Saturday, March 31, 2007

It's not always sunshine

Literally and figurative. It is still cloudy here, which makes it already a whole week. I ahve heard from the Erasmus students who are already here since september, that it hasn't been that cloudy and cold for such a long time since they're here. This makes me quite sad of course, as the weather is the main reason that I've chosen to go to Greece ;-).

My body isn't also acting great the last couple of days. For the ones who want to know: My intestines are really bothering me. Pain at some places. So today I have bought many products which contain many vessels (like kiwi's, apples, rye bread, etc.). The most common bread they sell here is namely white bread. So I hope it will get better soon.

Furthermore, we have vacation already! After only 3 weeks of 'studying', we're coming closer to Eastern, which means two weeks off in Greece! One before, and one after, as Eastern is a very important celebration, more than Christmas.
It may sound weird to some people, but I am not ready to have another vacation already. We have just started, I'm building up a rhythm, etc. Also a lot of people leave Matsi, which is of course logical, but still. It's getting empty and quiet. I myself can't really go somewhere. One or 2 days would be fine, but I just can't take too many things. But, if everything's going fine with my intestines, I will go to Santorini the last 4 days! The other girls (Mieke, Marielle & Levinia) will go 'island hopping' these 2 weeks, and the last days they will spend at Santorini. I'm really looking forward to go there, together with a couple of other persons from Matsi.

It seems that the sun is trying to break through the clouds, so.... see you!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

More Pictures

As the sun is already lost for 3 days, I have to do something else to cheer myself up. Therefore I put some sunny pictures on this site :). Last sunday it even rained the whole day long!!

(Part of) the Matsi family in Edessa:
Suprise package of my boyfriend :): Eating a BIG shrimp: Food at Leski: sometimes soo bad....(Yes, I'm being sarcastic on this picture):
On the empty Egnatia Road. Student strike again.... (2 weeks ago)
On the beach (with Levinia):
View from my new room:

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Short newsflashes

Tear gas
Last week (thursday) we (Mieke, Marielle, Marijn and me) wanted to have dinner at Leski, but when we walked onto Egnatia street, we walked in the middle of a cloud of tear gas!! That was really awful, all tears, and pain in our throat and noses.

Change of room
Last tuesday I heard about the opportunity of changing rooms. There were still 4 rooms empty. So I took my chance and decided that I wanted to have another room. Instead of being in 22 on the ground floor, I am no in room 4 on the second floor. This means that I have to walk 2 extra stairs, but I do not have the noise of the cleaning lady anymore, no noise of people going out and coming in quite late and noisy. I also do not walk into a cloud of smoke of the landlord and the cleaning lady anymore. And my balcony and bed are bigger... ;)

Documentary Festival
Last week (16-25 march) Thessaloniki had its Documentary Festival. Totally enthusiastic we got a book with all movies in it, including their time and place. After spending the whole afternoon reading and discussing, I had made a list of documentaries I wanted to see. Unfortunately, today is the last day and the only documentary I've seen was the one on tuesday, in which I also felt asleep. Too less time, too tired, etc...

There is more to tell. Last week, Marco (a Dutch guy, who also lived in Matsi) had to go back to Holland. He has chronic hyperventilation and ever since he got here in Greece he didn’t feel well. He spent a lot of time sleeping and being dizzy. So he finally decided to go back to Holland. Because we all felt really sad for him (still do), we bought a big Greek flag and the students that he spent time with, all wrote something on it. The next saturday morning all the Dutch people accompanied him to the airport where we had to say goodbye. Poor guy*

At the moment I follow all possible courses (which are 7, because for the 8th one, one has to be much more technical than I am). I really don't know which one to drop at the moment, so I will just follow all of them until I'm more sure.
Which means that:

Monday: I don't have school
Tuesday: Interview, Talk and Discussion from 12-3
Wednesday: Globalization and the Arts from 10-12
International Relations of the EU in the 21st Century from 12-2
Media Management from 6-9
Thursday: Interviewing from 9-12
Friday: The Language of Documentary from 6-9

So actually quite a busy schedule, but I don't mind. It's still less than in the Netherlands :)

Independence Day
Today (25th of March) it is Independence Day in Thessaloniki. On this day they celebrate the liberation of Greece from the Turks (some time ago, I don't know the exact story). So we have walked through the city to the seaside, where they had organised a huge parade. It took about 1,5 hours, but as I was a bit late, the only thing I have seen are large groups of boys and girls, all marching. Continuously. I have seen much better parades....
After that we decided to take a trip on a boot, so we could see Thessaloniki from the water. That was a very nice trip, and it included also a drink. And of course it was very good weather for it!

