Tuesday, October 07, 2008

So NOT the UN

So being an American and living outside of America kinda sucks. I don’t think we’re quite aware of how much the rest of the world hates us.

And I know they always say, “We don’t hate Americans; we hate the government,” but these people are dirty liars. They hate Americans.

I happen to be the only American working on my floor, surrounded by Brits, Canadians and a few Greek mixes. For some reason, these foreigners claim to know more about American life and society than I do, without ever having stepped foot there.

Now, I’m not going to say I support the war or the Bush administration, but I’ll be damned when a bunch of rotten-toothed Brits or chip-on-their-shoulder carrying Canadians are going to tell me about life in the States. I don’t think so.

I used to love the English. I really did. We shared many many things in common (alcohol). But everyday when I come in to work, I am assaulted with a barrage of questions, “Hey, MLIGCS, why don’t Americans know any geography?” “Hey, did you hear how the dollar is plummeting against the pound? Ha ha ha ha hahahaha HA.” “Hey why do you guys call is ‘soccer’?” (N.B. – the word “soccer” originated in Britain).

Or the Canadians, who up until I started working with an office full, I used to tout as the NICEST and most DECENT people on earth. They are not. They have a giant chip on their shoulder at America because they are considered the 51st state by the rest of the world. (Um, not our fault).

They believe all Americans think they live in igloos, tramp around in flannels and keep beavers as pets. They even have a commercial depicting an American guy in a bar acting like a moron asking uneducated and stupid questions about Canada. He ends up getting mauled by a beaver. (Way to defeat that stereotype, guys!!!) Last I checked, American’s couldn’t care less what kind of housing the Canadians used. Hell, live in a tree for all I care. I’ve said as much. Didn’t go over well.

“Why do you guys need to live in such big houses? Why do you all drive those big cars? How come you have so much stuff?” Um, let me think about that for a second. Oh yeah, BECAUSE WE CAN.

Also, America has 300 MILLION people. One country = 300 MILLION. And, it covers 3,794,083 sq. miles (more than TWICE the European Union). Americans are busy living their lives. Of course Europeans all know geography, or maybe sort of? Huh guys? Let’s be honest. Can anyone tell me where Laos is without looking it up? No. But you know where England is, and France, and Belgium and Spain. Way to go. We know where California, Nevada, Texas, Mississippi and Vermont are. Covers about the same square mileage.

And the British even have the nerve to complain that American’s are too nice. Too nice?!?! TOO NICE?!?! “They can’t possibly mean it, can they? With all that flummery about Have a Nice Day and such!” Those bastard Americans! The NERVE to be nice. Unbelievable.

I should try to have an intelligent discussion about the merits and disadvantages of living in any particular country, but it’s not going to work with this particular American-Hating crowd. And besides, it so much more fun to just say, “Yup, we live in unnecessarily big houses, drive great ol’ big cars, and don’t know where your country is because WE DON’T CARE.”

Fucking teachers.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

We all have our place, mine just happens to be better than everyone else's

So it goes without saying (even though I'm going to say it anyway) that when you work with a group of people - most of whom you can't stand - the one or two people you actually do like will find a real job and move on to bigger and better things.

In line with this, one of my favorite people left last week. He is a British physics professor (with a full-on Physics PhD) and he just got a job teaching at a hoity-toity British private school.

As with every situation where a co-worker is leaving, the vultures began to circle over my buddy's very choice seating location.

Luckily, my friend with the PhD in Physics is keen enough to harbor the same disdain for teachers that I do, which is why I knew he was leaving before anyone else. And that's why I'm now writing this from the BEST SEAT ON MY FLOOR, suckers!

His replacement came in today. A fruitloop from California, a teacher and an "actor." He acts here in Greece because he doesn't want to give up his "craft." I hate people who call arm flailing in front of a backdrop of finger-painted oak-tag a "craft." If more than four strangers don't consider you an actor, it would behoove you not to mention this silliness to a bunch of strangers on your first day at work.

Because there might be some opinionated bitches (sitting in the best seat on the floor), who'll judge you for it. I'm just saying.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fucking Wonderland

So I know it's rather ambitious of me to expect anything from a country that can't even make a proper cocktail, but am I crazy to be annoyed at the guy who beeped at me this morning?

Because the thing is, I was walking on a sidewalk (or what passes for a sidewalk here - which is another blog entry entirely), a sidewalk he was trying to DRIVE ON. And apparently I was in his way, walking in the designated pedestrian area RIGHT NEXT TO A PERFECTLY USABLE - AND AVAILABLE - STREET.

And the beep was not just any, "Hey, I'm behind you so watch out, beep beep." It was one of those annoyed beeps, the ones that last just a second longer than necessary, telling you the person feels that you have violated their right of way.

