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Thursday, September 18, 2014

THE ONE MONTH UPDATE!


Well, it's officially here. It's been one whole month since I've arrived to Greece. It feels like it has been MUCH longer though! I think because we have almost entirely adapted so quickly. We travel around on the metro, go shopping, walk around Syntagma, go grocery shopping, make dinners, and go to work! 

I still think about home, my family, and my friends every single day though. I see what's going on at Wheelock through social media, and it still feels weird that I am not there. Things are so great over here though!

Everyone at ACS Athens is so helpful and friendly. I'm learning a lot about all the planning, research, and scheduling that goes into preparing for counseling throughout the year. I am loving the day to day experiences we get to have, especially going to the bakeries and produce stand so much that they know us now. :)

The only very recent things I am having problems with right now are:

1) My cold

       and

2) My bug bites

Between Sunday and today, I developed a very nasty cold that is currently kicking my ass. I had to stay home from school today because of how bad it has gotten. Because of this, however, I had my first experience of buying medicine at the pharmacy. I got a 24 pack of cold medicine with dosage similar to Sudafed for only 3 euros! I also found out that you can apparently buy antibiotics over the counter here. Haven't done that yet though.

Since arriving in Greece, I have had a fair share of bug bites. Only one was very concerning because of its size and appearance, but it has now gone away. Two days ago, I noticed two very close together on the inside of my right elbow/forearm that were very problematic. Since then, those have been fading away, but upon waking up this morning, I discovered two more large bites on that same forearm, just on different sides of the arm, and one VERY irritating one on the top of my index finger! SERIOUSLY? Where are these bugs coming from?!? And why does it seem that I am being attacked in my sleep? I am now very paranoid.

The only other issue I have been experiencing over here is the smoking... People smoke like freaking chimneys here! The cigarettes here are also less filtered with chemicals and such, so are much stronger, straight tobacco. They also only recently passed a law that prohibits people from smoking inside public places like restaurants and bars... so they don't really follow it because the police and establishments don't enforce it seeing how they also smoke themselves, and it's convenient for them to be able to smoke right where they are hanging out.

This has been really difficult for me because I have found that I have a hypersensitivity to the smoke here. I think it's a combination of the stronger smoke here, and just how often people smoke everywhere. It has made enjoying myself while out with my friends very challenging, if not impossible. :(

But I still have 9 whole months to figure out a way to deal with it and enjoy myself to the fullest here! After all, this entire thing is one big learning experience, isn't it?

That's all for now!
-Brittany

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