My family is known for sporting some serious bad tempers, which you can chalk up on my Mom’s side to being Irish-American New Englanders, and on my Dad’s side to being: We-won’t-take-crap-from-anybody black-American New Englanders. Perhaps it all comes down to the salty New England attitudes, but that could be a generalization. Regardless, I always prided myself from escaping the dreaded bad temper mold in my own personality…..until I was in Greece. And in retrospect, it’s probably safe to assume that I might actually have a bad temper all along, I just chose to pretend it didn’t exist photoso that I could continue being proud of my individuality.

And then Greece happened. I was surrounded by Europeans in a big hotel by the beach in Rhodes/Rodos where we shared a breakfast buffet, would lay out next to each other by the massive pool, and would bump into them at the hotel supermarket. There were no Americans, at least not till the end of our weeklong sojourn, and by that time my heart was already crusted over in the angry bitterness perpetuated by the incredibly rude manners of my fellow travelers.

Now the purpose of me telling you this isn’t to complain about a vacation that most people won’t be able to take in their lives or come off as ungrateful, because I believe I’m lucky everyday to wake up in a country that isn’t as foreign to me as before, and slowly edges its way into my heart. No, the purpose is to talk about culture. And why I don’t understand that these crazy cultural differences have such a wide gap.

Here’s the bad: the hotel states that they don’t allow people to reserve beach chairs with towels for longer than 30 minutes, which I was really happy about until I got down to the pool at 9, and ALL of the chairs were reserved with towels. In fact, they were reserved for hours (especially the ones near the umbrellas) without so much as anyone showing up till noon. Now, I’m not a toucher of peoples’ things, so I sat at the cafe and would take short trips into our beautiful salt water pool so I could keep an eye on our stuff, you wouldn’t believe how annoying this was. So we started waking up earlier to catch some chairs, only to find that people woke up at 6am, put their towels down and wouldn’t come till much, much later. This is vacation,  why on earth should we wake up at 5 am to reserve chairs for a pool? Some of these chairs didn’t see any action till 2 or 3 in the afternoon although a towel was on it since 6! How selfish!!! Eventually we did wake up one day seriously early and snagged an umbrella and two chairs, and you know photo-6what happened, a lady moved two chairs directly in back of ours, blocking us in and hitting us, so that her two daughters could be under the umbrellas. She even moved my chair, with me on it!, to make sure her daughter who was in the pool the entire time, would have shade while she abruptly pushed me into the sun. When they finally sat down, they kept kicking and hitting us, and my Kindle Paperwhite (acquired most happily as a birthday gift!) couldn’t get any attention or focus. We ended up being pushed out of our chairs.

And as for pushing, I got pushed, smacked, shoved and hit most of this trip. I got shoved down the stairs since my 2nd trimester pregnant butt wasn’t going fast enough, and I slipped and sprained my ankle. The woman who did so didn’t apologize and just stepped over me as if I weren’t human while I writhed in pain at the bottom. I got bumped by hotel employees while they were playing around with their coworkers, people walking side by side on a tiny sidewalk wouldn’t move aside to give me room quite often making me have to wait in a crevice for them to walk by, the breakfast buffet was a highly dangerous zone, no one would make room for the elderly or the obviously pregnant women to sit on the bus into the city, which saddened me to no end. There are no lines for most things like buses, or buffets here either, so people would just rush forward and knock you over in order to get to something first, and one man straight up hit me in my pregnant tummy just to get onto the bus before me. And I look pregnant, no way around that. And since I lived in NYC for nearly 2 years, in and around Boston my entire life, I suddenly missed the order and structure of boarding a bus or train there, where people were so much more polite!

IMG_1365I could go on and on with every terrible encounter I’ve experienced but you get the point. The G-Man told me that this is unfortunately a European thing, but I just can’t believe it. I mean I experienced some of these things in Germany, but not nearly to this degree. I was flabbergasted and I never felt so far away from home in my life. I broke down crying often, got angry with people just as often, and felt hopeless and ready to go back to Germany after the first day there and we were there a week! Everyday was a test of my patience and character, and I never want to expose myself to that sort of vulnerability again.

