February 24, 2013
The Best Pasta Ever
Today was quite a relaxing day because it was one of our first official days off; meaning we didn’t have any classes or assignments due, at least for a little while. It was extremely refreshing to just go about a normal day here in Athens, or as normal as it can be living abroad in a foreign country. The only unusual thing about today is that it’s Carolyn’s 21st birthday! The students celebrated with a little party, but I can vouch for all of us in saying that this past weekend’s excursions tired us out a lot.
In order to regain my senses after the long weekend, and to take advantage of the warm weather (it was in the sixties), my dad (Professor Roth) and I went on a quick walk around our neighborhood, which is very upscale, to do a little window-shopping. But we were also hoping to find an open market. Unfortunately, it’s Sunday, everything is always closed, including our favorite little deli a few blocks away. While we were browsing the shops, we passed a chic little restaurant. At the table by the window, a woman had just been served a bowl of pasta that had a rich red tomato sauce and fresh herbs on it. I decided right then and there that we would eat an early dinner at the restaurant, so perfectly named, La Pasteria, but only after we walked a bit more.
The weather has finally taken a turn for the good, which is the main reason for our prolonged walk. For the past week it has been dreary and unseasonably cold, but today the sky was a dazzling blue with barely any clouds. The sun shone and warmed our backs. It was only a little windy; practically the ideal day.
Just as I had planned, we walked back to the restaurant and sat down to order. Judging by the descriptions on the menu and what the woman appeared to be eating, I chose the pasta Napoletana, “fresh tomato sauce and basil”; it was just what I had craved earlier. The tagliatelle pasta was cooked perfectly al dente, exactly the way I like it. The homemade sauce was tangy and light, with some cherry tomatoes in it as well. It was by far my favorite pasta dish I have ever eaten; it even topped the pasta we ate in Italy, it was just that good!
After stuffing ourselves with pasta and salads (my dad got pesto pasta – it was super delicious too), we began our walk home. On the way, we passed a nearby church; a bride and groom were walking down the stairs into the crowd of their families and friends. The whole street and cross street were filled with people from the wedding, and traffic was even backed up two blocks. Except, unlike normal traffic delays, these cars weren’t honking, they were just waiting patiently for the wedding procession. It was quite a sight, considering that Greek drivers are absolutely bonkers and don’t follow any traffic laws (motorcyclists even drive on the sidewalks). We sidestepped the cars and taxis, and finished our walk home.
When we arrived back at the apartment, we relaxed and watched some TV. Afterwards, I began to research my topic for our Athens Across the Ages course final. I chose to do my presentation and paper on the Caryatids; Caryatids are ancient figures of women who stand in place of columns. I’m researching the Erechtheion Caryatids; they are famous since they are on the top of the Acropolis. After I got some research done, we went to bed, very tired from our walk earlier.