Thanks to the fond memories of the beautiful country that continue to excite me & the jet lag, I came up with this list of 20 bullet points at around 3:00 a.m.! Enjoy:)
1. The trip being the first time my family decided to say no to Chinese food for more than 2 weeks whilst traveling abroad, because we have discovered a love for Greek κουζίνα (cuisine)!
2. Being FORCE fed ouzo ("a Greek anise-flavored liqueur.", although I can legally drink at 18 years old in Greece and China) at my parents' wedding anniversary dinner by two friendly, rather childish servers who are aged around 70. I was coughing afterwards
3. Ordering ouzo for the first time, having confused it with ouzeria (Greek equivalent of tapas? That was my interpretation based on a travel guide anyways...): how come it's a glass of transparent liquid / liqueur? Upon tasting it, my father and I both exclaimed, "WHOA!"
4. This conversation... ME: "It's all Greek to me." -LOCALS: "It's all Chinese to me!"
5. Creating my first DIY T-shirt! Googled Plato's quote about thinking in Greek and wrote my name in Greek ("Απρίλιος") at the back!
6. Passing through a small village in Peloponnese, stopping by, and realising that an entire class of very friendly elementary schoolers were excitedly yelling, "Κινα, Κινα!! (China, China!)" at us
7. Being helplessly fooled by Google map and ending up to be finding the way for 1 hour and 40 minutes when it should take 10 minutes, in suburban Athens. Not fun when majority of the road signs in the area were in Greek alphabets, partly falling off due to the elapse of time, and not always easy to spot
8. The praise from locals: "Your Greek pronunciation is good! You sound local!" vs. the fact that my Greek is so limited that all together, I know no more than 30 words. Plus, I cannot roll my R's (rrrrrrr..) for too long despite the effort I put in for the past couple of years...
9. Driving through the beautiful mountains with magnificent views of the Ionian and Aegean Seas
10. Having a dialogue exchange about Ancient Greek and Chinese philosophy at the birthplace of direct democracy (which the Athenians take pride in, valuing it far more than representative democracy): the Ancient Agora in Athens
11. The campus tour at Athens College, its general splendour, and the librarian's generous gifts for me: books about Greeks around the world and the HAEF!
12. Seeing baby horses enjoying their freedom in Mykonos
13. Meeting a class of kindergarten students at the National Archaeological Museum and briefly talking to the teacher about the history curriculum in local schools
14. CATS are everywhere! One of my favourite animals. :)
15. Gradually familiarising with the Greek alphabets (and missing them so much after I have returned to China)
16. The look of surprise when I speak a few Greek phrases to the locals
17. The frustration that there is seldom room for desserts because each dish is so deliciously cooked and usually large-portioned
18. How surprised I was when I heard that a high school student would take 12-16 courses each semester under the Greek education curriculum: how very intense!
19. The "Vois Sur Ton Chemin" duet with a Belgian lady at the Theatre of Epidaurus
20. Watching the sunset from a Greek island (i.e. Mykonos / Santorini)