*This text was (again) borrowed from Marielle. Thank you :)


Unfortunately I am not able to upload my own pictures on this computer, so these are from the other girls.

Some random pictures

Marijn and Flips birthdayparty:
In a bar at Kalamaria:

Eating in Leski (student restaurant):

Sunset behind the mountains:

Eating in a bar at the beach:

The group picture in Kastoria:
St. Patricks Day: Going out with Mieke, Marie and Marijn (unfortunately, Levinia was ill) to a party of Ultan (who's Irish):

Friday, March 23, 2007

Short message

It has been quite a long time ago (compared with my last blogs) that I have written something here. The fact is namely that I do not have a laptop and you are allowed only 1 hour per day on the schoolcomputer. So that does not really work, if I want to check my e-mail AND work for school AND write a blog, etc, etc...

What have I done last week. Not much, except for the fact that I've gone out for the first time in Greece, and it was quite fun!! Also a very expensive experience though.... You pay about 5 euro's for a drink, and that night I lost ten euro's for 1 drink, I don't know why...
I also have had my classes last week. At the moment I follow all 7, as I really don't know which ones to drop. They're all quite boring, old stuff. I even felt asleep yesterday during Interviewing!! Which could also be the result of too little sleep.... I'm now doubting about taking 'International Relations of the EU in the 21st century" and quitting Globalization and the Arts, as the last one actually does not really add something to my knowledge... But first I will follow some more classes, before I make my final decision.
That makes my week also more busy, which is good. For next week I have to write an essay, so I will start that tomorrow after I have written it on paper, as I cannot make it all up behind the computer. That will take too much of my time. The essay should be about a reality show in the Netherlands. I have chosen 'De Gouden Kooi', so if anyone has nice anek

I also have some pictures which I still have to place on the computer. Hopefully I will be able to do so this weekend...

Yesterday we had organized a Dutch party. Marijn and Flip were both celebrating their birthday. We had Amstel Beer, cheese (in little cubes of course), saltines. Levinia and I had planned to make an apple pie, but we had too little time to do so, so in the end we only made a 'boterkoek' (I don't think there's a English word for it). Unfortunately it did not totally work out the way we wanted, the oven was left on 'grill', and we forgot the salt and the egg on top of it. However, the people still liked it. They even took more parts!!

See you on my next blog... Time's up...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Another day has gone by. Today it became really nice weather, after 12 o'clock. I had to wear a jacket after a while, otherwise I would burn.

The first class we had today was the Language of Documentary. In this class we will learn everything possible (uhuh...) about documentary: the definition, history, different kinds of documentary, etc. To get our grade for this course, we have to do a written exam (50%) and write an essay of 3000 words (50%). This essay can be about a documentary: it's form, aesthetic (or something like that) and its ideology. So if anyone has seen a great documentary, please tell me! The other option to write an essay about, is to give a critical overview of the documentaries of a certain director.... For Greek standards, this course requires much of a student. In order to write a good essay (the first option), you have to watch the movie over and over again (according to the teacher: about ten times). Also an essay of 3000 words is not written that fast. There will be a moment that you don't know what to write anymore (is my experience). We'll see how it goes....

The other class we had today was TV&Entertainment. This course is a big joke. All we have to do is to attent 8 classes and write 4 essays. One about reality shows, one about soaps, one about children programmes (all from your home country) and the 4th about the differences between (in my case) Dutch and Greek television. Before we have to write one essay, we have a class to discuss that certain topic. When we have to hand in the essay, we go to class, have a little presentation about the essay and turn it in. There are no obligations for this essay, there's no minimum of maximum as regards the number of words. I wonder if there would be an easier way to get your credits. I don't think there is...

