A few days ago I stepped outside the dormitory door to a bizarre feeling. It was strangely familiar, and yet so foreign… it felt like there was something wrong with my face, ears and fingertips. …Oh, wait, it’s all coming back to me now; this time of year is supposed to be cold, not sunny and sixty degrees! Since the day when the cold suddenly hit, it has indeed been quite freezing outside, and I’m very thankful for this because otherwise I would have withered when I got off the plane in Bozeman next week.
With that and the decorations hung up everywhere, Christmas music in English and Greek playing on the radio, people out Christmas shopping in Thessaloniki, and the discovery of some ridiculously tasty pear hot chocolate in the neighboring town of Thermi, it is indeed finally beginning to look a lot like Christmas. My friends and I went into Thessaloniki to see the lighting of the Christmas tree, and it was fun to be in a big city for an event like this for one of the first times in my entire life; the tree was huge, the square was packed, and the air was filled with an electric excitement.
And in just five days, I will be getting on a plane headed for HOME! I really can’t believe it. It seems surreal right now. I wasn’t counting down the days until last week, because I really love my life here, but last week was pretty trying: I was extremely busy getting the student newspaper ready for printing and writing an article for the Fulbright – Greece newsletter, and I had a minor breakdown about my food situation here. Being 23 and used to cooking for myself, it has been hard for me to adjust to eating in a school cafeteria again; and while I’m normally quite resilient and adaptable, my love for food is at the very core of what makes up a Kate. I’m finding it’s the one thing I can’t adapt to here, and I hit the wall last week, finding myself just not eating. Because of that and all the walking and running I do here, I think I’ve lost 15 pounds since I got here.
Anyway, I’m still in love with my life here, but I am ready for a short break. There are so many people I miss so dearly back home, and because I come from a really interesting, unique community, there are lots of things I miss about Bozeman! These are some of the things I am determined to do while home:
- Spend time with my lovely family and dear friends–I can’t WAIT to see your faces, all of you!
- Go skiing at Bridger Bowl
- Eat MASSIVE American breakfasts EVERY SINGLE DAY (Hey look, I think I see those fifteen pounds headed back this way!)
- Play with my Abbie dog in the snow!!
- Eat at La Parilla (the BEST burrito joint ever) and Mackenzie River (the BEST pizza joint ever)
- Cook!! I can’t wait to cook for the first time in over three months. I’m planning to make melomakaronas, a honey pastry made in Greece only around Christmastime, and cook lots of delicious ethnic food to get my fill for the next few months!
- Drink delicious beer from my favorite microbreweries! If anyone hands me an Amstel or Heineken while I’m home I will cry or throw up or both.
- Celebrate my awesome friend Julie’s 24th birthday!
- Eat as much sushi as I possibly can. My family has it every Christmas Eve (don’t ask, we’re not sure why either), and I’ve set aside a little cash so I can go to Dave’s Sushi with the fabulous Ms. Emily Allison AND go get omakase (chef’s choice) with my favorite Bennett ever!
- Watch the Food Network for more time than I care to specify here…
- Enjoy my family’s lovely and bizarre Christmas traditions. I love Christmastime at the Peterson house, from the Swedish pancakes for breakfast to the freakish ornaments and everything in between!
All in all, I’m so excited to be going home for a short time. Oh! And while trying to find a flight home, the cheapest option was to fly through Budapest and spend a night there. So I have an evening in Budapest to figure out what to do with! I’ve never been to Hungary before, but I still manage to say its name almost every day… har har.
Happy Christmas season everyone!