#Climatemayors Continues to Grow and the States begin to Step Up! …so where do we go from here?

The open letter from the #ClimateMayors on Medium.com continues to gain signatories – now up to 210***! These cities and their metropolitan areas now count for over 49% of the US population, and 55% of our GDP. That’s nearly $10 TRILLION!! Is your city on the list? If not, and you think it should be, now is the time to start calling your city council and your mayor’s office! Even better if you’re a business owner…

But even more exciting was the massive influx of states into the U.S. Climate Alliance. Added to the previous 9 states (Colorado was misreported), Minnesota, Delaware, Vermont and Puerto Rico, joined on Monday bringing the total to 13. These 12 states contain over 30% of the US population, and are responsible for over 35% (over 1/3!) of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product.


And this brings us to my favorite part – what happens when you combine the states in the Climate Alliance to the cities that have signed the Climate Mayors agreement and aren’t in the Climate Alliance member states? Well, its a pretty rosy picture – 58.8% of the US population, and almost 2/3 of the GDP!

This is all well and good, but it can’t stop here – there’s still an alarming portion of Americans who are not living in states or municipalities that have signed on to the Paris Climate Agreement. Obviously, I believe every state and city should sign on, but clearly some places will have more political, economic, and of course, environmental impact.

The top 10 State producers of C02 are listed in the chart below. Now, California and New York are founding members of the U.S. Climate Alliance so we don’t need to worry about them, and some states are certainly an uphill battle, if not a lost cause (Texas, I’m looking at you), but there are some other states which absolutely could, and should, be convinced to join. For example, Florida and Louisiana stand to lose the most in the near future from Climate Change, as their most prosperous urban areas are already under threat of flooding from rising sea levels, and both states are routinely victims of hurricanes, which will only become more frequent and more powerful as the earth’s atmosphere warms. Pennsylvania and Michigan have had the majority of their major urban areas already sign on to the #ClimateMayors agreement, and Pennsylvania has already expressed some interest, and somewhat surprisingly, so has Ohio.


***They claim 211, but they’re counting the city of Carrboro, NC twice!)



A Path Forward: #ClimateMayors and U.S. Climate Alliance

What a difference 24 hours makes! Instead of 82 #ClimateMayors, we now have 174! Instead of 3 states in the U.S. Climate Alliance, there are now 10!

So what does this mean for the economic and political force of the signatories? Just in case you should ask, I’ve updated my spreadsheet:


But a quick summary, for those who don’t want to wade through the data: The cities (and their respective metropolitan statistical areas if they represent the core of such a region) now represent nearly 150 million Americans, or 46% of the population. Those cities are also responsible for almost $9.4 TRILLION in GDP, i.e. more than 52% of the national GDP!!

If you’re curious as to what the CLimate Alliance states represent, we’re up to nearly 97 million Americans, and some 34% of the national GDP.

And just for fun, as last time, if we add the figures for the U.S. Climate Alliance states to those of the #ClimateMayors whose cities are NOT within one of the U.S. Climate Alliance States, we now have some 320 million people, and $11 TRILLION in GDP, or or 57% of the US population and 61% of the GDP.

Takeaways from these numbers? First, it means we shouldn’t despair. As the #ClimateMayors and U.S. Climate Alliance governors have noted, we don’t need the Trump administration. We’re bigger, better, and smarter than they are. So take heart!

Second, this means we have even more leverage. These are cities that companies are already based in, or that want to do business in. These are Americans that these companies want (and need) to hire. And there are plenty of American (and foreign!) companies that do business in the U.S. that understand and appreciate the existential threat of climate and change. With the strength of American and global business and the powerhouse of the American urban workforce as our lever, and the unsurpassable beauty and excellence of the American city as the place where we can make our stand, I believe that we can, and will, MOVE THE WORLD.

***The update to the #ClimateMayors letter claims 180 signatories, but there appear to be some duplicates and possibly some missing. There are only 174 cities listed.

***Just for fun, the spreadsheet has all of the female members of #ClimateMayors highlighted – over 30% of the total!! Does this mean that progressive and educated cities are more likely to elect women? Or that women leaders are more likely to stand up for important environmental and scientific issues? Food for thought!

Fighting the Good Fight: the Potential Impact of State and City Pledges to Uphold the Paris Climate Agreement


I managed to go to sleep last night without reading the news, which means I woke up to find my newsfeeds filled with panicked responses to what many of us, myself included, know to be the disastrous decision by the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.

