Monday, February 26, 2007
Yeah, so here's my weekend:
Friday I left jbex earlier than usual but nicely beyond the 8 hours one is expected to stay there. The unrelenting boredom of jbex did not allow me to delay my departure any longer, despite our meeting time with K at "the Mall" being at half seven, meaning I would have to walk the over heated passageways and open spaces of this huge building alone for about one and a half hours before K turned up. The plan was for me to exchange a book I had been given for my bidet last month and then watch a film at one of the fifteen screens that the village cinemas have in the complex. If there was time, I would be going to the cosmote shop to upgrade my mobile phone.
Seeing as I arrived a full 90 minutes before our meeting there was plenty of time and I went on an uncharacteristic spending rampage through the high tech shops renting space within the walls of "the mall".
First off was cosmote, where I renewed my contract with them and was awarded 185 euro for a hardware upgrade. I chose to upgrade my 5410 for a 5500, I think, fucking numbers make it very hard to know which model I have which one I used to have, which one I had last year and so on and so forth. The one I got is the so-called sports model, which is splash proof and slightly shock proof and has a 2 MP camera. I had to pay some extra over the top of the 185 freebie, but I was prepared for that since the chances of such a large amount as a freebie next year are minimal at best.
So - with new phone in hand, I went in search of a bigger memory card. Since when have phones had memory cards? I found one at Plaisio a nice 1 GB card... then off I went in search of those connector thingies that allow me to plug my old fat charger into my new nokia's slim charger hole. I picked that up at a Germanos after being told in a Vodafone shop that I would not find it anywhere in "the mall" but only through club nokia themselves.
Somewhere around this point in the evening I realized that I would never be able to work in retail because I would have to spend at least some of the day dealing with arseholes like myself and having to maintain a straight face and a welcoming smile.
Next up I went to change the book I had been given as a present for the bidet a month earlier and had to charm the till lady and explain that I already had the book and had been travelling and for this reason I was unable to bring it in to be exchanged earlier and please please let me change it. Funny place fnac - French bookshop place. Seems to be doing ok though.
So one hardback Jamie Oliver cookbook later, I found myself browsing through Multirama and buying blank DVDs and things, when K comes and finds me not a moment too soon as I was eyeing up a rather fine looking Canon digital camera, the G7 I think, which has manual focus and all sorts of things not found on your run of the mill digital point and shoot, and I really ought to go to the photovision exhibition at the old airport at hellenikon to see what else is happening in the digital world. Apparently - according to missy behind the counter, Nikon have been left behind in the race, and this upsets me because I am Nikon mad and don't want to have to change my brand, even though I'll have to change absolutely everything else and consign all my lenses and stuff to the big camera bag in the sky.
We went to get the tickets when K turned up, two tickets for Blood Diamond with that blond kid who was in Baz Luhrman's Romeo and Juliet. We got a free coupon for cheap pizza which we cashed in on and killed time before the film by walking around the mall a little and sort of trying not to stare as we walked past what is currently the only Hooters in Athens.
The film was good enough, with blondie putting on a good performance and a convincing accent which dropped only once or twice through the whole film. There were moments when one is forced to do a bit of thinking about how our greed taps into other people's greed and ultimately fuels a whole lot of other people's unhappiness. But, like the heroes of the film said (repeatedly too): T.I.A: This Is Africa...
Apparently blondie's been put up for an Oscar tonight and before I get a chance to post this tomorrow morning we'll know what has happened with that.
Saturday started off badly with the usual arguments and raised voices which precede any shopping trip for things which I consider superfluous and unnecessary. In this case new shirts for me to wear when traveling and wearing a tie. I have two or three and some which though old are not so bedraggled as to be unwearable. In my book. What the fuck do I know though. Oh no, I have to have a bunch of new shorts in all sorts of weird colours which are now fashionable rather than buying a whole bunch in the diachronously fashionable blues I usually go for.
On the plus side I bought some gloves for caving. Crazy thing, gloves, only worn them once in the three years I have been doing this and I can't say that I was aware of their benefits at the time. Anyway - I now have some better gloves and we'll just have to wait and see to what extent they'll be useful. The idea is that they are only for things like Propantes when we'll have like 300m of rope going through my right hand in only a few minutes.
After a fondue at Bartesera off Kolokotroni street we came home and prepared to go to our local cinema - Petit Palais to see the German art-house film "The Lives of Others". Yeah, so we thought blondie and the African were good the night before, this one blew us away and had us in tears at the end. Characters were well rounded and deep, the whole was claustrophobic enough to make you feel you could taste the atmosphere of the mid eighties Eastern Germany. The film was amazing, I think it is proposed for an award tonight as foreign film, though I cannot be sure if it is this one or the one we'll be seeing on Tuesday (did I mention our orgy of cinema going is continuing?). The end was beautiful, the last line of the film being both moving and funny at the same time but natural, too. There was no other way to end the film.
Early to bed as we had our first introduction to rescue techniques this morning and we had to be up early for it.
For ease of access, many of the field meetings of the cave rescue team happen in an abandoned half finished building in Papagou. The building has had anchors put in, in a whole lot of places and it is perfect for teaching. There were not that many of us apart from the new kids, and this was a good thing as it gave us a chance to see things and do them for real rather than see others from a distance doing them too quickly to follow. It weren't half cold though... My only regret is that by going to the rescue training, I miss Komni's dive in the sump in our new sinkhole on Parnitha, but like I said to myself to persuade myself to go, the sinkhole will be there next time, the stuff you will learn at the building site will not be taught again.
Back home for a nap and then back to the cinema... this time to Andorra which was to have been the scene of our first date with K, only she came very late and the film had started so we went to eat something instead, and that gave us an opportunity to talk and one thing led to another and here we are almost four years later.
Anyway - Andorra was still playing Little Miss Sunshine (it has been playing all the Oscar nominees over the weekend) and since we didn't see it when it was out last month, we went. The film was a good road movie with plenty to laugh out loud at and quite a bit of stuff to think about. It gets my thumbs-up on many levels. But I am running out of steam now and so will not be doing it justice... pity.
Next up: got to charge my new phone and see what it is like, no?
So that was my weekend. Back to the grindstone.