The Toilet Seat Fight

The toilet seat fight between me and Samuel started a few days ago. We are staying at my parents’ brand new house, where we are lucky enough to have pretty much a whole apartment to ourselves. I won’t lie, it is really nice and relaxing to actually have something that comes close to being our space (instead of sharing tiny hotel rooms) and to indulge in everyday activities such as fighting over toilet seats for a change.

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In my defense, I have never understood the fight over the toilet seat up or down question (who cares if it is up or down, it’s just a little motion to put it back up or down?!) … until now. As my parents have decided that at age 65 they need a top notch high tech house with intelligent design where everything needs a remote to work, they didn’t think twice when they bought the ultra modern self-sinking toilet seats (yes, that DOES exist). As advanced as this invention might be, the self-sinking process takes about 30 seconds to one minute to be completed and under no circumstances are you allowed to touch the seat, disturb the process or, worse, try to spped it up (yes, I am very aware at how ridiculous that sounds).

So here comes the issue: After Sam uses the bathroom and leaves the toilet seat up, and I need to use the bathroom next, I have to wait for one minute for this technical hygienic miracle to come back down again so I can actually use it. While this might sound very trivial, if you really really have to go – it is not! That’s why I decided to put up a little reminder note for Sam to remember to initiate the sinking process after he is done using the toilet.

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Clearly, I must have crossed some line of manliness there, as never as much as raised an eyebrow at it. However, each time I go back to the bathroom (with the seat in the upward position!!!), the note has disappeared. I know he has been hiding it. So I look for it and put it back up – only to find it gone again the next time around. This has been going on for several days now, and no peace agreement is in sight yet.

Until now our fights were about whether we’d stay in Mexico for three or two months, or we would disagree about the right way to pack a backpack. So I wonder, is fighting over self-sinking toilet seats something other couples do, too, or is this just our way of dealing with the unknown, a.k.a. living in an apartment? Let’s just say, if we ever decide to get our own home at some point, it will have good old fashioned toilet seats!

P.S. I would have never thought that I’d use the words self-sinking and toilet that many times in one blog post …

On a Square in Athens

We had just checked into our hotel in Athens. Apparently, it was in a dangerous / bohemian / anarchistic neighborhood. Walking around, more than anything, it had character.

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It was Friday night, and the atmosphere pre-party lively. The hilly streets were full of picturesque bars and cafes, bustling with students and after-work beer drinkers.

Our very first experience at one of these bars was mostly wet. The waitress, in one of the most athletic falls I have ever seen, managed to spill to bottles of beer, break two glasses and scatter a bowl of peanuts – over me. Frantically apologizing, I was dragged into the bathroom and before I could stop her, she had started spraying water over my wet jeans and t-shirt. Now I was soaked. It was warm, I didn’t really care, but for the rest of the evening, she never stopped apologizing and insisted we didn’t have to pay our bill. No protests there. This neighborhood so far seemed very promising.

Wandering about and following the young crowd, we ended up on a big square. People were talking, laughing, and seemed to have a general attitude of “anything can happen tonight”. While we settled down to observe the scene, an older gentleman arrived. With his white hair, his guitar case and clearly non-Greek looks, he stood out. Apparently, so did we, as he walked right up to us and asked if we spoke English.

Meet Terry. 50-60 something, singer, songwriter, women lover and hobo live leader. Originally from England, he had been living in Hamburg for the past years (and somehow aquired a very German accent in the process). He had just come to Athens from Hamburg, following a woman, of course. Now he was playing happy songs on a square in Athens. “I don’t have a strong voice, so if I sing a ballad, nobody can hear me.” To be quite frank, it was very hard to hear the happy songs, too. Maybe this was because after every line he interrupted his performance to take a sip out of his beer bottle: “This is what I like to do. Play a little, sing a little, drink a little.” More precisely, he was playing a little, singing a little, and drinking a little more.

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Slowly, through his songs, Terry became one with the crowd. His erratic voice merged with the laughter and chatter, his awkward presence blended in with everybody else’s.

Somehow, a little bit of magic happened that night on a square in Athens.

Just one of these days

Yesterday was the day where I left my wallet at a hotel, and had to drive an extra 4 hours just to get it back. Yesterday was also they day where somebody pulled a hit and run on my rental car, and left a big fat bump – which I will probably have to pay. And yesterday was also the day where I had to explain to my boss that because I forgot my wallet and had a “car accident”, I had to miss our business call that night. Yesterday was the day where I felt that the whole world was playing a prank on me.

Today was the day where I had my morning coffee on a sunny terrace, watching the beautiful mountains of Crete.

IMG_2651Today was the day where I, by chance, saw a sign for a cave and ended up in a beautiful world full of stalactites and stalagmites.

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Today was also the day where I had an interesting encounter with a curious goat, and an even more interesting encounter on the top of a snowy mountain with two Cretans that didn’t speak a word of English. Today the radio played a Bob Dylan song that went something like “don’t go mistaking Paradise for that home across the road.” I have to ask though, Bob, why not? Why not look in the small things for the divine? And after a day like today, I believe that that’s exactly where we might find a piece of Paradise!