I won’t even begin to list the ways in which this is a fundamentally flawed decision, as there are others smarter and more eloquent than I who have already done no. Needless to say, this is not good for the earth, and funnily enough the U.S. is still located on this planet, with no relocation plans in the foreseeable future. But, screaming out the negative impacts this has on the environment clearly falls on deaf ears, as the climate change deniers and/or doomsday seekers plainly don’t get it.

What DO they understand? Seemingly the only way to reach many of the people who support this president and his policies is through their wallets, whether we speak of struggling lower-middle class workers of the American heartland, or a certain breed of soulless industrialist and politicans.

So how do we get through to these people? How do we turn the tide? Well, not-so- coincidentally the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement turns out to also be potentially disastrous to American economic interests both home and abroad. But remaining in the Paris Agreement is an opportunity for economic growth and political leadership. So, I believe that the states that are creating the U.S. Climate Alliance (currently CA, NY, and WA) and the #ClimateMayors’ cities who have signed a pact to uphold the commitments of the Paris Agreement have offered us a way forward: namely, these states and cities need to get our business. They need to get our jobs and our income. There’s already a list of companies that agree leaving the Paris Agreement is a bad call, including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Tesla, Disney, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Shell, Exxon Mobil, and Cargill. (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/01/business/climate-change-tesla-corporations-paris-accord.html)

The Republican Party claims that they are the Party of “States Rights.” Well, fine then. Lets show them what that really means. 

We need to pressure these employers, and others, to move their businesses, offices and factories to these states and metropolitan areas, and we need to pressure more states and cities to sign these pacts, and more companies to stand with them.

The math is in our favor: I ran some numbers, and the three states that are currently backing the Paris Agreement through the framework of the newly formed U.S. Climate Alliance represent over 20% of the U.S. population and over 25% of the U.S. GDP. The Metropolitan Areas of the #ClimateMayors’ cities represent 34% of the U.S. population and nearly 40% of the national GDP. And if you combine the two (so, add the population and product of the signatory states, and then the metropolitan areas that are not already counted within those states) you get 42.5% of the U.S. Population and nearly 50% of our GDP!!

Here’s a link to the GoogleDocs Spreadsheet with my calculations: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1I-ah_rQ6PcHkk1qqTaql_dw24QoFwaOP0dFeUqhf_cA/edit?usp=sharing

These are all based on the announced membership of the U.S. Climate Alliance and the signatories of the #ClimateMayors’ Open Letter (https://medium.com/@ClimateMayors/climate-mayors-commit-to-adopt-honor-and-uphold-paris-climate-agreement-goals-ba566e260097). If more states or cities join I will update the spreadsheet – please comment if you hear of any new members or any other corporations that have announced their backing of the Paris Climate Agreement! And take and share this data as you see fit.


Politiko Troullia Study Season 2017 Update

The coffee for my morning coffeebreak is Munsell color 7.5YR6/6. This is after diluting with water and adding 1/3 cup of milk. I get goosebumps with every sip, and if I survive I fear I may end up with hair on my chest. Note: John is no longer allowed to make the coffee.
Also, it’s unseasonably cold, and raining rather heavily, and then with no warning at all the rain stops, and its glorious and sunny again. Good times!

Windows 10 – Build 15063 – Fun with Folder Icons

I finally was getting around to tweaking the appearance of my desktop and file system following installing the Creator’s update a little over a month ago, when I swapped out the icon for the Pictures folder in my User folder. I didn’t like the result, so I hit Restore Defaults – big mistake! Apparently, Restore Defaults for icon customization still points at the definitions from one of the previous Window 10 builds – so now I had a Pictures folder icon that was heavily shaded and had strangely curved and brightly colored photos bursting out of it… which didn’t match the attractive clean design of all the other new icons. Well, crap.

A little digging around saved the day – it seems that the new icons are not in the System32 folder, but are in C:/Windows/SysWOW64/imageres.dll. So, by customizing the icon again and pointing at the correct library I was able to restore a Pictures folder icon that matches the aesthetic of the rest of the operating system.


My folders match! But why are they all folders?? Where’s my Dropbox icon? 



Fun (and annoying fact): if you don’t love the new folder icons, and instead of manila folders with icons emerging you want the actual icons (e.g. OneDrive, Pictures, Videos)only SOME off the basic icons are in SysWOW64.


