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It's 3:43 am here in Venice beach. Staying at a hostel near the beach. Haven't get used to the time change but slept 5 -6 hours so I am OK. There is a guy snoring like an elephant and the Irish guy underneath him is telling him "dude you are snoring really bad, do something about it. I am not paying for hear you snoring ". It's been happening all night!

 

I visited Santa Monica. I loved it. Better than Venice. I do like the calisthenics parks along the beach. The weather is very similar to the Mediterranean weather. I got tanned like in Greece. Burned actually because I walked about 6 hours.

 

Everyone thinks I am Spanish and they talk Spanish to me at first. A guy even asked me if I wanted weed in Spanish. Then he translated of course. Hahaha

 

 

I love it here. It's so different! The only problem is that I will run out of money very fast.

Edited by dias
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Very exciting! I love Venice Beach! Santa Monica is beautiful and I do like it better than Venice Beach. I love all of southern California! Off topic but I'll be heading to San Diego CA Sunday, taking my daughter back to school at SDSU. I've rented a house on Mission Beach, and we will spend a couple of days surfing, running on the beach, and just experiencing beach life. Of the travels you've mentioned, I really think you'll be the most fond of the west coast Coming from Greece, which is a land of immense beauty, there is nothing more beautiful than the west coast, in the U.S. Enjoy your adventure! Bon Chance! καλή τύχη!

 

P.S. Good luck with the hostel, lol.

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Ah mines. Thank you I stayed in San Diego a week and went surfing twice. It was really cool. Unfortunately, I changed plans again (reality check ) and i need to go back to Greece. Now I am eating at a restaurant on Venice beach again since my flight back home is from Los Angeles. Damn, I have travelled a lot in Europe but when I left San Diego this morning I was about to cry (yeah,so sad).

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I don't know from which state you are from mines but we do agree that Southern CA rocks.Especially San Diego. I fell in love with this city. LA is nice but I think there are too many homeless people for my taste. I also liked Carlsbad. Pretty little town on the beach. Compared to the north east coast, I prefer Southern CA one hundred times more.

 

Have a great time there mines. Surf for me and give San Diego my love along with yours.

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Thank you dias! I live in the Chicago area which is beautiful and we definitely have four seasons! However, I have always loved being by the ocean and southern California (in my opinion) is the best coast in the United States with super blue skies and lower humidity than Florida, less rain too I agree with you about Los Angeles, not my style. San Diego is very laid back and chill, and the weather is nearly perfect all year long! I'm sorry you have to cut your trip short and head back to Greece, although that's a gorgeous place to head back to! I will say hi to San Diego for you! Safe travels dias.

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It was the most awesome trip I have ever had. I stayed only two weeks despite having planned a trip for months. I took the decision to cut my trip short in a quite unorthodox way. While I was waiting in the San Diego train station, I received some emails from Essex and Kent Universities in which I had applied for a Master’s degree in Business Analytics. They were saying that I need to pay a deposit or otherwise they will have to give my place on the programme to somebody else. At the same time I was holding my ticket to Chicago which I had already paid. Thus, an interior monologue ensued. I vacillated for about 2 hours whether to continue my trip or go back for my MSc. Watching the next train leaving for Fresno wasn’t helping either. I did have the urge to jump into the train and say something “f*ck everything, it’s YOLO time”. On the other hand I wouldn’t have the chance for an MSc again since I had already applied the previous year and my professors at the university wouldn’t give me letters of recommendation for a third time(rightfully so) and I couldn’t get a letter from work either since I left in a rather quaint way. Then I thought that the MSc is in Business Analytics, something I wanted to study in my undergraduate studies and now I would have the opportunity to see if I was meant to study Business. Besides, I have never been to England so it involves travelling as well. So even though I am not sure I want to enter the corporate environment again, I am quite certain it will be a salutary experience nonetheless. This was my interior monologue and this is why I resolved to cut my trip short.

 

 

But in two weeks I met so many people at hostels, bars and trains that I haven’t met in my whole life. From the French-Hungarian-born Canadian girl on the plane to Toronto to the Austrian guy who studies Math to the Arab guy who claimed to be from a royal family to the middle age guy from Indiana whose wife took his daughter and absconded to San Diego to the Scottish guy who loved San Diego way more than he expected to the American bartender from Sacramento who complained that there are no quality guys anymore to the old couple from Boston who moved to San Diego because of the weather to the first generation American Somali guy from Ohio who aspires to become a web developer(what a bizarre fetish….) to the Jewish guy who is a travel blogger(I asked him if this is a real job-I am behind my times lol) who has been travelling the world 15 years now to the four generation Russian American girl on the train who is about to get her degree in law to a country family from Iowa to the semi hippy girl from Germany( very clean and tidy though-she was a German after all hehe).

