Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Welcome to the land of the Lazy Greeks!

uhm... it's hard not to laugh at them... :)

As usual I went towards the Amman airport on the airport bus, now Royal Jordanian had a little surprise in stock for me. They have a special terminal for premium passengers, so here I was tired, with a huge backpack in an old T-Shirt, sitting down while two employees took care of all of those tiny details such as passports and paperwork. Ah, gotta love the up-front flying lifestyle. After leaving my jacket in the Amman airport lounge which had a decent booze supply I boarded my Embraer Jungle jet to Athens. Nice leather seat and decent food. A farewell to Middle East food, lamb with a yogurt sauce on a base of rice n pine nuts. 

lamb with a yogurt sauce on a base of rice n pine nut
Pretty decent, downed with 4 Johnnie Blacks, the two hours flew by, of course now was my time to visit Athens and Greece, it was too early in the season to visit the beaches and I had only planned to stay 3 or 4 days. Then that lovely little Icelandic piece of joy called Eyjafjallajokull, which I think is Icelandic for Fuck you world!) I was now stuck in Athens, on paper that sounds like hell , but since my flight had been canceled, my travel insurance kicked in and my budget went from nothing to $150 a day , which is the max they would pay... No more hostel cooked pasta for me! I stayed at the same hostel for about 24 Euros a day but now could eat at restaurants ... I grabbed my city guide and proceeded to become a local foodie... Trying out the best places in Gazi, other places near the Acropolis and the other main sites. I quickly discovered the local/backpacker tradition, buy a few cans of beer and watch the sunset, what can I say, the acropolis might have been swarmed by tourists, but the sunset, no matter whether it’s in Greece, Cambodia, Honduras or any other country has almost magical ability to make you forget about all your worries...

Classic Acropolis shot...

Temple of Poseidon at Sounion

Of course, the extra time gave me the chance to see some other sites outside of Athens, I met a group of Americans, almost unintentionally, while on the breakfast line at my hostel I heard a cute brunette speak Spanish, since I react almost in a Pavlovian fashion to those features, I broke the ice and started taking her and her friend in Spanish. I learned she was studying in the states and the other members of the group were from a southern university. We went to the Acropolis and the next day planned to go to the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, the last bit of main land Greece.
after a few days the lovely volcanic ash finally cleared and flights were operating again out of Athens to Budapest, now I've been around the block, when it comes to Airports, I've had power outages in a brand new terminal (Yangon, Burma), hand operated luggage conveyor belts (Siem Reap, Cambodia) and crowded terminals that on a good day might be considered a dump. Leave it to the Greeks to shock me, after 15 waiting on line, I was the first person on line, business class and still had to wait 15 minutes. The first agent checks me and says the computer system is down, she will have some trouble checking my luggage, try to check at the next counter. I proceed to that counter; this agent also insists that I should to carry my backpack as a carryon. This was a huge backpacker backpack, filled with liquids, a bottle of Cuban rum and other goodies, clearly not cabin material. But reason, as in most of Greece, never comes into consideration. After 5 minutes she gives u and tags my bags. Of course, the conveyor belt is not working and I have to drag my bag half way across the airport. Then it was time to try and find the business lounge, 3 employees later, and after walking probably half way to Budapest, I finally found the lounge. Now the only things I really want in a lounge are some decent booze and a printer, so I can print Google maps, neither was on offer. I asked if I could send them a specific file for them to print, this service has been done for me, as a courtesy all over the world. No! No printers, why would I expect that in a business center/lounge. Crazy me, it was now time to board, I was glad to be out of Greece. In a short time I would be in Budapest, and that was a good time...
Sheep Fucker or Fucked by a Sheep??

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