Sundays are for…not the boys

If you’ve been following Brandon’s blog at all, you know that Saturday’s are for the boys.

Brandon in his classic garb.//Bradley Fargo

But Sundays, not so much. Technically they’re our free day, although today I actually wound up accompanying Cody and Bridget to a games expo, where I got the opportunity to shoot some interviews with several developers and play some really entertaining games. Plus I got my first virtual reality experience! It was a simplistic soccer-based game, in which a cannon shoots a soccer ball at you and you have to head it in to the goal. Sounds simple, no?

It was not simple! Or it was, but I was not very good at it. I also was not great at the other game we played, called Moribund. But thankfully, Cody and I are speaking with some VR developers this week, so I’ll get another shot at trying some games I hope.

Bridget and I left the games expo without Cody, who stayed to keep interviewing, and went to get lunch. We went back to Etnico, a small restaurant we passed the first night in Athens, and where we had dinner with Brandon and Danny Friday night. The restaurant calls itself “alternative street food” and makes a series of Mexican, Arabic, and Indian dishes. And with the amount of 2004 RnB playing our first night there, I was basically in heaven.

When we returned today, it was much quiet, around 4:30 in the afternoon. Over curry, a quesadilla, and some sangria, Bridget and I wound up discussing the question I imagine many of us have been grappling with over the course of this trip: what am I doing here? What am I doing with my life?

Or maybe it’s just me, with graduation behind me and the (continuing) job hunt looming just over the horizon.

But I knew when I came on this trip

But I knew when I took my first journalism class

Look, I’ve known I want to help people since day one. When I was five, I wanted to be a chiropractor because I knew my mom went to one to help her and so I thought that would be how I could make the world a better place. And here I am, 17 years later, not a chiropractor. Or a cop. Or a lawyer. But a journalist. Hopefully making a difference.

Maybe this sounds too cliche, or too personal, or whatever reason people wall themselves off from being honest and vulnerable–but what is the purpose of living if not to try to make the world a better place for everyone else living in it? Maybe, as some have told me, my viewpoint is naive. But waking up to read about the London Bridge attack wasn’t even shocking at this point. I guess I have disaster fatigue. Over lunch, Bridget asked the painful question on both of our minds: will it ever end? 

Probably not. People have been hurting and killing each other since the beginning of time. But in spite of all of that, people have been helping each other too. In times of strife and terror, strangers step in to help one another. My hope, through all of the self-reflection time I’ve had on the various buses and hikes of this trip, is that I can be that stranger, stepping in to help in some way. Documenting the stories of those doing good, those suffering, and most critically those who are doing good in spite of their suffering. That is why I’m here.

Anyway, here’s Wonderwall a few photos from today.

A fitting find as we walked to the games expo.//Ellie Williams
We found Chinatown today! On the edge, a sign for the Beijing Olypmics hangs.//Ellie Williams
Bridget, displeased to be forced to spend yet another day with me.//Ellie Williams
This photo doesn’t do the curry justice but alas, it was eaten too quickly before I could snap another one.//Ellie Williams
I desperately attempted to befriend this cat today, who reminded me of Nova. But they weren’t having it.//Ellie Williams

Markets, Tiny Doors, & More

It’s only day 2 in Thessaloniki and somehow I feel like I’ve been here for longer. I popped out for breakfast with Brandon, Bridget, and Cody where we came across an open-air market, which I later returned to with Olivia and Paxtyn. More or less divided by blocks, the market began with clothing and quickly turned into fruits and fish. Personally, I love fish markets–it’s not every day in the U.S. that you can find whole uncleaned fish!

This afternoon, we went for a walking tour of the Old City and wound up traversing what I think was the same hill repeatedly in the search of ice cream. While we didn’t find any ice cream, we did see an incredible amount of street art and architecture that I fell in love with. Meanwhile, Cody was larger than a door.

Plus, I made sure to document our meal tonight: stuffed grape leaves and linguine with fresh mussels, plus Alexa’s grilled octopus. Tomorrow we’re rising early for a winery tour and a trip to the beach!

Here, you gotta try this!

Seated outside Agiola, Bridget dropped a single ice cube in my glass and poured the slightly cloudy liquid over it. This slightly cloudy liquid being an anise-flavored liquor called Ouzo (ούζο in Greek). Let me put it this way, my mother makes homemade limoncello with everclear that tastes infinitely better.  Continue reading “Here, you gotta try this!”