Learning Local Words

I find that it is important to learn a couple phrases and/or words in the native language of the country you are visiting. They can be used in a pinch in case you are in an area where they don’t speak English and at the very least it makes the locals happy that you are trying. I often see Americans get angry at tourists that don’t know basic words like bathroom, yes, thanks, etc. Yet those same people don’t learn any when they go away. Here are some of the words and phrases I have picked up over my travels.

Egypt (Arabic):

Yalla-Let’s go

Habibi-Good friend/dear friend


Shukran=Thank you

La Shukran=No thank you

Ma batkalemsh Arabi=I don’t speak Arabic

Insha’allah=G-d Willing

Israel (Hebrew):


Boker Tov=Good morning

Erev Tov=Good evening

Layla Tov=Good night








Greece (Greek):

Kali Mera=Good morning

Kali Spera=Good evening








Aruba (Papiamento)

Bon bini=Welcome

Con ta bai?=How are you?




Bon dia=Good morning

Bon tardi=Good afternoon

Bon nochi=Good night


Pasa un bon dia=Have a good day

Di nada=You’re welcome

Por fabor=Please

Mi ta bon=I am good

Dushi soño=Sweet dreams




France (French)


Bonjour=Good morning/afternoon

Bonsoir=Good evening


Au revoir=Goodbye










Advertisements in other languages of movies or products that you have back home also help you pick up on words. Like the one below.


Categories: Africa, Aruba, Asia, Caribbean, Egypt, Europe, Greece, Israel, Mish Mash, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Greece Trip Plan

To view the trip plan I created for our 2008 trip click here.

Greece Map


Categories: Europe, Family Vacation, Greece, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Exploring Ancient Greece

We woke up early in order to eat breakfast and catch the 9am shuttle into Athens . The breakfast was buffet style and it was amazing! They had everything you could possibly imagine. I loaded up on danishes and pastries. My parents ate some eggs and potatoes. We all took granola bars for later. We caught the shuttle and we got stuck in traffic for a bit. The ride was about 40 minutes long. We got dropped off across the street from the Amalia Hotel. We then walked to a travel agency to buy our train tickets to Thessaloniki. We wanted to buy them ahead of time to make sure we got seats.

We then walked to the entrance of the Acropolis. The first thing you see is Dionysos’ Theatre, which is amazing! You’re allowed to walk around and sit in some of the seats. We continued our journey uphill. We then came upon Odeon of Herodus Atticus, which is a bigger version of Dionysos’ Theatre just remodeled. They still hold concerts here. It was quite pretty. On the way up the views of the city are amazing! It’s worth stopping for a second and taking it all in. We then reached the top, which is the Temple of Athena Nike . It’s nice, but it would have been better if the entire thing wasn’t covered in scaffolding. The Parthenon could take your breath away. Though I was tad bit disappointed because I always imagined it to be bigger and grander. The Propylea and the Erechtheion held my interest despite the fact they are smaller buildings. The women on the Erechtheion are really cool, but are not the original ones. The original ones are in the closed Acropolis Museum . On our way down hill, my mom slipped on one of the shiny rocks and landed on her back. It was a scary moment!!!!! Luckily she didn’t do too much damage. She had a bad bruise and was in a lot of pain. Advil to the rescue! We continued down hill until we were at the exit. We stopped at a little shop for water and postcards. We bought 3 water bottles and I bought some postcards, which I later found out was very over priced. The water was reasonable.

We walked through Thisso, which is quaint. We then arrived at the Ancient Agora. The admission was part of the Acropolis ticket. The Temple of Hephaestus was in great condition. The temple is also at the top of a hill, a mini hill. At this point I started to feel pains in my chest and I started to hyper ventilate. My advice, take the hills slowly and drinks tons and tons of water. We explored the grounds and then went to sit by the Church of the Holy Apostles. After cooling off from the intense heat and catching our breath, we went inside the church. There were still some paintings on the walls and ceilings. We then went to the main building called the Stoa. It had a lot of great statues and a museum. The museum was small, but some of the items were really well-preserved. It was a nice collection. We used the restroom facilities and left the Agora. We then proceeded uphill once again to get back to where we started for the Acropolis. This part killed me. I couldn’t breathe and I felt like someone was sitting on my chest.  We took a couple of breaks and I purchased some cheap postcards on the side streets.

We finally made it back to the entrance of the Acropolis. We stopped at a place called Crepe World for a strawberry slushie and cheap beer. The slushie was good and hit the spot. We then headed over to the Temple of Olympian Zeus (completely ignoring Hadrian’s Arch). The Temple was extremely disappointing. There were only a couple of columns left. It was once the greatest temple in Athens and now there is nothing left. Soon there will be even less because those columns were seriously damaged, one of them had even fallen over.

We then went to the Grand Bretagne Hotel to make sure we were set for Saturday when we were staying there. We used the restrooms downstairs, which were so clean and beautiful. We stayed there an extra couple of minutes to cool off from the intense heat. We then went in search of Doris, a restaurant I read about for great doughnuts, we took a long walk and finally found it. No one spoke English, you couldn’t take food out, it was dingy, and the doughnuts didn’t look good. We left. We walked around and bought some pastries and gelato from the stores in the area. We went back to the Grand Bretagne Hotel to cool off again.

We went to Coffee Right for dinner and had the best food! I got the best spinach pie I’ve ever had and my mom got cheese pie, which was good too. The water was cheap! The food was cheap! Great dinner! We then walked down Ermou Street and looked at all the stores. I stopped and took some pictures of the church which was right in the middle of the block. There were lots of vendors selling breads and doughnuts. I really wanted some! We went back to the Grand Bretagne Hotel to use the restrooms. Then we went to the Amalia Hotel to wait for our shuttle. My dad had a beer in the lobby bar and it was way too expensive. We boarded the shuttle and came back to our hotel. We watched How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days while we fell asleep.


Categories: Europe, Family Vacation, Greece, History, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


We arrived in the airport after a long, but smooth flight. I felt tired and full from a meal of nothing but disgusting carbs. Bad pasta, bad bread, bad crackers, etc. It took forever to get our passports stamped and then to get our bags. The pre-arranged taxi from George’s company was waiting for us. He took our bags from us and loaded them in the trunk. He then handed us ice cold water bottles. While he drove he answered all the questions we had for him about Greece. He spoke wonderful English. We checked in at the Westin in Vouliagmeni. We found out it would be two hours before our room would be ready. My dad changed in the lobby’s bathroom and went to the beach/pool area. My mom and I waited with all the suitcases in the lobby. We fell asleep on our luggage. No one on the staff offered us anything nor did they try to speed the process up. We finally got to our room! It was small but beautiful. The view was amazing!!!!!!!!!! We had a balcony that faced the beautiful waters. My mom and I took a 15 minute walk down their dangerous curving half ass sidewalks. We turned around after we got frustrated with dodging cars and not really getting anywhere. Besides it was over 90 degrees out and we were hot and tired. We came back to the room and snacked on food that we brought from home. We watched a Bette Midler movie because it was the only English channel. Then we slept for 13 hours!!!!
Image Image

Categories: Europe, Family Vacation, Greece, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at