Welcome to my new blog!

I already run a successful blog: www.leavingcairo.blogspot.com - a blog about an English girl the wrong side of 35 who finds herself settling (for the moment) in the beautiful country of Greece.
But there's more to Bex, the author - hence "The this 'n' that blog".
Documented here will be every day ramblings and observations - enjoy!



Friday, 29 June 2012

Five Minute Friday - Dance, Greek style.

Today's topic for Five minute Friday is...Dance. Write for five minutes, no editing, uninterrupted on this topic...OK...


Now then - as you will know from my other blog Leaving Cairo, I am a British gal who lives in Athens, Greece.  Greece is a beautiful country and the Greeks know how to live life.  Part of that living life includes dancing.

Source: http://www.livinginrhodes.com/News.aspx?Page=2
A particular favourite is the traditional dance as seen on "Zorba" - but contrary to popular belief, Greeks do not throw plates.  No, they clap and throw rose petals and this dance is usually performed by a man or a woman in a circle of people - then perform this for the one they love.

Dance can be used across all cultures -  African, Aboriginal, Native American Indian - to celebrate anything: a great feast, a wedding, a successful hunt or, in Greece's case - just a pure celebration of a love of life.

If only we could all rid ourselves of our self consciousness without the aid of alcohol and just DANCE, uninhibited.  We can learn a lot from the Greeks.


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

It's the little things...

I was travelling to work today on the trolley (the Greek name for the yellow 'buses' that run on electricity) and two things made me smile:

1) An old man gets off the trolley at his stop - looks around him and passes his still valid ticket to a person about to board.  The person thanks him very much.
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TrolleyBusPiraeus.jpg
(In Athens, you buy a public transport ticket for 1.40 or 1.20 and stamp it in the machine upon entry of said transport.  It stamps a time on it and your tkt is valid for 90 mins of travel from the time you stamped it.  So, obviously once you've finished your journey and there's still time left, it's nice to give your ticket away - I've done it in the past and had it done to me too).

2) Same old man sees a homeless person on the street (an increasing number unforutnately of late), and stops to chat to him and give him some small change and a cigarette.
OK, this isn't going to stop the man being homeless, but it's the compassion that made me smile, the humanity displayed.

Keep it up Greece - don't let the IMF and Germany strip you of your dignity and human spirit.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Travelling to Hong Kong by container ship!

Remember back in February I posted about my proposed trip by container ship to Australia? I then further investigated my fears about this, especially given the pirate activity in the Indian Ocean.

Photo courtesy of Darren B. Hillman at http://www.flickr.com/photos/dazzy1960/5922809930/sizes/m/in/photostream/
Not my exact ship, but the same Container company

Anyway, after discussions with the shipping agent and a long think, plus that discussion with my father, I decided to go for it!  So today, I have placed a deposit for a proposed July 2013 departure date.  However, having looked at finances, I will not be going as far as Australia.  I will take the following route:

m/v Ever Chivalry:
Thamesport (2 Days)
Piräus (10 Days)
Suezkanal (12 Days)
Jeddah (15 Days)
Colombo (23 Days)
Tanjung Pelepas (28 Days)
Kaohsiung (34 Days)
Ningpo (36 Days)
Shanghai (37 Days)
Taipei (39 Days)
Hongkong (41 Days)
Yantian (42 Days)
Tanjung Pelepas (46 Days)
Colombo (50 Days)
Jeddah (56 Days)
Suezkanal (58 Days)
Piräus (60 Days)
Rotterdam (68 Days)
Hamburg (70 Days)
In purple is the route I will take - so in total: 31 days from Piraeus to Hong Kong and spend a few days in Hong Kong.  
Looking at this itinerary, the longest stretch at sea will be between Jeddah and Colombo (8 days) and then Tanjung Pelepas to Kaohsiung (6 days).
How will I spend my days I wonder?  Well, don't forget I've already travelled by container ship across the Atlantic, so I am aware of what to expect.  It's a good job I now have a Kindle to store loads of good reading material before I go - plus write up a fantastic log of my journey!
Am I excited?  Oh yes!  My next question: does anybody know anybody in Hong Kong who'd like to show me around?  Or any idea of affordable accommodation?

And if any publication is interested in featuring my journey, do please get in touch.  I would love to hear from you.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Five Minute Friday - Risk - Life in Greece

Today's topic for Five minute Friday is...Risk.  Write for five minutes, no editing, uninterrupted on this topic...OK...


People think that I take a risk living my life the way I do.  It's no big deal, I am a qualified English Language teacher and enjoy teaching in different cultures.  I have had the pleasure of being about to teach in countries as diverse as Sri Lanka, Egypt and currently, Greece. 
People turn their noses up when they hear I live in Greece, especially when they hear Athens.

"Isn't there a RISK living there?"

Well, isn't it a risk stepping outside your front door every day, wherever you are in the world?   It's not a dangerous country - the people here are friendly, helpful and beyond all that, HUMANE.

Yes, it can be risky - just like in your own countries.  But where would we be in life if we didn't take risks? I took a risk, coming to a strange country to work - and I love it.  It's taught me humanity, broadened my mind and tonight, I will even be supporting my adopted country in the EURO 2012 football (Greece vs Germany).

So go on people - take a risk in life. Don't let fear hold you back.  You could learn something about yourself in the process.


5 Minute Friday - PATH

I've joined a Friday challenge: a 5 minute Friday challenge to write about a topic for 5 minutes, completely unedited, etc.

So - here goes!

PATH is today's topic.  My path, I thought, was set out for me.  I had a good job in London, my flat, the car, the cat, etc.  But was I happy?  NO!  I kept feeling something was missing.
Always one to get itchy feet, I assumed as I 'matured' I'd get rid of this feeling, but it just grew.  I got miserable in my job until eventually, in my 30's, I jacked it all in - went to University and am now living in Athens, Greece after having re-trained as an EFL teacher.

Am I happy - you bet!  Is my life secure?  Not really, but then that was what was missing for me - I need a sense of 'insecurity' in a way.  Luckily I don't have kids yet, otherwise that'd surely change.

So it seems my Path has changed, and I am grateful.  Or maybe this was always meant to be my path, but I was on the wrong one originally!  I'm glad I've found my 'Itheca' - my path.  And just because your path might be vastly different from those around you, don't think it's a wrong path.

Whew!  5 minutes isn't a long time eh?
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