Culture Shock

On Thursday, July 29th, I went up to the Marriott's rooftop (we're talking the 8th floor here; Athens is not a city of tall buildings)
restaurant, the Panorama, for a last dinner with a view. Right next to the Panorama, which is an outdoor restaurant, is a pool, which
I never did go for a swim in. The view is north, towards the Acropolis, which if you haven't guessed by now, is visible from
almost everywhere in the city.

In this picture, taken from my table about 30 minutes before sunset, there's the big A again. I'm going to miss this,

because after work the next day, I checked into the Selete Media Village, one of 7 housing sites
that the Olympics set up for those of us in the media. Below is a picture of my room, a small dormitory-like room, with 2 single beds,
2 wardrobes, 2 desks, a TV, and a half-bathroom stall, which contains a tiny shower stall, a tiny toilet, and a tiny sink.

Below is the assortment of complimentary food items left in the room. That's a bottle of extra virgin olive oil, a package of yellow raisins,
a package of currants, which look like raisins but are smaller, an small pouch of honey, a package of sesame halva with cocoa, some kind of sesame snack,
a jar of sesame spread and a jar of olive spread to go with...ta-da!..the BAKES (gotta love the name), a wheat snack cracker made for dipping. Which only reminds me that
I never did take that dip in the Marriott's pool--darn!

Well, we do get a complimentary breakfast at the Media Village in the morning, which offers an interesting assortment of scrambled eggs,
ham, cold cuts(!), cocktail franks(?), yogurt, and some cereal. I'd show you a picture, but after seeing the Bakes, your mouth's already watering, right?
This is the view out font of the main building we're staying in. The view of the Acropolis (they manged to put us in a place where you can't
see it) is replaced by this view of the Olympic Stadium, at left below.

And this is the front of our Village's main, and only, building. Occupancy right now over 3 floors is just under 300 people, but will soon swell to 900.

The front gate is about 40 yards, er, meters away. How many security guards can you count?

Out in the back, we have a small pool, which no one seems to be using here about 7:30 Saturday night.

And if I turn a bit to the right, this is the best view this pool has to offer. But I've got better things to do...

LAUNDRY, to be specific. Here I am seated atop one of 10 teeny washing machines in the laundry room on the basement level.
Opposite me are 10 equally small dryers, which vent directly into...the laundry room. They're free, but with 900 guests, this room's really going to get crowded soon.

Also downstairs are a huge, empty parking garage (private autos are not permitted inside the Media Village)

and a well-equipped gym, also empty right now.

I have to go check on the wash. Then maybe rearrange the furniture in the room.
How do you say 'Gym' in Greek? Try this:

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