28 April 2012

Pescetarian Paella

12 large shrimps
2 kilo of mussels
8 sea snails
saffron oil
paella rice
1 red bell pepper
2 tomatoes
lots of garlic
1 onion
1 bottle of cheap white wine
salt, pepper and oregano
fresh parsley

First cook the mussels by boiling a cup of water, a cup of wine and splash of saffron oil and steaming for about 15 minutes. Let cool. To cook the sea snails do the same but add a clove or two of garlic.

Remove the mussels and sea snails from their shells and place in a large pan of butter and garlic on low heat. Boil water and add a bouillon and wine. *Follow the quantity ratio on the package. Add the rice to the pan with the seafood, toast the rice (two minutes) and then slowly mix in the boiling bouillon water. Let simmer.

In a separate pan add all the veggies with oregano, olive oil, garlic, onion and saffron oil. Sauté. Once the rice is nice and fluffy, mix everything together and top with fresh parsley.

We all tried this and survived, even enjoyed it. Bon appetit!

26 April 2012

Guard Changing REmix

Made this little number in honor of the great guards who serve in Athens.

Back to the Parthenon

The Parthenon

The Agora (ancient marketplace)

Perhaps my favorite part of Athens is the strange wonders you stumble upon. You could be in the modern tourist area and realize that on all sides you're surrounded by ancient ruins. The Parthenon looms over the city almost menacingly; reminding you of all the history you don't know. 

Athens café

24 April 2012

21 April 2012

Part Three : Prince's Island and Asia

A one hour ferry ride one can be on Prince's Island. A tourist island with rented bikes and some nice jungle views.

A ten minute ferry ride Rebecca and I were in Asia. We got lost in what seemed the Beverly Hills of Istanbul and a busy neighborhood with children and old men. Although I might've slightly hoped for Asian stereotypes to be thrown at me, the Asian side of Istanbul was a relaxing alternative to the bustling Western epicenter of clothing stores.

Asian side

Istanbul is an amazingly perplexing city where the hospitality is ready with çay (tea). It left me wanting to go back, explore more and slowly begin to understand their complicated culture and history. Perhaps a huge part of that was our Couchsurfing hosts. Thanks hostesses with the mostesses! They've inspired me to open my tiny corner of the world when arriving back in America.

20 April 2012

Part Two : Paradoxic Square

Basilica Cistern

Hagia Sofia
 The main tourist square in Istanbul houses the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia and Basilica Cistern. All grand, all have withstood many changes of arms, religions and a lot of things I don't know. One fun fact : the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camaii) was built by the Sultan to 'out do' the Christian Hagia Sofia, according to our Couchsurfing hosts. Today it is strangely littered with pushy salesmen, hyper-touristic tourist shops and corn on the cob (although that I don't mind so much).

The Blue Mosque

Inside Blue Mosque

19 April 2012

Part One : Baklava Means Six Pack Abs

How does one not love a city that straddles two continents and two religions, where the direct translation of baklava is six-pack and there are too many different types of street food?

Turkish flags everywhere
A bridge lined with fish restaurants!

Istanbul is a weird mix of Western consumerism, a history for the history books and a constantly evolving traditional culture. Paradoxical, chaotic, fragrant, rainy and sunny; Rebecca and I explored the streets mostly lost and seeing what we stumbled on.

14 April 2012

Pretty Pretty Santorini

View of volcano 
Lovely coastlines

The oldest toilet I've ever seen

Red Beach
Renting ATV's and getting lost

Black Beach

13 April 2012

Lucky to be Jumping

"I don't know, we're here... Let's do it!"
Perhaps sometimes one should advance despite their better judgement. 

A sea kayaking trip, cliff jumping into the Aegean and dinner with Rob the Australian teacher later the small island Milos treated us extremely well.

12 April 2012

Ancient Athens and Old Friends

After seven months, Rebecca and I were finally reunited in the ancient city of Athens. We did a quick night tour before heading off to Milos Island.

06 April 2012

Centre Pompidou and the Things We Do

After an almost missed train from Montpellier, I found myself like I’ve found myself quite often these past seven months : slightly confused, slightly shaken, slightly weighed down by suitcases and backpacks and faced with a huge city to explore. In no way can Paris be explored in a day, perhaps not even months and months. So I narrowed my choices to accessibility and headed to the ugliest building I have seen in France yet. Centre Pompidou is steel framing with glass tube escalators attached to the side. But it can't be judged that easily : the views are amazing and sifting through the large galleries is lovely. After being refused from the exposition with my measly student ticket (it’s scary how accustomed I’ve become to the bureaucratic “no’s”) I spent the afternoon looking Matisse’s, Picasso’s and some other shtuff. Then I headed to the airport to tuck myself into a bed of ceramic flooring and the sound of a jackhammer.

At first it seemed very doable. However, I was slowly realizing that it would be a long night if I had to continuously watch my bags. Luckily, I met Ms. Better-Than-Mary-Poppins (she named herself this). A German au pair sat next to me nervous to be all alone but prepared beyond belief. As we started talking she whipped out and willingly shared juice and chocolate bars and she might’ve been the most practical-minded person I’ve met; I mean she secured my charger in an outlet with a Band-Aid. We took turns napping and although we’ll probably never cross paths again it was an honest learning experience sitting next to her. And so perhaps we can trust strangers a little bit because otherwise I might’ve died of thirst or had a dead computer. But instead I am watching the sunrise in a Charles de Gaulle airport terminal.

05 April 2012

Pasta Primavera

Post-beach, if you boil pasta in red wine, add tomato, onion, garlic, lots of basil and friends; you get a Montpellier Family Dinner.

02 April 2012

La Semaine Vite Fait : A List of Potential Book Titles


Paris and The Shins ; Sète and the Cabaret ; Beaches, Babe ; Class and Having No Food ; How Studying in Bars Doesn't Work ; The Five Hour Hike ; Biking to the Beach and Getting So Much Sun, Twice ; We Started the Wine at 4 PM ; Friends Sleeping Over With Their Stuff Everywhere ; Walking for Hamburgers ; Forgetting the Camera on the Mountain ; Happy Hour and Pistache.

Sarah's Pistache and His Beer
And now it's April?!?!?!