with her and cried with her. I love that girl! Watching her leave was heart wrenching! I was very glad that I was there for her though, as she was leaving. That was a special moment we shared, crying on each other’s shoulders and holding her hands as she walked down the steps of PapaK.
I went to bed at 5:45 am and woke up at 11 am for Halkidiki....