 

 

My brother was there for a week too(staying in a luxury hotel though paid by the optical society). I consider myself lucky as my best friend happens to be my brother. He is also a notorious spender so we did a lot of activities and had fun. He had some job interviews in San Diego and thus he rented a mustang convertible and we drove a big part of coastal South Cali. We ate multiple times at a restaurant called Cheesecake factory(is it a restaurant chain in the US?). It has pretty tasty food. I tried to persuade him to take a position as a Postdoctoral researcher at SDSU (which is fairly easy for him) but to no avail. Though he has some positions based in LA on his mind. Good! I can predict from now that I will visit CA ample times in the foreseeable future(saucy little brother hehehe).!

 

 

I have to concede that CA and notably San Diego has better looking girls than the east coast. I think it’s because they workout more and have a thing for appearance. I was sitting at a bar when my eye caught a mixed race white-Mexican girl. Oh boy, holy ! She was one these girls you see in the street/bar/restaurant once in a blue moon and you can’t take your eyes off her. And she wasn’t my “type”. She was full of tattoos and had some weird earrings and maybe she wasn’t that attractive objectively because I was the only one looking at her but I found her super duper sexy. But as always the girls I find very attractive are not interested. Why do I attract girls that I don’t find attractive and can’t attract girls that I do find attractive? God, is this a curse? Have I committed any transgression? Well, I sure have hahahaha!

 

 

 

It was also funny when people tried to figure out where I am from. Actually everybody mentioned all the Mediterranean countries except Greece. Everyone thought I am Spanish at first, then they mentioned Italy, Portugal and Turkey. Dudes, there is one more country in the Mediterranean….. Anyway, it was fun when people tried to guess my origin from my appearance or accent.

 

 

Some things I have noticed about myself:

-I can’t live/don’t want to live without hitting the gym/working out. I hit the gym there even though it was 30 dollars per time -The times where the receptionist was a girl, she made me a discount they have for locals. Now, how I cannot love girls? - I mean working out makes me happy. I love getting up at 6am and hit the gym. I also found a crossfit gym. If anyone could observe me while I was watching a crossfit program he would think that I was watching porn or something. This is how much I love working out.

-I am not sure if I could be a low budget traveler.I went shopping to Levis and Macys which is not very normal for low budget travelers. I did spend a lot of money on protein bars and got addicted to some carbonated teas with zero calories. By the way, I adored Ralphs!

 

 

And at last some universal truths:

-People everywhere want only to tell you their problems and they are not even polite enough to ask about you most of the times.

-Girls at the gym reception are sexy as hell in every country! And we love them!

 

 

Some photos:

 

Carlsbad shore:

by Kwstas papadopoulos, on Flickr

 

La Jolla Shores

by Kwstas papadopoulos, on Flickr

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Venice beach

by Kwstas papadopoulos, on Flickr

by Kwstas papadopoulos, on Flickr

 

 

me and my brother

by Kwstas papadopoulos, on Flickr

 

and me

by Kwstas papadopoulos, on Flickr

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♡♡♡♡♡ this series of pics and observations. that pic of Santa Monica with the hills in the background... I marvel at that view every time I see it, and how it changes through the day / evening.

 

And yes, people ask if am Italian. Sometimes, Latin. Lately, Greek every once in a while. Def Italian. Hello! There is a sea next to Italy and then... ??? I feel you!

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Only an Italian guy mentioned Greece in the third try. And then he uttered four words "government Prime minister communist"..... I can't communicate with Italians whatsoever....

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Only an Italian guy mentioned Greece in the third try. And then he uttered four words "government Prime minister communist"..... I can't communicate with Italians whatsoever....

 

omgosh the political commentary was so unnecessary! and unintelligible.

 

congrats on your university admissions!

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Sounds like an awesome experience!!

 

We ate multiple times at a restaurant called Cheesecake factory(is it a restaurant chain in the US?). It has pretty tasty food.

 

Yes, it is a chain! I've only been there twice because the wait time is usually astronomical--like 90 minutes sometimes!!! The food is tasty, but I have no idea why there's always such a long wait.

 

I have to concede that CA and notably San Diego has better looking girls than the east coast. I think it’s because they workout more and have a thing for appearance.

 

I may be betraying my own kind here (although actually, I was born in Texas so maybe not so much!), but I tend to agree with you! I think they are more focused on appearance. Also, they have the best of the best make up artists and image people out there, due to the movie industry. So even if the girls out there look the same in a 'natural' state as the girls in my area, they have better resources to go the extra mile in terms of looks.

