26 March 2007
These are our beautiful rings, they are multi-colored with gold on the outside and beaten white gold on the inside. They are also inscribed on the inside with our names in the Greek alphabet and the date of the wedding 21-3-2007, I have Arthur's name (Αθανασιος) and he has my name Mara (Μαρα). I'm still not used to wearing a ring, I've never been the ring wearing kind of girl, so I'm constantly moving it from finger to finger and have the habit of taking it off and forgetting to put it back on. Eventually I will get used to wearing it, but when I start doing massages in the summer I will have to take it off again. Aah, the plight of being married, otherwise I don't feel any different and I am continuing to be my wonderful self.
21 March 2007
The First Day of Spring, MARCH 21st, our wedding day.
The first picture is from left to right, Katerina (Arthur's mom), Arthur, Mara, Nik (Arthur's dad)
The next photo is with our koubaros, Stergios (a long-time customer at KOKA ROKA), Mara, Arthur, and Niki (a neighbour and family friend).
Arthur signing the wedding papers, the mayor standing next to him and then the mayor placing the ring on Mara's hand.
We have been in the process of trying to get all of the papers done and going through the greek red tape to get married. Everything was going slow as molasses that we were coming up with plan B's and C's, we were unsure if we could get everything done by the 30th of March when my stamp expires and I would have to leave the country and re-enter. But yesterday, Teusday, the women at the Town Hall said the wedding would have to be tomorrow at 9am, we were trying to get it on Friday to give our Koubaros time to get here and organized. But she said either tom. or she didn't know when it would be and being short on time we decided to go with the Wednesday date of March 21st.
This made a mad scramble to find our koubaros, best man and women or witnesses, since the ones we had spoken to previously were unable to make it on a Wednesday morning. But we found some great ones so it worked out in the end.
Arthur says to come anytime for the wedding party, its open season. We will be having a religious ceremony in the future possible January 2009. Give us your vote if this is enough time for you to gather money and time off to visit us in Greece, and would you like it to be the first weekend or the second weekend of the month. Let us know by e-mail and also leave your mailing address Mara's E-mail: email@example.com
Arthur's E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
At 3:30 am, we were off and running, we borrowed Arthur's fathers van for the day and drove down to Pireas Port, Athens (200 miles from Kalampaka). We arrived just before 7:30 and found a spot at the port just before the police blocked off the area for vehicles to park for free. We had a greek coffee at a very lovely Internet cafe (the cleanest toilets in Athens that I have seen), then we went to the shipping company to get the official papers to allow us to enter the port and get my stuff at the warehouse. P.S. that shipping company was a rip off, even the port official said they had charged to much, so do not use Delpa shipping if you can avoid it.
And our Odyssey begins:
We arrived at the warehouse holding my belongings, we gave the proper papers to the port official, he gave us another paper to go to the entrance customs building. We double parked so I stayed in the car and Arthur went inside, to get the official papers to get into the warehouse and to view the belongings. He was gone so long that I was getting a little concerned and was thinking of leaving the vehicle to go investigate, but he came out with a tale of many windows many stamps and signatures. With the papers we received we showed the port official and he allowed us to look at our stuff and then they looked into two boxes and he gave us another paper telling us to go to the port customs office. At this customs office our main goal was to get the proper stamps and signatures allowing us to remove the goods from the warehouse, another hour goes by and we have finally gone through all of the steps to remove our items. We go back to the warehouse and a nice forklift guy helped bring my belonging out and then we loaded the truck up and left Athens. We left at 1:30 six hours of running around and no food in our stomachs, later I will write to you about what we had to eat on our trip home.
14 March 2007
02 March 2007
They celebrate carnival around the world, Venice has there famous carnival where everyone dresses up, it is celebrated here with dancing, fireworks and parades. It is a mixture of our Halloween and Fourth of July and festivities last for 5 days. I am dancing here with some of my new aunties, music was playing in the square just below our house. Free wine was passed around and 3 different groups came by to liven up the festivities with their costumes and dances. One night we went to the Byzantine church for more folk dancing , this is the 900 year old church we would like to be married at with the Meteora rock behind.
Clean Monday was an unexpectedly cold day, usually it is sunny with good winds to fly kites. This year fathers were running in order to get the kites to fly and children were giggling as they watched them get caught in acorn trees that dotted the famous hillside that the picnic took place at, Τζερτζη, is where a small church called Athanasios is located (this is Arthurs greek name). Normally free bean soup is cooked at this sight, but because of the colder weather is was cooked down in the town. Large pots boil for several hours over wood built fires, they also serve λαγανα a bread specially baked only for this day, olives and halva (a sweet made out of crushed sesame seeds). Dad you would like this sweet it also generally has peanuts in it. I made sandwiches and a salad for our little picnic, enough to feed at least four other people, we ate the leftovers from the picnic for the next 2 days.
Here I am with a small brush filling in the missing white spots, it took a full week of mornings to paint our downstairs living area. We had a small problem with the chandelier lighting we had purchased on sale at the discount store Practiker. It was not the right type of lighting fixture we needed for our lovely ceiling decoration, (γυψινα,plaster of Paris) so we had to break the center out of the gypsum. Then we called an electrician so he could use a very long screw driver bit, the screws are about one foot each. They had to go through all of the plaster in the ceiling and then go into the cement just above.