Tomorrow, we will have our class 'Globalization and the Arts'. It sounds like a great course, but that was also the case with TV & Entertainment, so we'll see tomorrow...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


The name of our teacher we had today. Yes, you read it well, we had our first class today!! Class is actually a big word for the two courses of both one hour, but it is a start! The official time table will contain 3 hours per course, so that is a lot more.

Today we had 'Interviewing' and 'Interview, Talk and Discussion'. She started to explain the aims and exam of the first one (write a feature story) and she was so enthousiastic. I have actually never seen such an enthousiastic teacher in my life. She is also very nice, even though smokes ;). Fortunately, she doesn't smoke in class, but 'not for our sakes'. Well, that's good to know then...
Surprisingly, her English is also good. During her explanation of the course (and some things she told about herself), we understood that her English is that good, because she has lived in England and has an English husband. That explains...

After Interviewing, she started to explain Interview, Talk and Discussion. For this course we have to write a semi-script and execute it in front of the camera. We can choose between a talk show, interview show or a discussion programme. I think I'll do the interviewprogramme, as you need only one extra person for it.

I have decided to keep at least these two courses, as they seem both very interesting to me. Also the fact that the teacher is such an enthusiastic narrator, makes it easier to choose. But we'll see about the rest of the courses coming week. Maybe I'll be just as enthusiastic about those and keep them all six.

Only time will tell...

Monday, March 12, 2007

[Edited 13-03] Prespa Lakes

Instead of going one week ago, we went to the Prespa Lakes this weekend. Mieke had taken care of the renting of the cars. We would go with a group of 9 people and the two French guys (Frankie and Alex) would drive. The others were not allowed to drive yet, or didn't want to drive as the traffic in Greece is quite dangerous (like Egypt for example...). Marijn would have class until 12 o'clock, so we would leave at 6 o' clock in the afternoon, because in that way we would only have to pay the rent for 2 days (until sunday closing time).

So.... at 7:30 pm we finally left the Matsi house. For once we didn't have to wait for some girls, but for 2 boys (John and Ultan).
First we went to Kozani. According to Frankie it was a nice place, where 4 persons could also sleep in an appartment of his friend. The other 5 have slept in a hotel, which was actually a very nice one. I was surprised!
However, because we could not find the way as someone did not guide very well, we ate dinner at 10:30, and I was in the hotel at 1:30. The rest of the group decided to have another drink, but I already almost fell asleep during dinner, so I decided to stay in the hotel.
The next day we did not leave earlier than 1:30 or 2, as the guys had gone to bed way too late...
First we went to Kastoria, which also seemed to be a nice city, but I couldn't actually see why. It was a Greek city like the others I've seen. Anyway, we have eaten lunch/dinner/breakfast, whatever you want to call it, in a restaurant, where we've also decided that we would go to the Prespa Lakes immediately, so we didn't have to drive the next day anymore.

So we went back in the car again at 6:30, leaving Kastoria and on our way to the Prespa Lakes. After (again) some bad guiding of our dear John (he is really the worst navigator ever), we arrived at the Lakes at (what would it be) I guess 11 o'clock. There we had reserved some rooms, where we could drop our stuff. No dinner this time, but a lot of cookies, chips and a lot of beer (for the others). I went to bed at 1:30 or 2, after I tried to learn some poker. Unfortunately, I still don't know how to play it as there was no clear explanation (in my opinion, of course).

The next day we had our breakfast in a taverna next to the hotel. Of course only the girls (and Alex) were awake at that time, it took another hour before the rest of the guys came in.
When the guys were done as well we went with two boats on the lake to see some rock paintings and churches. The guy of the boat I was in was going way too fast! We truly raced across the lake; it was a bumpy ride! And it was sooo cold. And the man didn't tell anything. I wish I had been in the other boat, because that man has told a lot (such as: the lakes are 35 km wide, and 85 km long. The midst of the lake is 50 m deep, etc.) Also Levinia was allowed to navigate the boat for a while.
The weather was still grey and cloudy (as it has been all weekend) and therefore we couldn’t look very far, which is really a shame, because then it would have been so much more beautiful. We visited a small church and after that we rushed back in the boat.
Back in the village, we made a little walk through it and saw a goat farm. Those little goats were so cute!! They were running like crazy, jumping up and down and the farmer allowed us to come in; that was really nice. Some goats were so brutal that they tried to eat you(r scarf, jacket...) It kinda looked as if we were in the Alps with all the goats, cows and dogs.
When we were back at the taverna, where our cars were, we saw a puppy and we played with him for a while and the others made some pictures. The children of the taverna were watching us. When we got up to leave, one little boy came to us with a paper on which was written: "Do you want the buy the dog? It costs 20 euro." They wanted to sell the dog!
Finally, at 16.30 we left again because the cars had to be back at the rental service at 20.00. It wouldn’t be a problem to arrive there in time, according to the guys (again...). However, again reality turned out to be different; bad road signs, bad navigation, no listening to the girls. The car I was in had also to drop off John in some village in the middle of nowhere. And of course, John did not know where to go, so it took us an extra 30 minutes (of even longer). So we did not arrive in time.
It was an unforgettable trip ...