Sadly, today is not the first time this has happened. You would think that after having lived here for a year, I would have gotten used to those little nuances that make a place "special," but I haven't had a proper martini in a year either and I'm in no mood to be generous. My middle finger did feel very generous though, and came out to play. In a friendly salute to the jackass DRIVING on the sidewalk. I may be losing my mind, but at least I haven't lost my manners.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Why I can't stand the general population

So, I'm not sure I'm up on all the cultural differences between Americans and Greeks, but I think that under normal circumstances, most people would react the way I did.

We were invited to a birthday party thrown by an acquaintance of my boyfriend at his house. The usual, dinner, drinks, cake, good times. I didn't know anyone, and my boyfriend only knew the birthday boy. I figured we'd manage.

Turns out, certain types of people like to have certain types of fun, that may not be suitable for everyone. Food? Sure. Drinks? Obviously. Cake? Yum! Porn? Girl-on-girl blond boobie sex porn? Um, I'm not quite sure what to say.

I was expecting to go to a dinner party with other couples. Well, there was dinner. And there were other couples. Hell, there were even some single girls milling about. Not one of the men there was single. So I'm starting to wonder why WHY on earth they would think it's appropriate to put on some good old fashioned porn in the middle of a birthday party.

And why, after ten minutes, am I the only girl with enough balls to be like, "OK, enough with the porn guys," while the rest of the women sat squirming, with averted eyes, trying to pretend they were fine with it, when they so clearly were becoming really upset. I figured what the hell, I'll be the obnoxious, big-mouthed American. Again. It's obviously not a stretch.

A couple of the guys tried to act like I was being a prude, but I wasn't falling for it. For god's sake, we're not horny teenagers anymore and we can all have sex just about whenever we want. It's not appropriate to put on lesbian porn in the middle of a dinner party when more than half the party is uncomfortable.

Even the teachers I work with agree with me, and they're too stupid to understand much of anything. I mean really.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Mental note to self - add Crime Fighting to Skills section of resume

So, along with my many talents of house-girlfriend-ery and ass scratching, I can now add crime fighting to my list of accomplished skills.

We just got back from a trip to Italy, and I actually stopped a crime from happening there. That’s right, I know you’re surprised, but I used my super-human strength, panther-like reflexes and unparalleled ability to make life-altering decisions in the split of a second to stop a pick-pocket from stealing a girl’s wallet from her backpack.

I won’t tell you the details, but let’s just say creating a scene was involved, which is really something out of my element.

The Mayor of Milan is going to name a street after me and he presented me with an official State Medal (which matches perfectly with my Super-Hero costume – nothing but style in Milan!).

I spent the rest of my vacation signing autographs, kissing babies, saving cats out of trees and dumping large quantities of money into the Italian economy for shoes, bags and belts. I know, there’s no end to my generosity.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sadly, it's still all Greek to me

So my job hunting has been quite unsuccessful, and I therefore decided to fill my downtime with some Greek classes.

I mean, it wouldn’t hurt to learn something other than “I fuck your village” and “Your donkey is better looking than your wife.” Let’s be serious, a girl needs some everyday terms too, like, “I’ll take one in every color,” and “Do these come with five inch heels?”

So for eight glorious weeks, I attended Greek classes with three Germans, an English couple, and a girl from Mexico. Needless to say, our group comprised of a wonderful and invigorating expanse of cultures, (professional drinkers), languages, (“Prost!” “Cheers!” “Salud!” and “Bottom’s up!”), ideas, (“Hey, why don’t we have a drink after class?”) and ways of life (“But it’s only 12:00 in the afternoon.” “Well, okay. Let’s wait a few minutes.”).

I must say, I was rather successful in the class and performed exceptionally well compared to the others. (I out-drank two out of three Germans, the Mexican girl, and occasionally went head-to-head with the English woman).

It’s really amazing how people (alcoholics) from such different reaches can come together for a few hours a week and connect (drink all day) and work with each other to learn how to get by (get each other home drunk in the middle of the day without being arrested for public disorderliness).

I can’t wait for Level II Greek to begin in September. I feel the class will present a whole slew of new and exciting challenges (Shots? Drinking games? Strip poker?). Ahhh, the possibilities are endless, and my future looks bright (bleary).

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Clearly Related

So yesterday, I get a phone call at 10:30 a.m. my time from my baby sister, which means it’s 3:30 a.m. her time, on a school night.

I answer, and I all hear is, “I’m a crazy bitch. A CRAZY BEEE’ATCH!” Obviously, this is going to be a good story.

Apparently, her boyfriend of a year and a half decided to stand her up at the movies, and instead picked up four random girls from the street and proceeded to play beer-pong with them and his roommates.