Now here’s the sweet notes; because we were so unhappy on this trip, it actually gave the G-Man and I something to talk and commiserate about. We laughed a lot more together, without the stress from his job and without the loneliness I cope with everyday since I’m out of work. This was a great thing for our relationship, to be back on an even playing field. Also the food at Tamam was delicious; the best service you could hope for and really yumtastic cuisine. AND they had crunch and cadbury bars in the supermarket of the hotel, and Reese’s peanut 485556_486101388131149_547304831_nbutter cups at the airport, things I haven’t been able to get a hold of over here, so I was very pleased with that. And although we had the hardest unbearable bed in my hotel history and one funny evening where a cicada was hanging out in our room, we didn’t fair poorly there. It wasn’t at all what I expected, and the heat was overwhelming to be sure which changed our plans a bit, but I don’t regret this vacation. It did relax us once we got some chairs by the water, and it definitely gave us time to find our relationship sparks that somehow evades us in everyday life.

Meanwhile back in Germany, I’m on to bigger and better concerns like- I”M HAVING A BABY IN GERMANY!! I have no idea what I’m doing, I don’t have a midwife still, and we don’t know where any of the hospitals are, we have nothing for the nursery yet, and I can’t believe I have to wear maternity clothes! Thanks for reading everyone, hopefully I’ll get this all sorted out soon.


15 thoughts on “Greece!

  1. Ok, I am a persistent lil’ bitch, and I really think that you should come to Book Club next week. There will be another girl there from Portland who is also pregnant and due in September. The book this month reminds me of something trashy I would read in high school, so it is quite easy and quick to read. You can borrow my copy if you would like. I also recently had a baby and am now living in Germany with a 5 month old. Unfortunately only once did someone get up for me on the bus when I was pregnant, so don’t get your hopes up too high.

    1. I would love to meet up!! Book club sounds fun, and I just added you on the facey, so we can always just meet up for a coffee or something?! Thanks for the invite!

  2. You know, I’ve found that with the exception of Mexico, anywhere I go on vacation people are generally more rude and that includes the U.S. Don’t get me wrong, European countries do have their fair share of Ruddie McTuddies but I think it’s more of a self centered thing over there. That is to say, “I’m on vacation and care nothing about another person’s vacation”. Not saying it’s right, just saying it happens everywhere. Think back to anytime you may have spent in Newport during the summer…how annoyed were you with the tourists then and there? Don’t tell me you didn’t brush past or bump into your share of gawkers and picture taking fools lol. I’ve never known you to have a temper or bad attitude, just attribute it to pregnancy. We turn into crazy people with those hormones going nuts!

    1. Oh yeah I got bothered by tourists, not especially in my native Boston, but when I lived in NYC I was like, oh man they are driving me crazy! But this is a different beast, on the island of Rhodes, they are all tourists and crazyfaces. It’s a very strange experience I never wish to repeat. My attitude is coming out in pregnancy, where it once was hidden, and I’m usually just hangry with cravings for foods they don’t have over here 😦

  3. I’m sorry to hear about your vacation. People are un real. It’s sad. I am soooo excited to hear that you are having a baby!!! You will be a GREAT mom!! 🙂

    1. Thanks, I’m in the in-between land of happiness, nervousness/anxiety, confusion, and not knowing what I need to do in order to have a baby over here, but I’m really mostly excitedly happy. I hope we can have a chat one day soon!

    1. Thank you very much! I think everything is going well, it’s definitely an adventure where I ask WHAT? a lot. But outside of that, really positive experience!

      1. Haha! It always will be! That doesn’t change once they are born, it only happens alot more often. 😉 Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you need anything or have questions. My son is 14 months so I just went through it. 🙂

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