24 April 2011

Americans are Notoriously Bad at Geography and I'm No Exception.

    I've been talking about taking this trip for the past two years.  Most who have heard me talking about it probably didn't last more than 6 months before coming to terms with the likelihood that it wouldn't happen.  Up until a month ago when I bought a plane ticket I was pretty sure I'd never make it to Athens, but at 4:30 AM last Wednesday I left Santa Cruz and headed East.

    Loaded down with a backpack full of cameras and taralles I took off from new york on Turkish Air, by far the nicest airline I've ever flown on (they give you socks!).  I sat next to and chatted with grad student from Istanbul who had been giving lectures in the US for the past few weeks on the displacement of Romas in rural Turkey.  She taught me how to say 'Thank You', (teşekkür ederim), which I promptly forgot.  Ten hours later landed in Turkey.  I ran across the airport to catch my next flight during my brief layover, boarded a plane for Greece, and in less than two hours I arrived in Athens.

    Greece must be starving for tourists right now, because the customs agent didn't even look at the picture in my passport before he stamped it and set me loose in his country.  After reading so much about the pickpockets who would be waiting in swarms for tourists at the airport in Athens I was disappointed to find the place nearly empty.  I presume they were all at home with their families roasting whole lambs for Easter weekend, along with everyone else in the city.

    I hopped onto a train heading into town and met a nice Londoner who was headed to the same hostel as me, so we braved the trek together, checked in, then ventured out to eat.  After some fried zucchini, chickpea salad, and a couple of dolmas, a strange ominous chanting rose out from the streets.  Small groups worshiping Christianity's undead deity (scary!) wandered through the streets.  I fell asleep to the sound of explosions as jubilant Greeks set off loud fireworks (small bombs) in celebration the their most important holiday of the year.


  1. whoo brutal undead diety photo. a warning would be nice. sounds like your trip is going well so far, i'm glad you're disappointed with the shortage of pickpockets!


  2. sounds like you're on an amazing adventure! i clicked the undead deity photo and promptly gagged up some taco i ate for dinner.