 

Take for example, these two pictures of Charlize Theron:

 

]

 

People everywhere want only to tell you their problems and they are not even polite enough to ask about you most of the times.

 

Ha! Very true.

 

Good luck with your studies!

 

Not sure how the British girls stack up to the California variety, but you can always visit your brother!!

 

[video=youtube;5GMoLENWsSk] ]

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Dias! Thanks for the awesome photographs! La Jolla is my favorite beach in Southern Cali of the ones you posted It's a gorgeous beach town, very expensive to live in! I just returned from San Diego, had a wonderful house on the beach (100 steps from the sand) and it is my happy place on this planet for sure! Fire pits at night, walks on the beach at night, running by the ocean in the mornings, and exploring local beach front cafe's and taco joints with my daughter - heaven on earth! We had so much good food and great outdoor time, I really need to find a way to move out there permanently!

 

I'm glad you had a great visit there, and that you'll go back. Good luck on your advanced study program, that is great news!

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Thanks mines

 

La Jolla was indeed the best beach we found too. The oceanography department of SDSU is right in front of the beach. How awesome would it be to study/work there?

We were the only ones we swam without uniforms for an hour-hour and a half. Some days the water was really cold-makes the Mediterranean sea look like a hot swimming pool. Other than that, surfing is really cool. I achieved to stay on board twice so I got the feeling. Now I understand why surfers are so passionate about it.

 

San Diego is the perfect city for my taste. Middle size, quiet, has this community vibe, great beaches in close proximity, nice restaurants, bars and cafe's in the city centre, reputable University and generally I would say it's more suitable for family oriented people unlike LA. I liked the market on Saturday morning in little Italy and in the harbor.

 

LA is fun for some days but to be honest I only liked the coastal part. I didn't manage to visit Malibu and Santa Barbara though. But there are countless homeless people. This is a huge turn off for me. There are many homeless in San Diego, especially after the 10nth avenue but it's not that bad.

 

You do like the ocean, the sand and the beaches I see. You should visit Greece sometime!

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  • 2 weeks later...

How often do you dream?

 

I don’t usually dream anything or at least something worth remembering when I wake up. I usually dream (when I dream) something that I have spent many hours thinking about it in real life. Like when I was programming a lot (that would be around 60-70 hours a week) for the first half year at work (too many new stuff to learn), I was seeing code and logs in my dreams. Other than this case I don’t dream very often except for 2 specific sorts of dreams. They are extremely vivid, more “real” than reality itself.

 

One that involves my maternal grandfather. I have already mentioned that I adored my maternal grandfather and have very gleeful memories with him but he died when I was 12. It’s a long time ago. I don’t think about him in my everyday life so I don’t fathom how I have dreams which involve him. And they are always similar dreams. It’s me as I was at 7-8 years old and my grandfather. He appears from “somewhere”, I run towards him and I start hugging him. This is the moment I start crying in my dreams and in reality. I mean I literally tear up while I am asleep. The last time this happened was at the hostel on Venice beach. I woke up and I was crying (not loud though). Thank god, it was 4 am and everybody was sleeping. It would be very embarrassing to be “caught” crying. I can’t cry while I am awake, how is it possible to cry while I am asleep? Maybe while I am awake I subliminally don’t allow my emotions to be triggered….

 

 

The other kind of dreams is the one that involves sex. This is expected I guess since it’s connected with testosterone level. It’s scientifically proven that testosterone level reach its peak early in the morning. Not that it’s not very obvious, morning erection proves it easily. For me it’s between 4am and 6am. These dreams are also very vivid. It’s always an unknown female figure without distinct facial features. Sometimes it’s funny as I wake up and wonder where these lascivious lips I was just kissing are. I am sure I look very disappointed when I realize that it was just a dream hahaha.

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I came to my grandma’s for a couple of weeks. I wanted to visit her before leaving for the UK. She is healthy but she is 84. Unfortunately we are not immortals and the only thing that makes her happy is to be with her grandkids. Partly raised by my grandparents, the least I can do is visit my grandmother as frequently as possible. As I get older I realize that happy childhood years are not as common as I used to think. Good parents or grandparents are not a given.

