Barbie Goes to Market

Athens is famous for it’s ruins.  Although, everyone knows this, I never realized just how many ruins there are.  In my first class today, Art and Archaeology, we met up at the National Archaeology Museum.  After analyzing some works, we went downstairs to the courtyard to escape the aggressive tour groups upstairs.  It seems that anytime after 9:00am, retired masses of 40 or 50 people from every country visit the museum.  Understandable, as Poseidon, (or is it Zeus? Archaeologists still disagree), beckons international gazes among other well preserved statues.

In the courtyard there are benches, a cafeteria, and yet more ruins.  A classmate asked our Professor Sanders if the outside air would eventually damage them?  “Well it’s certainly not the best place for them, but they are from the Roman period which everyone dislikes.”

Dislikes? I kinda like it?  She explained further that, “Greeks love and hate their ruins.  They love them because they are famous for them.  They hate them because they continue to pop up everywhere.”  Want to make a renovation to your house?  Well an archaeologist has to come first to make sure you’re not going to build on some undiscovered temple.  Apparently that is more common than one might think.

My next professor, Stavros, explained this further.  We met at a church in Athens for class, Athens On Site: Archaeology and the City.  “Athens is simply ancient ruins that have been recycled over and over.”  Even in the metro, there are ruins. 

Greeks love their culture, but they don’t like when it encompasses their daily lives.   Just like they don’t like newcomers to the market as I soon found out.  When I ventured to my neighborhood market for produce I imagined it quieter than the last time as it was almost over.  Fat chance.  There was more yelling.  People were bagging up vegetables as if they were preparing for a flood.  I only needed a couple of vegetables and some fruit.  Apparently, that is not an option when the market is about to close in an hour.  Everything becomes a “kilo for .50 euro” or something similar.  So as I tried to pay for two cucumbers, the vendor took my bag added about 8 more and then I paid.  This continued to happen for every other food I bought.  Cheap yes.  And a great deal for fresh produce.  I just ended up with more than I expected.  More than I could handle.  I walked back to my apartment looking like a black market veggie vendor because I had so many bags.

It was funny, kind of like a wake up call.  I thought I knew how the market ran after having gone last week.  However, I discovered a whole new aspect of the market.  Although I didn’t enjoy it at first, as eggplants were literally slipping from my grip, I like having a fully stocked kitchen now.  I can look past the hoard of produce I have and see myself attempting to cook it all-or just make Greek salads over and over.  They are kind of like my Greek ruins.  I have too many, and they take up space, but I appreciate having them. 

Love

TZEINA

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