See: Nice clean icons, instead of messy folders


I know the the elegant plain icons for Downloads and Music exist (the Lynda course on Windows 10 Essentials Training Creators Update shows them clearly) but for some reason, my system doesn’t have them as defaults, nor can I find them anyplace?? Argh! Anyone know how/why my defaults are all ugly folders, and where the missing, plain icons for these features are hiding??





Funding and Finishing (Someday?)

The last few weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotions… excitement, frustration, joy, anger… and all of that come along with every graduate student (and academic)’s favorite sensation: anxiety!! (now with extra Tzatziki!) All kidding aside, this PhD in Archaeology thing is absurdly difficult, and I don’t really think for the reasons it should be. Worrying about your research, data collection, writing? Sure! That all seems reasonable… its what we signed up for, honestly. But jumping through administrative hoops, dealing with distracted/busy/unengaged faculty and advisory committees, finding a project, organizing that project, don’t forget finding funding for that project… and oh yeah, graduating on time, now that universities seem to think that 4 years of funding is enough (even though you spend 3 of those years taking classes, rather than working on your dissertation). I, personally, have made what appears to have been a critical error: I had a PhD project, and quite honestly I wasn’t excited about it. Actually, I kind of hated it. Now, you see, EVERY grad student ends up hating their PhD project in the end, but when you hate it before you’ve even started? That’s a pretty bad sign, since you’re going to be living with it day in and day out for the next 2-3 years of your life. So, instead of assuring that I would be miserable for two or three years, and possibly losing motivation and never even finishing, I did what I think any reasonable person would do, and when an opportunity for a better, more interesting project came along, I took it! Great! Oh, ho ho!! Hold your horses there, Miss Girl Archaeologist. Easier said than done, my friends! Changing your topic takes time! Lots of it! Getting everyone on board, getting the research done, making arrangements, etc… its all incredibly time consuming. And that’s time that grad students don’t really have lots of, and time, as they say, is money. If archaeology were really “science,” we’d all be working on little sub-projects of our advisors’ research. We’d barely even choose our research topics – we’d have something “suggested” to us, based on our interests and skills. Our funding would be provided by our supervisors’ NSF and NIH and DARPA grants, and we’d be working in their laboratories. If we were a full-on humanity, we’d write our dissertations sequestered in a library someplace, with maybe the occasional trip to archives in other countries. But archaeology is inherently interdisciplinary, collaborative, and as a result difficult to organize and potentially expensive, and very few students get dissertation topics or funding support from their faculty. As a result, we’re expected to cobble together our own research topics and research design, make our own connections, get all the permits, make all the arrangements, hire or locate a crew or collaborators, and collect, process, and analyze all our own data… and of course pay for the whole mess as well! Some students are smart – they work on museum collections that are readily accessible, or even better, nearby. Others do synthetic work, reanalyzing other projects’ data in new and interesting ways. And then, there are the fools, like me, who actually try to collect new data, and in the field no less! Labs are only somewhat easier – you have to find and prep your samples (which can involve nightmares if you’re exporting them from foreign countries), and god forbid your data is a mess, but at least you’re not trying to hire a crew and schedule around the weather and the school year, and still facing the potential of no/bad data. So, yeah… basically, after all of this craziness and stress, I think I actually have a potentially amazing project. Great collaborators. Awesome data (if we can get it out of the ground that is!). But I’m a year off of where I “should” be right now, and I don’t see any feasible way of making that time up, so what do I do? Shrink the project? Or take longer to finish? And if the latter, how on earth do I fund that? In the 19th and early 20th century, archaeologists had patrons. George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon was an amateur archaeologist, who provided the financial backing for various excavations in Egypt, most notably Howard Carter’s discovery of KV62, the tomb of the young pharaoh Tutankhamun. I’m thinking I need a patron. Anyone want to volunteer? I’ll try my very hardest to make you famous!

The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men

An appropriate title for this post, for numerous reasons… the first of which is that I planned to post to this blog daily, and of course, its now been very nearly two weeks. Mea culpa (also a phrase of import in recent goings-on).

So my partner-in-crime and life came to visit me in Cyprus, and that’s where all got derailed. Which, to be honest, I had expected, so losing those 8 days wasn’t particularly problematic. However, I felt like I ought to be getting something done, so I didn’t necessarily take as much advantage of the time off and his presence as I should have. So it goes, but we still had some fun adventures I think!