Needless to say, this did not go over well. And so, my little angel might have accidentally let the air out of his tires. Knowing he had to go to work the next day. Um, and also knowing he doesn’t have a spare. Oops.

My girlfriend asked me what’s the worst thing I ever did to a guy, and since there are so many examples, I chose the one I happened to remember off the top of my head.

One night, a few years ago, an old boyfriend, his cousin and his wife and I were out for a night on the town. Driving my car back to Long Island from the City around 4 in the morning, with his cousins in the back seat, my boyfriend decided to take issue with the fact that I was polite to someone who tried to pick me up that night. And proceeded to call me a WHORE repeatedly.

Last time I checked, politely refusing the offer of a drink from a guy that doesn’t know I’m at the bar with my boyfriend is not what I consider whorish behavior. If I had given the guy a blow-job in the bathroom, then we’d have something to debate.

But since my boyfriend was quite adamant that I was, in fact, a whore for being nice, I waited until we were in a suitably dangerous, industrial part of Queens before I convinced him to pull my car over and let me drive.

Once he was out of the car, I jumped over to the driver’s side, locked the doors, and drove away. His cousin’s wife started screaming immediately, so I threw them out of the car a block later, and then proceeded home.

Of course, they managed to get back, even though they were about half an hour from his car. Can’t win them all.

It’s good to know that insanity in this family is genetic. It’s important to have special moments and memories in order to bond with your siblings. It’s what separates us from the animals.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

How to lose friends and piss people off

So I pretty much hate people in general. Not specifically so much, more of an overall dislike of the masses.

And it’s nice when my hatred is reaffirmed by specific examples. Ridiculous, unbelievable things that don’t happen to normal people happen to me. Being “normal” might have something to do with it.

I previously wrote about how a Greek job website listed “Jewish” as a language and I thought that was funny. I also posted something very similar on a Jewish website I joined, which has my full name, my picture, my location, blah blah fucking blah.

As with most of my posts, someone from Greece decided to write me a ten paragraph diatribe about what a jerk I am, how bigoted I am to dare say something negative about the Greek culture, how utterly irresponsible I am to say such things, and to generally just shut my mouth. All anonymously, of course.

Since I’m rather experienced at dealing with these charming people who clearly have fulfilling, well-rounded lives, I decided to be nice and explain that I really didn’t mean any harm and it was all written in good fun.

Thank goodness for me, Ms. Anonymous was gracious enough to forgive my unforgivable behavior of criticizing her obviously superior culture, and she proceeded over the span of approximately two months to try to make friends with me through this Jewish website via numerous emails and helpful “hints” on how to get on here. I figured, better to be polite to Anonymous-Nasty-Comment-Leavers because those bitches are crazy.

Turns out, Anonymous-Nasty-Comment-Leaver is NOT some random woman here in Greece. Oh no, ANCL is actually my former college roommate; yeah, not only roommate, but best friend. We lost touch a few years ago and on a whim, she decided to Google me.

And once she found me and didn’t like what I wrote, she joined the Jewish website (she’s not Jewish), created a fake profile, wrote me a nasty comment, and then spent two months ANONYMOUSLY writing me and trying to be friends again before admitting who she really was.

Who does shit like that?!?! Um, Anonymous-Nasty-Comment-Leaver crazy bitches! Of course, I was so excited to finally get back in touch with her, I decided to make our reunion really poignant by telling her to take her crazy bitch self and FUCK OFF. I hate everybody.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Stupid is as Stupid Does; Hi, my name is Stupid

So there’s something disconcerting about being in someone else’s territory all the time, but that’s what happens when you move to another country to shack up with your boyfriend.

You have no memories of your own in that place, no restaurants you went to with friends, no vacation spots, no street corners you slow danced on with boys, no ex’s to run into.

Thing is, the person you’re with DOES have all of those things, and I don’t have a problem with most of those things. Except the ex thing. I don’t want to be anywhere near an ex, because let’s be honest, it’s not comfortable being in the same room with a woman who knows what your boyfriend’s kisses are like, or, to be more honest, knows what it feels like to have his penis inside of her.

Imagine how disappointing to find out you have to go to a wedding attended by an ex. And not just any ex, but The Ex Ex, The One Whose Name Shall Never Be Uttered Unless You Want Your Face to Melt Off Ex.

But I had a game plan, which has served me well in the past, it’s called Avoidance. Good plan, perfect plan, WHEN YOU KNOW WHICH GIRL TO ACTUALLY AVOID.

But, if you’re an idiot like me, you spend half the night avoiding an entire section of the room, and pointing out who you MISTAKENLY believe is The Ex to girls you know, only to end up in the bathroom, unknowingly chatting up The Actual Ex for TEN MINUTES. The Ex who knows very well that you are the current Keeper of the Penis she once knew so well.