 

I visited my grandfather’s grave. We have left two photos in his grave, one taken here in Thessaloniki and one taken in London. When we learnt he had cancer, my mother insisted going to the best doctors we could find. Having lost her brother due to cancer at the age of 22-23 she wanted to do whatever was possible to save my grandpa. So my grandfather stayed in London for a year for chemotherapy. (By the way, I have observed that most patients who undergo chemotherapy die. I seriously question the effectiveness of this treatment) Doctors said chances to get better were close to zero. 8 years of fighting cancer with chemotherapy. My grandpa lost his hair and nails 3 times. It was a sad sad situation. I remember one time I called him and I heard my grandma crying in the background. It wasn’t easy for her too. I asked my grandpa “Why is grandma crying?”. He replied “ because of the whole situation. She remembers your uncle too”. I was 11-12 at the time and although I did understand what was happening of course, I don’t think I could fathom the gravity of the situation. Difficult for a child to apprehend fully situations like this. Anyway, I remember that my grandpa loved London. He used to say “ London has better weather than Thessaloniki” haha. Maybe it’s true, I will find out soon enough. He didn’t bother him that he couldn’t speak the language but he liked the culture. He wanted to buy property there but my mother stopped him because we needed the money for his treatment. Since doctors in London couldn’t do anything more, my mother wanted to go to the US to continue the treatment there(meaning that doctors are better in the US). Logically thinking, I don’t think doctors in the US could do something more but under these circumstances you grab from anything you can even if it doesn’t make any sense. My father even went to Cuba to buy a “treatment” made of scorpion’s poison(and got stolen and stranded without an ID in Guantanamo- that was a funny story). But at this point my grandpa had already given up the fight. He didn’t want to spend more money for any treatment and he just came back to Greece.

 

Here we are grandpa 13 years later. Neither of us intended to visit England but life has other plans I guess. Maybe if you have passed me your entrepreneurial spirit I will make enough money sometime to buy you some property in London. Grandpa, I told you umpteenth times that I love you but never really got the chance to thank you, to thank you for the happy memories. Thank you grandpa…..

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Here we are grandpa 13 years later. Neither of us intended to visit England but life has other plans I guess. Maybe if you have passed me your entrepreneurial spirit I will make enough money sometime to buy you some property in London.

 

That's very sweet.

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Reading the thread about the Master studies at thirties I thought about the tuition fees for my MSc. Now, tuition fees depend on supply and demand. Let’s not forget that universities are some sort of enterprise. My MSc in Business Analytics is considered a Science degree and not a Business degree but it belongs to the Business School. Weird huh? That’s because it has business courses but it also has computer science and statistical courses.

 

 

The previous year I got accepted to one of the top UK universities in Finance( I wanted to completely change field) and the tuition fees were around 30K pounds whereas now (the second time I applied) the tuition fees are 10K pounds. This discrepancy exists because the field is different (STEM fields are way less expensive) and the university is good but not one of the top. The reason I didn’t choose one of the top is because at work I figured out that companies hire graduates from all the credible universities. I admit I didn’t find it fair at the time since I graduated from the top Greek Business University. So based on this logic, I decided not to waste money for just a title.

 

I could have chosen the same MSc in the university I did my undergraduate studies but although undergraduate studies are free, Master studies are not. And since the tuition fees here are the same with the tuition fees of some universities in the UK, I opted the UK.

 

Total amount for my Master studies there: 11K tuition fees + 7K accommodation + 7K cost of living + 1.5K for airplane tickets and other expenses = 26.5K pounds = 30K euro. I have saved from my work 11K euro(got some extra money since I never took a day off). This is why I hurried to get back to Greece, I didn’t want to spend any more money.

 

I chose the UK because of the language as many Greeks do but nowadays everyone relocates to mainland Europe. Good universities with no fees and better paying jobs after graduation. Most of my friends who study abroad told me that I am crazy I chose the UK for Master studies, all of them are scattered in mainland Europe. Well the thing is, I don’t want the language barrier, not now anyway. I want to master the English language first.

 

 

 

 

The tuition fees in the US are a sham. Sorry if any American is reading but that’s the truth. I have 2 uncles and 6 cousins in North East. All of them have degrees, Masters and PhDs from the top US universities. But I put down the cost of their education and it’s like unbelievable. I mean one of my uncles has 4 kids, so that means 200K*4 for the undergraduate studies + 3*50 I don’t know exactly the prices for the Master studies, maybe it’s more=950K. If we add the rent (Boston is perfect to go broke) and the other expenses it would be about 1,2M. Thankfully money is not a problem for my uncle but that’s a lot of money. Ok they all make a lot money now but again, education there is very expensive. One thing I never understood is why Americans don’t send their kids to study somewhere in Europe. For an American the cost of living in Europe is scanty. Talking about middle class families always.

 

 

 

The other issue is, why would you want to get a Master ’s degree. Well, sometimes it’s necessary sometimes not. For me if I want to get a job as a Data analyst or Data Scientist MSc or PhD is a prerequisite. All in all, I don’t have anything to lose.