Alex, Levinia and me in the first restaurant, we went for some food the first night

The churches we were allowed to visit on the boat trip

That's all the pictures for now, I have to put my own on the computer

(Thanks to Marie, I took some of here story ;-) )

Friday, March 09, 2007


Well, I have just send an e-mail to my coordinator here with the courses I want to follow this Spring semester.

And this is the list that I have chosen:
  • "The Language of Documentary" from prof. Paschalidis
  • "Interviewing" from prof. Valiouli
  • "Talk, Interview and Discussion Programmes" from prof. Valiouli
  • "Media Management" from prof. Tsourvakas (our coordinator as well)
  • "Television and Entertainment" from prof. Banou
  • "Globalization and the Arts" from prof. Baltzis

I know it is a lot, but I have decided to take 6 course, instead of 5, as I don't know which one I should leave out. If I take a couple of lessons, I have more insight in the courses and will make a better decision. And maybe I will keep all 6 of them, you'll never know...

As we could only choose out of 8 courses. The two courses that I did not take are "Electronic Mass Media Technology" as it is way too technical (I've heard). The other one is International Relations in the 21st Century. It seemed too political for me, and not attractive at all, so it was easy to leave that one out as well.

It's getting busy in this computer room, and warm, andpeople are smoking. I'm also done with what I wanted to do on the internet.

So I'm leaving this computer and will try the lunch at the University Resturant (I haven't tried that one yet, only dinner).

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Last sunday (or was it monday?) we went to a little restaurant nearby Aristotle Square. We heard that it was good foodand not expensive, so we decided to check that out.
When we arrived at that place, we could see that it was popular. The whole place was filled. Luckily, there was a second floor, where we got a table in a nice quiet corner. The prices were so good, when you compare the m with the other cafés where we already have had a drink.
Unfotunately, I forgot the name, so I can't give you a good advice...

A picture of the five of us:

And remember: for more pictures, you can check out the weblogs of the other girls: Levinia, Mieke and Marielle.


Well, as my MSN does not work anymore, I will start with the planned story here.
Last tuesday we went half of the Matsi house to Edessa (13 persons), so I called it the 'Erasmus school trip'. Edessa is a little village and it is known because of its 25-meter waterfall and its nice surrounding., and it takes about 1,5 hour to get there by train. The train ticket was really cheap. Normally it costs only 6/7 euro's (retour ticket), but we are students, so we only had to pay 4,20 euros! Such a big difference with the Netherlands.

The trip in the train towards Edessa was quite boring. The first part looked like the Netherlands: flat and straight. The second part was nicer, but still much of the same: more hills, but such a dryness! We heard that normally there's a lot of snow in the beginning of March However, the only thing we saw during our day was the sun, and lots of blue sky.

Edessa itself was very quiet, we didn't see a person on the street, except for the salesmen of course. The first waterfall was quite nice, but it was very small, so we were a bit dissapointed. The lack of snow/rain was clearly reflected in the size of the waterfall.

However, when we walked somewhere else, there was a much larger one. So again, we all took a lot of pictures, except for me, I don't like taking pictures when everyone else does. I can easily copy a couple of them.

After those two waterfalls everyone was hungry, so we went to a restaurant. I only took a 'green salad'. I had no idea what I would get, but it was simply a plate full of cold spinach. I think most people would not like it, but spinach is my favorite, so I was very happy.