And you’re not understanding why your boyfriend’s cousins are staring at you like you’re insane for speaking to what seems like a perfectly normal girl, and not a woman purportedly capable of ripping the heads off her young, dicing them up and serving them as an aphrodisiac to Hitler and Genghis Khan before enjoying an ass-to-mouth gang-bang.

The sad thing is I probably wouldn’t recognize her again unless she walked up to me and said, “His penis does feel really good. Enjoy my leftovers.” Which I’ve been told is just like her. It’s important to wake up everyday with something to look forward to.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The "Cradle of Civilization" has some 'splaining to do

So I’m looking for work in Greece. And of course, in today’s job market everything is on-line. Fill this out, check these boxes, pick any of the following that apply, blah blah fucking blah.

Ah, the languages section. Please select all languages that apply, use the “ctrl” key to select more than one. OK, “English,” check. Um, Farsi, Farsi? No, no Farsi. OK, next, Hebrew, where’s Hebrew….German, Greek, Italian. What, no Hebrew? Really? Italian, Japanese, Jewish, Norwegian…wait a minute, did I just read that right? JEWISH?! As a language category on a job hunting site?

We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

What the hell is Jewish as a language?

Do they mean Jewish, as in the Language of Guilt and Nagging as Perfected by the Matriarch for the past 5000 years? Maybe they mean Jewish, as in the annoying, “Oh. My. Gawd!” you hear all over the streets of New York. Or, maybe they mean the secret language Jews use when we’re busy killing Christian babies and using their blood for our Matzo during Passover. A Greek actually accused me that that's what really goes on, and I shouldn't try to deny it. The Cradle of Civilization indeed, my friends.

By the way, you're all invited to my house next year for not-so-secret Christian baby-blood Matzo. It's a family recipe perfected by my ancestors, I swear, you'll love it!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Glutton for Punishment

So I decided, rather idiotically, to attempt ONE FINAL FORAY into Athens in the hopes of making some friends.

I invited everyone EVERYONE, all 200 members-everyone, of my ex-pat group to Friday afternoon coffee in my very cute part of town.

Email replies galore, “Sure, I can meet you at 3”, “I get out of work at 5, so I can be there at 6”, “I’ll be there….can’t wait.”

Based on the numerous and varied responses, I set the time for 5, figuring those who wanted to come earlier can come at five, and we can chat until those who could make it later would arrive.

By the way, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re on speaking terms with your boyfriend (the only person you know) when you decide to invite over 200 people to meet you for a cup of coffee.

Because when you’re sitting alone, FOR OVER AN HOUR, waiting PATHETICALLY for people who are CLEARLY NOT COMING, you would have at least one person to beg to join you so that you don’t look like the OBVIOUS LOSER YOU ARE.

I’ll remember that for the next time I try to set up coffee, which will be the third Friday of NEVER.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Mr. Opportunity doesn't know my name

So I joined a new website and no, it's not an on-line dating site. Well, it could be, but that's not what I'm doing. I'm using the "networking/just friends" option. Really. No, I'm serious. Whatever, don't believe me.

It's actually a site for Jews, called The Chosen People. No, I'm kidding, it's actually called, We Really Do Think We're Better Than You and Hollywood IS Ours, So Suck It Mel Gibson.

I've found after chatting with people, ok, not exactly people, after chatting with men, yes MEN, (are you happy now?!) from all over, ok, that too is a lie, because I've been mainly chatting with men from Italy and England (**deep sigh**) and not from any scary eastern-block countries with Borat look-a-likes, that it's not easy being Jewish outside of New York, LA and Miami.

In New York, it's easy to take for granted that pretty much everyone you meet is from somewhere else, always different faces, nationalities, languages, colors, cultures. No big deal, we all get along.

For example, when my mom's best friend's non-Jewish husband passed away, the services were held in a Synagogue. When I asked her how come, she replied, "He's been living in New York for almost 40 years. It doesn't get more Jewish than that for Christ's sake!"

It appears though, that these men encounter a significant amount of anti-semitism in their respective countries when it comes to dating. And not necessarily because they are looking for Jewish women, but because the families of the non-Jewish women they date refuse to accept them. That sucks.

I mean, I know Jewish families that won't allow their kids to go out with non-Jews, but that's obvious, because we're the Chosen People, and that affords us certain privileges, like rejecting inferior religions.

But these poor guys? I feel terrible, I want to just hold them all to my heaving bosom, and make them feel better. Come to Momma, baby.

If I'd only known there were so many available Italian and English Jewish men just looking for a nice girl. I could have pretended to be a nice girl. At least for a little while. Ok, maybe not.