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Posts Tagged ‘Laundry’

Today I did my laundry by hand for the first time in my life.  And while I can’t guarantee the cleanliness of these articles of clothing, I can say that I really enjoyed this as a task.  It was both productive and gratifying, which, ideally, all household chores would be.  This is, of course, not the case, but that must be saved for another post.

Proof that I did my laundry...by hand...by myself...and by myself I mean with minimally help from Sheena...but very minimal...so mostly by myself.

Proof that I did my laundry...by hand...by myself...and by myself I mean with minimally help from Sheena...but very minimal...so mostly by myself.

I have always had a deep appreciation of things that just make me and/or other people just stop and force us to be present in the moment we are in.  The two examples I regularly use when talking about such events are church and the ferry.  Generally speaking, church is a time when large groups of people stop the rest of their busy lives and just be in one place doing one thing.  Now, the actual enjoyment people derive from church-going is subjective, and I don’t not claim myself as a religious person in the traditional sense by any measure, but I have come to appreciate the power of church in making us slow our lives down for even just an hour.

The ferry I specifically think of is the one that goes from the end of Canal St. to Algiers Point in New Orleans.  Its no more than ten minutes if I remember correctly, but there is something about being put on a boat with nowhere to go for ten minutes at time and being surrounded by a city in every direction and the Mississippi.  At least it always helped me slow down.

This is NOT the way I remember the ferry to Algiers.  But thanks to Jerry Bruckheimer, no one will ever believe me that is a pleasant experience.  Seriously, the odds of it blowing up are minimal.  I promise.

This is NOT the way I remember the ferry to Algiers. But thanks to Jerry Bruckheimer, no one will ever believe me that is a pleasant experience. Seriously, the odds of it blowing up are minimal. I promise.

This is what doing my laundry, by hand nonetheless, did for me today.  I slowed down.  I felt a little more than I usually let myself feel.  I needed it.  Thank you to the social norms which required me to wash my clothes today.

That being said, I must admit I feel a bit guilty saying I needed time like this.  I am currently in the midst of what many have told me is quite close to their dream job/vacation and I just returned from five days in Crete.  A vacation from a vacation?  It sounds indulgent but its what happened and it felt great.

Crete is an incredibly geographically diverse place.  In the midst of our five days, we saw large cities, small cities, small farms, vineyards, touristy beaches, remote beaches, mountains, gorges, and a vast array of plant life.  Oia is a wonderful place but it is easy to get caught up in the bustle of a place that relies almost solely on tourism to survive.  The population swells so dramatically during tourist season that it is a completely different place.  My taxi driver from when I first arrived said it can grow by up to 10 times, but if you want to see this man’s legitimacy in terms of competence and trustworthiness, you should read the entry from when I first arrived.

While Crete is also very touristy, it provided a change of scenery and a change of pace.  Not to mention, it was probably the last time Mike, Sheena, and I would be able to travel together (Mike and Sheena reference four) away from the bookstore because most of the crowd from the bookstore has now left.

Day 1 was spent traveling from Santorini to Iraklion by ferry and then to Hania (Xania to you Greek speakers, which I am sure I have a loyal following of), where we spent the first night.  Here we walked the streets and found (read: Mike found) an awesome restaurant  where we made friends with the wait staff who brought us an extra bottle of Raki on the house.

Was Crete ready for the team now known as Team Game-Time Sensation (Team GTS)?  Probably not.  But it survived, though not unscathed.

Was Crete ready for the team now known as Team Game-Time Sensation (Team GTS)? Probably not. But it survived, though not unscathed.

The next morning symbolized the start of the best day of our trip.  We caught the first bus from Hania to the Samaria Gorge, which is a remarkable hike of about 16 km (you do the conversion if you are that curious) down a huge gorge and is one of the islands largest tourist attractions.  We missed a huge crowd because we caught the early bus.

The Samaria Gorge.  As Americans, we felt it our duty to try to open a Starbucks here, but the Greeks, integrious people that they are, politely declined.

The Samaria Gorge. As Americans, we felt it our duty to try to open a Starbucks here, but the Greeks, integrious people that they are, politely declined.

Even the water was beautiful.

Even the water was beautiful.

Proof that Mike and Sheena hiked the gorge.  Proof that I did the hike does not currently exist.  You just have to take my word on this one.

