Oh, I see! moments
Travel Cultures Language

Idyllic, Yet Never Idle

by Joyce McGreevy on April 3, 2017

The Chora, the original capital of Serifos inspires wanderlust to visit this tiny Greek island in the Cyclades. (Image © Joyce McGreevy)

Parts of the original Chora, the hilltop capital of Serifos, date back to 3 BCE.
© Joyce McGreevy

When Wanderlust Leads to Serifos

I’m on Serifos—and the side effects are wonderful. What sounds like a lyrical Big-Pharma trade name is actually a tiny Greek island, part of the Cyclades southeast of mainland Greece. Wanderlust has led me here. Around 225 of Greece’s 6,000 islands are inhabited. Their populations quadruple with tourists every summer.

But I’m traveling in January to the bafflement of friends. Why Serifos? Why now? One high-powered chum tells me, “Wait till summer, go to Hydra, Mykonos, or Santorini. There’s a fantastic party scene and I’ll introduce you to a TON of contacts.”

Nobody in Bulgaria
Is Calling You a Hobo

by Joyce McGreevy on February 27, 2017

A Bulgarian street prompts the thought that learning a second language will mean learning a second alphabet, Cyrillic. (Image © Joyce McGreevy)

Not all who wander Bulgarian streets are lost, just the non-Bulgarians.
© Joyce McGreevy

When Learning a Second Language
Means Learning a Second Alphabet

Your mission? Walk to the store. The one with signs that say “HOBO!” Funny, many stores in Bulgaria display that word. Why? You’re learning a second language, but hobo is nowhere in your phrasebook.

Even more mystifying to an English speaker? Bulgarian maps.

A Bulgarian map helps the author understand that learning a second language will mean learning a second alphabet, Cyrillic. (Image in the public domain.)

Should I turn наляво or надясно? And which is which?

Someone tells you, “Bilingual signs are everywhere.” So off you go, innocent as the day you were born. Sure enough, you find a sign with two versions of a street name.

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