A taxicab driver's introduction
to Nemea, doing an archaeological jigsaw puzzle upside down,
and a gift of flowers
GREECE - I'm finally here in Greece. Four airports, three
plane trips and more than 24 hours later, I'm finally here.
On the way to Nemea, my crazy taxicab driver rear-ended
someone after tailgating the car ahead of us in a way that
made Berkeley and San Francisco drivers look courteous.
I haven't started work yet but I know that for the first
few weeks, I'm going to be moving some inventory stuff around
to make room for more things and also figuring out the sequence
of the ancient sima of the temple of Nemean Zeus.
The sima is the edging of the roof of the temple. All of the marble
slabs were decorated with curling vine/leaf designs regularly
interrupted with lion-head spouts to help direct the water runoff
from the roof. Each nearly identical slab is about four or five
feet long and about nine or ten inches tall. Many of the pieces
are preserved but I have to arrange them in their original order.
Imagine trying to do a jigsaw puzzle picture-side down. The only
way I can determine if the pieces fit is by lining up the edges
and seeing if they fit together rationally in any way, shape,
is the last day before I start regular work. We went to
a beautiful beach today near the town of Nafplio. The water
was clear and shallow and the beach was quiet and secluded
in the morning, not touristy at all. We ate lunch in an
outdoor cafe and a couple of little local girls, no more
than seven or eight years old, eating at the table next
to us gave Jini and me a couple of flowers and retreated
back to their table smiling shyly at us. Even though I think
my work at Nemea will be rewarding and interesting, I really
look forward to my weekends here when my friends and I can
explore the area and see the sights ...