Proof that Mike and Sheena hiked the gorge. Proof that I did the hike does not currently exist. You just have to take my word on this one.

Anywho, the hike was perfect and we got to the bottom where we ate some food, jumped in the sea and caught a ferry westward to Paleohora.  Upon arriving at Paleohora we found ourselves a vegetarian restaurant in the middle of town (yes, a vegetarian restaurant) and ate to our heart’s content.  At this point, we were tired but feeling like the day had already been a win, so we decided to be a bit indulgent.  And what is more indulgent that going to find the one cinema in town that just happens to play English-speaking films.  Our expectations were low, as we didn’t know what to expect in terms of venue, language, pricing, etc.

I ordered mango stir fry.  I know...I still don't believe it was real.

I ordered mango stir fry. I know...I still don't believe it was real.

Well, after some wandering, we found it.  Oh, did we ever find it.  It was an open air cinema with stray kittens running all about.  The silence in the movies were filled with the sounds of cicada-like bugs and the wind in the trees around the theater.  Looking up you could see thousands of stars all around.  The movie, to add to the exceptionalness of the evening was Slumdog Millionaire with Greek subtitles.  Life is good, huh?  So good in fact that we found a beach cot on the beach and just slept there, with the sounds of the waves in front of us and the lights of the city behind us.

Most likely, this is an illegal picture of Slumdog Millionaire, and it hardly depicts how beautiful the theater actually was, but at least you've know seen it.

Most likely, this is an illegal picture of Slumdog Millionaire, and it hardly depicts how beautiful the theater actually was, but at least you've know seen it.

The morning after.  Do you see how appealing it was to stay another night?

The morning after. Do you see how appealing it was to stay another night?

Even though the next day started with Mike running around going, “Get up, get up!,” it was a perfect way to wake up.  He was doing this because the current suddenly rose to the place we were sleeping but everything was saved, so no worries.  The previous day and night had been so good that we chose to stick around for the whole next day and night.  Can’t get enough of a good thing, right?

This was a wrong assumption.  While the day was nice and relaxing, when we set up and settled into sleep in the same spot from the night before, we were greeted with a life lesson that sometimes it is good to just let good things be.  The night was just one gigantic wind storm that quickly turned into a sand storm.  Poor Mike only had a sheet, which temperature-wise was fine but the wind was much too violent.  At some stressful point in the night, I took more beach cots and built a wall of resistance against the wind, which helped with sleeping but the sand still found its way everywhere.  When I flossed last night there was still sand in my mouth.

We rose early (surprising, right) and started the track back to Iraklion (fifth largest city in Greece, mind you) where we would catch the ferry the next morning.  I will not spend much time telling you about Iraklion.  I never feel comfortable about criticizing a place, considering people live there and most likely many of them proudly call it home, and especially a place where I spent a total of about 18 hours tops.  My experience was, as I’m sure you have guessed, not the best of our journey.  However, we did find our way to a bowling alley and to the entrance of a little fair.

Greek bowling is serious.  These are our game faces.  And, for the record, I won.  Twice.

Greek bowling is serious. These are our game faces. And, for the record, I won. Twice.

If you can't get into the fair, why not just just dance at the entrance?

If you can't get into the fair, why not just just dance at the entrance?

All in all, an amazing trip.  And lessons learned.  No matter where I am or what I have been doing, its always nice to have something slow you down for a moment- if even just for that moment.  Take time, as they say.

The Books- Take Time

http://7970917082554362344-a-1802744773732722657-s-sites.googlegroups.com/site/bootsofspanishleathersite/Home/08TakeTime.mp3?attredirects=0&auth=ANoY7crkuRlk29asEkgFZ_3_kRJmkPzm7X23MwSuCejRKBHodg4orOt6ZHt1YvX3LBSZgBseNJpHEQIhckMNU_fGQe1bMce57qqQru1jTEHTsWhBqhi-7BKVSqhW6JPMrky6mI7aFmouQu2dM2IM54FjLdmhI5UyemLtmVXjKQah_PtLGzy_klddr3CjaivchrBnhPA4qepRyDnSb9i16icX-K_I2ZEJLJzojkrC36x1kZbJEDSv1d4%3D

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