 

 

 

 

 

Ok enough with the nonsense! Let’s talk about girls! YAY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing! Dry spell! Drier than Sahara desert itself! Hahahaha

 

Seriously though, life without women and sex is not interesting or entertaining. Now I get why Onassis used to say that if women didn’t exist, money wouldn’t have any value. Wise guy!

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Dumb question of the day: Everyone in this world says that if he ever obtains a substantial amount of money he will go to Brazil. Where do Brazilians go in this case?

I say if I had some millions I would have gone to Brazil but I say it because Brazil is the classic destination for indulgence. But if I indeed had some millions I would have gone to Russia. I have some unfinished fantasies with some Siberian babes ^^.

 

 

Speaking of fantasies, most people never act out their fantasies. I think this is wrong. It causes inner conflicts and inner resentment in the end. Like a guy from my previous work who is with his woman since they were 19. He is 35 now and he hasn’t been with any other girl. To each his own of course but I bet he has many “how would it be to do xyz…with xyz girl” that he will never fulfill. I believe it’s good to fulfill your fantasies when you are young because

1) You debunk your fantasies and you learn to appreciate reality more

2) You don’t live with “how would it be to do xyz…” questions and destroy a serious relationship for this with an impulsive action which you will regret some days later

3) You will die happy

 

 

The same applies I believe in every sort of fantasy, not only sexual. Work relating fantasies too. “ I want to be like this successful athlete” for instance. Personally I have realized almost all my sexual fantasies and the only fantasies I have now are career related. I am glad I did because I don’t wonder anymore how would it be to sleep with a model etc … I don’t seek excitement through fantasies anymore (but I still find entertainment in women, it’s my character I guess) and I know what I like and don’t like in sex.

I like this article :

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Soooooooooooooooooooooooo, I’ve been in England for a week now. I didn’t have enough time to write, too many errands to run and things to take care of. I did manage to flirt with some undergraduate girls though. I approached and flirted with three girls and asked them out, one Hungarian, one English and one Bulgarian. Got two ‘nos’ and a maybe/we will see/probably yes if I pursue it. Statistically speaking, I have 97 girls left until I sleep with one. Oh boy, that’s a lot of work hahahaha.

 

 

What I never understood in my life is, why do I attract the “relationship” type of girls? It’s like having a sign on me saying I am relationship guy which obviously I am not. Maybe my facial features give the wrong vibe, who knows…. But I want slu*ty girls. A big hurray for slu*ty girls !!!!!!!!

Classes are starting from this Monday so I am telling myself that I should put girls aside and focus solely on my studies but I don’t know if am able to do it. Dad you are responsible for this, your bad gene!

 

 

Regarding the Master’s degree now, half of the students who attend this degree are Greeks. Not even Asians picked a STEM degree. Everyone has chosen International Business/Entrepreneurship etc etc. Even the dean told me about the Business Analytics degree “Wow that’s a lot of Mathematics but there are many jobs. It has a special niche in the market”. Yeah I know, there are many jobs for the dirty work. Hahahaha. Anyway, let see how it is.

 

 

I chatted a bit with a lady from the Employability office. She imitated the English accent pretty well but she didn’t look like an English. She was lovely so I had to ask her where she is from. She was Irish. Makes sense, lovely lady=Irish lady. But I think I have already mentioned that Irish are my favorites.

 

As for the weather it’s better than I expected. It’s still October so I guess I have to wait till January or something. I am in a middle size town called Southend, outside of London. It’s nice and convenient. You can walk along the coast for hours. I like it. I am having a hard time with the accent but I am getting used to it.

 

Some photos:

by Kwstas papadopoulos, on Flickr

 

by Kwstas papadopoulos, on Flickr

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On paper, American.

 

My last teacher was English/Scottish and I didn't have a problem but he had already been living in Greece and outside of the UK for 40 years so he talked a bit slower etc etc.

 

I think English talk faster than Americans generally and the accent varies. I talked to an English girl from Plymouth and I didn't have any problem. Locals are not that articulate. I don't have the best diction either and sometimes we need 5 minutes to understand each other. But again it depends on the person I am talking to.

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I work with a British guy, and I find his use of the language to be slightly more sophisticated/efficient than ours. I have to pay closer attention when he talks because he uses the language differently.

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I work with a British guy, and I find his use of the language to be slightly more sophisticated/efficient than ours. I have to pay closer attention when he talks because he uses the language differently.

 

I am very concentrated when I listen (and talk since I have to think before I talk) but I get exhausted fast. It's not possible to be concentrated every minute . But I think it's getting easier with time. My ears adjust to the sound slowly.

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