After dragging him to “my” sites, we made a more standard archaeological-tourist jaunt around the island. The Cyprus Museum is of course required, and we also went to Kourion and Hala Sultan Tekke (the mosque, not the unimpressive LBA trenches – which are still cool, but require hiking out across a field for not a whole lot of payoff). We also made it up to Kyrenia, and got our crusader on, going to both St. Hilarion and Kyrenia castles. It was actually so nice, and its such a nice town, that we spent the night, which meant we got to hang out on the medieval harbour listening to Turkish folk-rock late into the evening over good beer.

However, all of this was tempered by a terrifying email late last Wednesday, where I appeared to have temporarily lost access to most of the material I’m here to study this Spring and much of the data I intended to collect in the coming year for my dissertation. Talk about heart-stopping! A flurry of panicked emailed were sent, with apologies and clarifications and additional requests for permissions, and in the end I was given a Monday morning meeting with the head of Museums and Monuments (who is also the director of the larger project and excavations that my dissertation will hopefully piggy-back off of).

So… Monday morning, having not slept particularly well for the previous 5 nights (oh graduate school, how you make mountains out of molehills), heart in throat, I show up at the Cyprus Museum for my meeting. And everything goes fabulously! It’s all awesome. She’s awesome (always has been, but its nice to be reminded of it), and everything seems to be worked out, not just as I had anticipated, but better than I possibly could have hoped. I need to reword some things in my proposal, and some other things I don’t need to ask for money for at all, because they’ve already been done, or I’m being given the opportunity to do them as part of other people’s projects/funding… and yet, everyone understand that this is for my dissertation, so they’re all concerned about getting me my data in a timely fashion. Whoah!

So, got into the museum to see some of my material starting Tuesday morning (hurrah!) and permissions were gotten for me to move my other material to where I can use it (double hurrah!). The survey collections from the 1950s are, unsurprisingly, filthy, and a bit jumbled. This makes me worried about the analysis done by this one researcher back in 1993… she recorded a bunch of stuff I can’t find. We also can’t find the new material she supposedly collected. So instead of 40-60 sherds per site, I’m looking at about 15. Not ideal, but I’ll do the best with what I have.

Then Wednesday morning I was invited to a meeting with the French researcher who is planning a major geophysics project on Cyprus, including the Ayios Sozomenos region, and appears to be happy to include me and my two sites into his work and let me tag along (woohoo!!). If all goes well for him with his work elsewhere on the island this weekend, I’ll take him on a tour of the sites next week.

Wednesday afternoon continued to be full of progress and success. The head of museums and monuments came up to the study room in the museum, and crashed my ceramics analysis. I’m working on the 1950s survey material of the fortresses that I’ll be working on for my diss, but first I owe her a publication of our pilot project two summers ago. She seemed excited and even a little impressed with my work, and we had a lively discussion about when one ware actually appears, how long the MCIII actually is (or isn’t), and whether my mystery sherds are another particular ware (she thinks yes, which supports my thoughts, and also throws our chronology higgledy piggledy, so YAY!). And after that, I was invited by the conservation team, who are lovely (and very funny) people in the lab across the hall from the workroom, to coffee, after which I was given carte blanche to hang out in their lab and secret sunny patio. Neat!

Thursday was a half-day in the museum, so I’m not quite done with the survey material – probably one more day. But that’s okay, because it gave me more time to go out to Pera to work on the reorganization of our warehouse, which I started Monday afternoon. Its dirty, exhausting work, but its satisfying, and hopefully we’ll be able to find things more easily when I’m done! Its also giving me a better grasp of what material is left to be analyzed, or what wasn’t completely finished to begin with. Seriously, any archaeological project needs at least one ceramics assistant for every two trenches… or we need a study season every year as long as our field season. This happens to every project I know, but alas, ceramics stopped being sexy sometime in the 1940s, so despite their importance, they really don’t get the attention they need. Everyone seems to be into animal bones these days… what is that? I don’t get it. Come look at pots with me!

Around About Town

Having G here with me is great… except I’m getting no work done! Technically, that’s okay, and it was to be expected… this is our Cornell Spring Break anyway, right? Problem is I was hoping to get a bit more done last week. I’m always too optimistic about what I can get done in 3 days with jet lag… then add in being sick, and yeah. Overly optimistic is all I can say about that.

