Friday, November 25, 2011

Livin' in Athens

We've had some requests for a post about our everyday life: what we do around town, what work is like, where we live etc!
The British School at Athens
(We've got ID cards and everything!)

We work at an archaeology institute in Kolonaki, the ritzy part of Athens. Everyday we take the 608 bus to work, an hour ride we usually share with many other grumpy commuters. Matt is employed as an artifact photographer, and me as the archive intern. Matt works in the BSA's little museum systematically photographing all of the hundreds of pretty artifacts.

Sometimes Matt's work requires him to climb on tables.

Other times, its a little more automatic.

the collection

My work, a little less pretty on the eyes, involves organizing a collection of more modern material "The Noel Baker family papers". The Noels were a british family, kin to Lady Byron, who arrived in Greece in the 1800s and owned an estate on Euboea. They are an incredibly interesting family to study as they were philhellenes (Greek word φιλέλλην, from φίλος - philos, "dear one, friend" + Έλλην - Hellen, "Greek"). As well, the family was very involved in English and world politics. So the family has donated much of the material and I organize the stuff by family member etc, in a way that would make researchers lives easy! (For information on Francis Noel Baker and the family's work, here!).

Home Sweet Home:

We live in my family apartment where my dad lived when he was going to school in Athens back in the 70s. When we arrrived we had to make some repairs, renovations and stylistic changes our archaic apartment. The electrical sockets, which weren't grounded, would shock us every time we used our computers or plugged things in. Obviously that was the first to go.

Our living room originally had the oldest, most worn out, slip covers on all of the chairs and covers. It was olive green and 70s floral. We pulled them off, found the stripes and suddenly the room stopped spinning. We added a brand new big tv. Of course, the only things on in English are movies on the weekend, and Gordon Ramsay shows during the week.

(Off came the slip covers in the front hall as well. Slip covers are very Greek.) Matt's mama and aunt brought us this orchid when they visited. So far so good on keeping it alive!

Or kitchen, with the most magnificent orange flower tiles, is small but cozy. We bought a new oven as the old one didn't work allowing us to only cook stovetop meals! This is easily where we spend most of our time. 

We have QUITE the spice collection (having bought great spices from the market in Athens and the Bazaar in Istanbul) as well as an extensive tea collection. Come visit, and we can treat you to 22 different varieties of teas from across the world!
Our main hallway also serves as our dining room. Matt is displaying our new turkish rug we bought.
"Yo listen up here's a story
About a little guy that lives in a blue world
And all day and all night and everything he sees
Is just blue like him inside and outside
Blue is his house with a blue little window
And a blue corvette
And everything is blue for him and hisself
And everybody around..."

Our bathroom/laundry room. Small, or maybe it just feels small with all the tiling.

Our bedroom, sweet and simple. Closet space, bed, freshly washed curtains, piles of clothes all over my side of the floor...

Our side porch, off of the twin bedroom (which we use as storage space and was too messy to photograph). Our apartment overlooks many many other apartments in the urban sprawl of Athens.

We had the glass railings on our balcony replaced as the elastic had fallen out and wer in danger of falling the 6 floors down to the sidewalk!

The front porch and view. Cloudy hazy day though

Our tiny tiny tiny little elevator.
When we moved in, it must've taken 4 trips? 
We weren't convinced originally that we would be able to fit the oven in the elevator. Luckily, we have a really tiny oven.

Thats the apartment! 5th (really 6th) floor!

The Routine: 

Matt and I have found we really are creatures of habit. We have easily adopted our routine. Wake up, tea and breakfast, ride to work, work 6 hours (with lunch and coffee break), come home, make dinner, watch tv or read, sleep.

Some days, although RARELY (not often enough for the amount of fried pitas and souvlaki I eat) we go to the gym! We get our fresh produce, eggs, and oil (and popcorn!) from the local outdoor markets, the "λαϊκή" on Tuesdays and Saturdays. When we eat out we usually go to our favorite local restaurant. The owner, Antoni, recognizes us and smiles as we order basically the same each time ("But if its good why change it!"): lettuce-dill-lemon salad, olives, french fries, bifteki and retsina (Greek resin-wine. Think Christmas tree wine.)

We can't say though that we're boring in our routine. We travel every few weeks to some exciting place, we just need a little restbreak in between.

Finally, to end our post about home and heart: