Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Difficulties of life in Greece.

As one sits on a comfortable couch overlooking the channel that separates Euboea and the mainland, the mind wanders from the bliss that is a Sokalata Krea and free WiFi.

First and foremost, the weather is the greatest challenge to the experienced and would-be archaeologists. From thundering storms to blistering heat, the weather is as unrelenting and moody as my future wife. It is fun to think of the poetry of Homer in regards to the weather. So far, there has been a number of thunder storms, just like in poetry and writings from antiquity. Odysseus, for example, experienced a few similar storms. Imagine, the EBAP crew on a fast, black ship sailing home when we are hit by storm. Now, that's just an overactive imagination talking. We were really in the backyard washing sherds. Although the rain felt nice, everyone had one thought in mind: the site. Heavy rains can and will foil any thought of working on site, sometimes even for a few days. The last major storm had left layers of mud inside of trenches, making it impossible to work in until they dried out a few days later. The rain will make all the soil look the same, making it impossible to distinguish changes in the soil/marking stratigraphy changes. Statigraphy levels are used in order to properly date any material found. If there is no contamination, then materials found in the same locust should be related. Anyways, rain equals bad. On the other hand, sun equals heatstroke and heatstroke equals bad as well. The weather conditions are unforgiving, but thankfully there has been plenty of days in between blistering and rain. The best days are cloudy with a light wind.

Another difficulty would easily be the easily accessed beach that is near where we stay. Dilesi is a resort town, and so has a beautiful beach. It can be a challenge to lay there in the sun, sometimes you may get a sunburn instead of the crisp tan that you were after. A sunburn equals bad. It's handwork laying around on the beach contemplating whether or not the water seems welcoming. And nothing is worse than a mouth or nose full of salt water. Sometimes, if you're very unfortunate, you might even hurt your fingers trying to catch the frisbee. The real problems with having the beach so close would be the urge to go spend hours there. As mentioned, sunburns equal bad, and it is easy to burn here in Dilesi. The rocks on the shore and in the water pose a threat to your feet. Damaged feet equals bad.

Now, if the previously mentioned problems are bad, then this next one is BAD. As a Canadian, I grew up with a lot of luxury that I did not even register as luxurious until I came to Greece. I had never been out of Canada before, so everything was new and almost everything was exciting. You know what I was not excited for? Not being able to flush toilet paper, and not having drinkable water in Dilesi. In really any bathroom in Greece, you will find a trashcan that you press down on with one foot and the lid pops up. The specifics are not important, but to say I miss being able to flush and forget is an understatement. The same goes for the metallic water in Dilesi. Although most food and drink in Greece is deadly good, Dilesi tap water equals bad/maybe death in large quantities. The water here is really only good for washing clothes, brushing teeth, showering, and thats just about it.

Although some aspects of life in Greece is difficult to adjust to, we are very lucky to be here, doing what we are doing. Our mission ends in a week and a few days, so we are lucky in the sense that Greece is about to experience even more difficulties. With the referendum looming, and the vote being able to go either way, the next few days will be tense. So far, things have been peaceful, aside from a few fist fights here in Dilesi(May or may not be due to alcohol). The rallys at the parliament building have been peaceful, the two sides take turns on when to be there. I feel sad when I think of the harsh times that Greece is facing, and I feel worse knowing that it may not get better. Regardless, it is the people of Greece who will suffer, their lives will be difficult, but in less than two weeks I will be back home in Victoria. I now know how lucky I am to be living in Canada, rather than a country down on its luck. I wish Greece good luck, and I sincerely hope they make the right decision for as many people as possible.

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