So, what have we seen and done? Friday I dragged him to Ayios Sozomenos, which is the region I will be writing my dissertation on, to show him my beautiful Bronze Age fortresses! He was suitably impressed (they are pretty darn cool, I have to say) and greatly amused by my geeking out. These fortresses are so interesting, because really, no one knows a lot about them. A lot has been said about them, but none of it has been particularly interesting, and its been based on very little evidence. This makes it perfect for a dissertation – if I can add even a little more data, and if I can say something even slightly interesting, then I am contributing to scholarship!! Hurrah!

What was super productive about that trip though, is that there is a fortress that was excavated in the 1920s by the Swedish Cyprus Expedition, called Glyka Vrysis. Only the architecture was every published back in 1926, and although Sjökvist published very nice drawings of the fort, he didn’t publish a map. He gives an unfortunately vague description of its location, and basically everyone for the past 50 years has been putting it in the same spot on a map, which I was pretty sure was wrong, once I became familiar with the area, and had read his report instead of just looking at everyone else’s maps. He claims that the fort was surrounded by a “small settlement” and was on the west side of a stream that runs through a gully between two of the big fortresses on the plateau, but that the fort and settlement are at the base of a hill with a cemetery on it. Sadly, this area bears very little resemblance to its state 100 years ago. There’s a massive sand-mining operation that has dug out about half the plateau, and shoved piles of tailings all over the place, and the stream bed has been almost totally obliterated by a large farm which has terraced the gently sloping ground where the stream used to run. Walking across those fields confirmed my fear – there’s nothing left. Not a scrap… its all fresh sandy soil shoved off the top of the plateau or trucked in from heaven knows where. However, once we were down in those fields, we could see a “hill” that wasn’t part of the plateau, and still appeared to be relatively intact. As soon as we started clambering up it, eureka! Pottery! White Slip, Black slip, some nice Red Polished III and IV, and even (the real prize!) a sherd of Red-on-Red… and then at the top, 6 huge looted tombs cut into the limestone scarp. Bingo. There’s the MCIII/LCI cemetery on a hill, so while the fort is long gone, I at least know where it was (and I was right, its not really anywhere near where we’ve been sticking it on maps for the last 50 years). So yay! I clearly need to have my sidekick in Cyprus with me more often if this is what happens in our first 24 hours….

Dinner that night was at To Steki, a yummy traditional Cypriot food tavern/restauraunt here in Nicosia. We went out at 8 pm, and the place was totally empty. I was afraid it was closed! And then when I saw there were staff inside, I was afraid they were getting ready to close. Oh, foolish, foolish girl! You’re in the Mediterranean!! We go in, and it turns out that 3/4 of their tables are reserved, and we’re the FIRST customers of the night. As we sat, several more couples and small groups without reservations showed up, and were seated in increasingly less ideal tables, and then the hoard started to appear right as we finished our grill plate. Guess we showed up at the right time after all!

Saturday was more adventures, this time returning (again for me) to Politiko-Troullia. It had rained pretty heavily the previous night and morning, and the site was a MESS, but the rain had uncovered some exciting stuff… looks like our destruction layer and room full of pithoi continued even further. Neat! I need to make sure they dig out the baulk between trench O and N… so many goodies, and I really want to know what was going on in that room.

Dinner that night was Syrian-Arab Friendship Club, with my friends Efythmios and Sam. Its one of the best restaurants in town, and has been for years. With 4 people we were able to get the meze, and basically we ate until we couldn’t eat anymore, and then we ordered coffee and custard on top of that. Good company, and good food, I was so full that all I could do when we got home to the Institute was lie in bed and watch Inspector Lewis.

Getting Started is Hard To Do

Double-post today, because I forgot to publish my post for Wednesday, and didn’t write my post for Thursday, because this week got so exciting so quickly!

Thursday began awkwardly, by my utterly failing to remember how to get out of Nicosia and down to the village of Pera, where the Politiko-Troullia makes its home during the season. At 11, when I was supposed to be in Pera meeting one of our village contacts for coffee, I was instead totally lost in Deneia. If you look at a map, you’ll see why this is problematic – I was about 25 minutes from where I needed to be, and had nearly driven across the Green Line in to the north on accident. Yeah, don’t do that. I did it once a few years ago and the UN Peacekeepers were NOT thrilled. By the time I had gone back to Nicosia, gotten my map, figured out where I’d gone wrong, and made it out to Pera, Safronis was gone. I did get into the warehouse though, and got 15 (!) boxes of ceramics that need to be analyzed. I also stood around confused outside the closed bank where Ioanni, one of our other contacts works, trying to call him… when he came out and found me! Turns out no one has a phone signal inside the bank. Since everyone in Cyprus uses cell phones, this seems rather annoying. But, with his help I got into our other store room and fetched the tools I’ll need for the analyses and drawing. A big project like ours has so much equipment, the pile of boxes was quite daunting. I couldn’t find the photography equipment, but I’m sure its in there someplace, so I’ll just have to find it some other time, or leave the photography until the rest of the crew show up. I also stopped by the village grocery store run by our friend Eleni… she had good news, too – her son is getting married in June, so there will be a big village wedding!

