Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve Morning Caroling

Confirmed! The second official caroling day in Greece is on New Year's Eve day, and there were multiple groups who buzzed the apartment buzzer this morning.

The caroling got started a lot later this morning than last week, because this happened:

Snow. Snow in Athens. The first snow I've seen since coming here. Edit: I just realized you can't even seen the snow in the video. It's there. It is. It snowed steadily all morning. I think it's finally stopped. There was no accumulation. I don't even think the sidewalks are wet. It's been a bit chillier today, though. I had to break out three layers to go to the laiki this morning. 

Speaking of the market, I keep buying little houseplants that I don't know how to care for, and then abandoning them on the balcony. I don't even want to show you my poor basil. I don't feel that bad for it, I kind of developed an aversion to the smell. Better luck next time, basil. Here are my two new plants. One is a cactus, one has pretty flowers. Please identify them for me, and tell me what I should be doing for them. I'm primarily beseeching my dad, who is a horticultural expert, but anyone is welcome to respond. 

Plant #1

Plant #2

Our downstairs neighbors/American friends invited us to New Year's Eve dinner tonight. I'm cooking the ham Phil bought us for Christmas from the exchange store. It's 12.5 pounds, spiral, and I completely forgot to thaw it in time. I never forget to thaw the ham. Never, darn it. Oh well. It's pre-cooked, so we could theoretically eat it frozen and be fine, but hopefully it will be warmed through by dinner. It's been sitting in that oven for 3 hours already. Prayers to the ham gods.

This is a bit of a bummer, but I thought you should know it anyway. Europe is pretty freaked about terrorism right now, and it's impacted New Year's Eve celebrations. You might have seen on the news within the past week or two that credible intelligence indicated that European capitals were at risk on New Year's Eve. Paris and Brussels cancelled their fireworks shows. We just found out today that there might not be fireworks in downtown Athens tonight, either. I don't know if that's related to the terrorism threats, or if it's a budget thing (or if it's even true), but it's too bad.

Back to the ham, though; I just cranked the heat a bit. I'm really starting to sweat it. Come on, ham. You can do it. 

Phil and I hope you have a safe, fun New Year's Eve, whether you're celebrating with fireworks, or going to bed at 9:30. We're looking forward to the new year, and hope it brings some of you to our spare bedroom. 

γεια μας!

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