Afterwards, we walked to another place, even more on top of the hill, where we had a nice view over the valley.
And that was the end of our Edessa trip, as there was not much more to see. So we went back to the trainstation, where we had to wait 45 minutes, as the train only goes once per 1.5 hour.

The beautiful view of Edessa: here are some pictures.

The first (small) waterfall
Mieke and me at the waterfalls (don't ask me why I look somewhere else, I don't know)


The wilder one...
The valley

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Ataturks House

I'm quite tired, so today I'll only put a couple of pictures from Ataturks house on this site.
His house
The kitchen

Sleeping room

Living room

The garden
His office

Monday, March 05, 2007


Finally we know our future in Thessaloniki. Today we had a meeting with all Erasmus students and the teachers from our school and they have said that at leas our classes will continue, as we really have to get our credits.

So we got a list with 8 courses from which we can choose. Not much, especially if you know that we have to do at least 5 courses, because the number of credits per course has changed. First it would be 6 credits per course, but now it is only 5 credits.
This week we have to send an e-mail to all the teachers who will give us these courses, and next week our school will finally start. If it is not possible to give lessons in 'our' building, they will look for an other place.

"We will, and have to find, a solution for everything"

Which is great, isn't it?

Last saturday we have seen the house of Ataturk, here in Thessaloniki. He was born here, so that's why his house is here. They made a museum of the house, but before we could enter it, we had to go by the Turkish embassy (I don't know how to write that). They were really nice, and one of them asked us where we came from. So we told them that we were from the Netherlands and our friends from France.

"Oh the Netherlands, yeah I've been there. In Deventer and Amsterdam"

Deventer? What would you do in Deventer when you go to the Netherlands?
So I've told him that I'm from Deventer too.
The museum itself was quite boring, there were a lot of pictures from Ataturk himself: With the prince of Sweden, with the king of Yugoslavia, etc. When we left the building, we received some books and a map op Istanbul. That was very nice, because it can be very useful when we are going to Istanbul. Which we will do, of course.

Yesterday we went to the beach (Chalkidiki/es, Kallithea), and it was really nice weather. I've been in the sun for a long time, in my bikini, so it was even hot enough for that. And I'm not burned! Which always happen the first couple of times when I go into the sun.

We have decided to go to the Prespa Lakes tomorrow, or in the weekend, as Marijn (a Dutch girl, who lives in Matsi as well) will have to start her classes tomorrow. Otherwise, we will go this weekend. We are going with 8 of 9 people, and we rent 2 cars, which is cheaper than buy a ticket for the bus.

The next time, I will put some pictures on the site again!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Still no student pass

Last thursday we had an appointment wit hour teacher, so we could finally get our student pass (Paso) and choose our courses. However, we have waited for 45 minutes, but nobody came. Today we received an e-mail that he has also been waiting in front of the door, but we haven't seen anybody, and he hasn't seen us!
So we went down to the boulevard again and we have sat in the sun for 2 hours, it was so good! Friday the sun was there again and today again! It was actually pretty hot, I think it was over 20 degrees Celsius. Pfoe, I'm not used to this kind of temperature in March already.

We have decided to go to the beach tomorrow in Chaldici (I don't know how to write it), because it seems to become another nice day. It is 2 hours with the bus, so I hope it's worth it! As I said in my last blog: The coastline of Thessaloniki is only boulevard, it's so boring.
Some more pictures:
Waiting for the professor.....

Pjotr from Poland in his shorts acting funny. He lives also in Matsi.


Here are some pictures of the day that we walked up the hill to the old city.

I woke up, looked outside, and this is what I saw: a beautiful blue sky.

The church where we would walk to, and even higher.
Such a green view, and we were getting high so fast!

Having a drink in a cafe, with this view

MMhhhhh..... soo good

Walking up the long, long stairs.... But I made it! And I wasn't even out of breath

Little ruines on our way

Beautiful view, again. We had actually beautiful views all the time, climbing higher and higher, the view got better and better
Enjoying the sunset... at the end of an enervating day

AΛEΞANΔROS O MEΓAS: Alexander the Great. A statue of him on the boulevard of Thessaloniki
A piece of the boulevard of Thessaloniki. Thessaloniki has such a long coastline, but the only thing you can see is boulevard. No beaches anywhere.
Some pieces of art work in the Museum of Contemporary art of Macedonia, in Thessaloniki