On making it back to CAARI, my friend Sam, an awesome archaeology PhD student from Melbourne, Australia, helped me get all the boxes out of my car and into the workshop where I’ll be making my lab for the next two months. This was after I swept the place, which was TERRIFYING. The dust was literally 1/8 in. thick on the floor, so when I swept, even carefully, the air was so full of dust my eyes and my throat stung. There was much hacking and coughing, but I think the worst of it is out in the driveway now, and the workshop is certainly much more pleasant. We managed to fit all 15 boxes and the boxes of supplies on one bookshelf (they are, thankfully, relatively small boxes), and then we rewarded ourselves with delicious Italian takeout. Nicosia has always been a cosmopolitan city, but the food options have gotten much better (and more affordable!) in recent years. Tagliatelle with shrimp and coriander pesto for 9 euros! Huzzah!

The best part of my day, however, was driving down to Larnaca to pick up my friend who is visiting for a week. This is technically our Spring Break coming up, so I wasn’t planning on getting much done the next 7 days. Time for some adventure!

Culture/Body shock

My body suddenly decided to remember that this isn’t the right hemisphere, and last night despite valiant efforts to the contrary, I didn’t fall asleep until nearly 5 am. This wasn’t a huge concern, thankfully, as Wednesday was also a national holiday here in Cyprus. What were they celebrating? Greek Independence. That’s right, not Cypriot independence. Greek independence. It is a curious feature of Cypriot national identity, that a large portion of the population dreams of “re”unification with Greece. The problem with this dream? Cyprus, historically, has never been Greek. The closest it has actually come was the eleven years (333-322 BC) that it was part of Alexander’s Empire. This is, of course, not to say that Cyprus is not of Greek character. There were waves of Greek settlers to Cyprus starting probably in the 16th century BC with the Mycenaeans, that continued through the Classical and Hellenistic eras. Under Roman and Byzantine rule, Cyprus was part of the Eastern Empire, and so was of course “Greek” in language and religion. Its just the “Greek” political identification that isn’t particularly well historically justified. What Cyprus has been, historically, is Assyrian, Persian, Egyptian, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Lusignan/Crusader, Venetian, Ottoman, and British. Cyprus’ period of unified self-rule itself only lasted 14 years, before the Greek Junta backed a military coup that instigated the Turkish invasion. The rest, as they say, is history, and as with any recent and bloody history it is understandably very touchy and sore, so better left for discussion on another day.

Anyhow, I finally crawled out of bed after listening to drums and cheers for the better part of an hour. I managed to yank on clothes and run up the road to discover what, to an American, was a rather troubling sight: A parade, celebrating Greek independence, that appeared to involve nearly evert school child in the country. School after school after school marched by in their uniforms… and I mean marched. White gloves, arms swinging, in a marching style distinctly foreign to Americans, and when I say distinctly foreign I mean, what springs to mind immediately is historical film clips of various fascist and/or totalitarian (German, Russian, Chinese, N. Korean…) armies marching in front of grandstands.

Each school was lead by an honor guard carrying front and center the school’s banner (most frequently featuring a religious icon of some sort) flanked by the Cypriot and Greek flags. Most schools had their own drum corps, some also had brass. There was lots of chanting, most of it related to Greek Independence, but more troubling was the large group of football supporters, carrying a giant Greek flag, and chanting about enosis. Troop after troop of girl and boy scouts (guides?) went by too. Curiously amusing to me were the young women who, if marching with their school, nearly universally had their hair artificially straightened and perfectly trimmed and often dyed pure black or highlighted with blond or red, while the Girl Scouts all had beautiful manes of natural curly dark brown hair. I suppose, as in the States, only a certain kind of girl stays a Girl Scout past Brownies!

After another hour or so of this the parade wrapped up, and I ran back to the Institute to make myself lunch, which was all well and good, but it was around about then my body decided it had had it with all the travel and messed up sleep, and insisted that I needed to go back to bed RIGHT NOW.