Yep. I’m sittin’ in a hotel room thinking about all the stuff that I’ve experienced over the last few days. And looking at myself, but that’s a lot less interesting to all you, possibly and probably, random people out there. To say it most simply: it’s been great. Not quite the grand ol’ adventure I was expecting, but it was still very nice. It was relaxing. In all honesty I think Athens is a great vacation place. But I’m also glad I only stayed four days. We really started running out of things to do in the city. Not that it isn’t cool, but it’s not like Paris or London. Not bad, just different. As I said, great vacation spot.
And I got to try for the second time in my life, a long string of just ethnic food. And I mean of like a single cultural identity. It’s really awesome to experience that. ‘Cause back home we cook multi-ethnically. Which, don’t get me wrong, is absolutely fantastic. But at the same time, I’ve never just eaten straight “Greek” food before. I’ve had lamb pitas and tzatsiki sauce and baklava and a few other things before, but not things like “Bandit Lamb” (basically a hobo dinner just with lamb, potatos, tomatoes and some other things), or “Mousaka” or “Pastitsio.” And that has been a real experience.
I almost miss not having that kind of cultural identity. My comfort foods I either can’t make (no oven, lack of ingredients, etc), or are just what I always do i.e. experiment with what vegetables you can throw in a pot and make good soup with. But I wouldn’t even know how to make “Mousaka” (really enjoyed that one). Come to think of it, I don’t know how to properly cook lamb either (which I imagine isn’t all that difficult, but still).
But so many cultures do have this strong tie to their land/nation/culture. And while I think being an American is definitely an identity, it is almost an identity of having no identity. It is a culture of possibility and individualism, of making your own choices and choosing your own path. And I LOVE that. I love that America has this cultural identity with being who you want to be. Because even if we screw up sometimes and try to be someone we aren’t, we were not forced there.
Although it would still be nice to have our own food (no McDonald’s does not count). 😉