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Three Steps Forward
June 7, 2011
My biggest challenge after one week and two days here is finding my way around. The ancient Greeks did not consider directionally challenged folks when they laid out the city streets. I am intentionally taking small excursions alone, learning my way around. I will whip this yet! Today, I ventured out early and found the bakery and Syntagma Square. This is about two blocks from my apartment and I just figured out exactly how to get there. Sheesh! I bought two wheat baguettes, still warm from the oven, and a mini lemon tart for tonight. I walked back and made oatmeal with bananas and cinnamon, which was quite the treat with my warm bread, and I felt smart for having found the bakery.

Yesterday after class, I took a walk with some of my fellow students who are much better at finding their way around than I am. We walked to Filopappou Hill where we had an amazing view of the Acropolis. It was a nice, hilly walk through a park and I loved it. I took photos, but I’ll have to share later if I ever find the cord for my camera. The view was amazing. I just kept thinking, “I can’t believe I’m here.”

A couple of days ago, I walked down to the a shopping area in the Plaka (I know how to get there now too) and met a man who owns one of the hundreds of jewelry stores. He spoke excellent English and when I explained my school program and how long I would be here, he gave me his card and said, “If anyone bothers you while you’re in Greece, you let me know and I’ll have someone break their legs.” I thanked him and said I appreciated that and he followed up with “I can get it done.” He was quite jovial and friendly. Seemed more like a New Yorker than a Greek. Maybe he was serious. I don’t really know.
I’m learning about the Greek gods and loving it. As an English teacher, mythology is my weak suit. I sometimes become frustrated thinking, “I should know this!” but I don’t remember it so that’s just the way it is. I have to go with it. I was reading this morning about Hephaestus, son of Zeus and Hera. Some speculate that he was produced only by Hera–no father. He is “the only god who is physically ugly and lame.” There are various accounts of how he became lame, one stating that Hera, upset with having an ugly child, “flung him from Mt. Olympus into the sea, breaking his legs.” My my. Makes Tiger Mom seem mild.
Last night after our walk to Filopappou Hill I found the wine shop and bought a nice bottle of Greek wine. Mary and I enjoyed it with our Greek vegetable soup and a tomato and avocado salad. I fell asleep early and slept hard. I needed it.
Loving my adventure. Loving being here.

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Debi Dixon

Debi Dixon

The Universe is guiding me on an incredible adventure: my Plan B. I write here to share bits of my Odyssey, hopefully to inspire, encourage, or extend the virtual hand of friendship.

When I quit teaching in 2014, I could never have imagined the growth I would experience through travel, writing, reading, therapy, and introspection.

I believe human connection and compassion will go a long way toward our healing, and the best way to connect and feel compassion for one another is through the sharing of our stories.

Thank you for joining me here. I appreciate you and may we grow together.

Inspirational Quote

“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.”
~Joseph Campbell

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