I’m on the train now about halfway to Athens. The train is packed. There’s not a spare seat some people are standing and others are sitting in the spaces between the carraiges.
The country is so much more beautiful here then the rest of the Balkans, the ground is actually green and the hills aren’t baren, We’re steaming through green valleys again flanked by snow capped mountains. Except the train stinks, to many stinky ass travelers.
The train got in at about 1815 and I needed to try and check my email. I set up at a café hoping to be able to get some wifi. No luck, I tried calling My host. No luck again, I’d run out of credit on my Macedonian number. So I stuck my Austrian back up sim in and called him on that.
I had a couple of hours to kill so I decided to walk to an internet café which was nearby. The walk took 15 minutes and went down some dodgy dodgy back alleys. Along one I went past another internet cafe. Although this one looked pretty dodgy and I definitely wasn’t getting any of the coffee I was after here.
I walked to the place I was after; “Mocafe, internet café 24 hours” was plastered on the front. I walked in and was approached by a guy I could only guess worked there. Dispite looking the same as every one else. I asked about the internet. “Oh no, only games here” I pointed at the sign on the window. “Yes, old sign” he said.
I went back to the dodgy place I saw and was given a computer at the front, the computers were lined up like classroom tables. Soon after sitting down I went to the toilet. I probably shouldn’t have left all my stuff there. But the dodgy worker there seemed genuine enough.
I’m at my new hosts. I think this will be a good one. He’s pretty funny, borderline arrogant a******, but way too generous and nice to be categorized. Bottom line is I reckon he’ll be a lot of fun.
After I walked up to Attica metro station to meet my new host, Jordi. We first dropped off one of his players. He manages a girls basketball team here. I met this girl just before we got in the car. She was huge, taller then me, an absolute giant. We then went back to Jordi’s.
Jordi is a real character. Typical greek in so many ways. He’s a short skinny guy with a goatie and short black hair. His short head hair is well accounted for his masses of chest hair. Typical Greek.
Back at his we got stuck into a pasta dish he’d made, just like a spagetti bolognaise except he used soya beans instead of meat. It wasn’t bad, and it was free so I wasn’t complaining.
I put on my first load of washing since Tirana too. Which was 10 days previously. I cant wait till tomorrow night. Clean clothes!!! Yeah!!
One of Jordi’s Greek things he’s got going for him is his confidence, and I say confidence not arrogance as he’s a genuinely nice guy, and that’s the difference. But with this confidence comes a myriad of funny quotes so I thought I’d list them at the end of each day, note most of them aren‘t fit for this G-rated blog, I‘ll list the ones that are.
While explaining the shiner he has on his right eye
“I play in 5 a side football. My team hadn’t won a game and last week I played my for the first time. We beat the top side 10 to 7. And I’m like ‘common, how bad can the rest of the teams be, and what were u doing with out me.’”
While talking about the cheer squad his team has
“All the chants they have are about ryming with pigs and cops. The cops are too scared to come to my games. Do you remember the riots last December in Greece, My supporters started these riots, they love me, I will explain you are my friend and they will love you too.”
Still about the cheer squad.
“They have a chant for me, and they wear a T-shirt that says “Drunk something and proud”
While talking about why I need to be out of the house on Monday night for a few hours.
“I will explain you know why for Monday night, I’m in love with one of my players. This is a very big problem”
While discussing the prettiest girls in Europe, Bulgarians.
“Yes I’ve had a couple of Bulgarian girlfriends, Well they thought they were my girlfriends”
His comment straight out about his cooking. Straight to the point.
“I’m a very good cook”
I woke up this morning at 7 with the intent on going for a run. Not happening. I ended up dozing on and off for the next hour and a half before Jordi got up. He’s only got one set of keys so I’m kinda restricted to coming and going from the house when it suits him. But that’s cool.
He pointed me in the direction of the subway station. I wish I spoke Greek. There was an old man there having a shouting match first with the ticket man and then with the security guard who was on the other platform. I really wanted to ask one of the locals what he was screaming about. Or maybe he was just saying hello, the greek way.
The train came and before it pulled up people started pushing. I soon saw why. The train was packed. So I joined the pushing game. I eventually got on. I couldn’t really reach one of the poles or handles. This didn’t matter though I was sandwiched in between people. I reached up for a token hand rail. But it was useless and as the train bustled along I was just held upright by the people around me.
I’m sitting at a Kaffe now in the centre of Athens. It’s awesome, I’ve got an awesome coffee and some Musili and yughurt. The suns out, what a good start to the day.
I spent the whole day yesterday walking around Athens. I covered a lot of kilometers that day. I first went up to acropolis. That place is fantastic. It’s like Dubrovnik didn’t geel like a tourist haven, like prague or rome. The buildings were neat but falling down, there was rubble everywhere and no real paths you just walked over the rocks between the buildings. I had a great time up there.
From there I went to the acropolis museum. The place is just new so it was only 1 Euro to get in. which was good, the museum itself was kinda empty but it was built over the old acropolis, and there was glass tile flooring on the walk into the museum and for most of the museum. So there was a real feel to it it seemed real rather then just being in a room full of old junk.
From there I went and checked out Zues’s Temple of Zues. Which isn’t much more then a few columns left from the former giant structure. As these building became old the Greeks saw them just as ‘old buildings’ and tore them down to build whatever else they fancied. Luckily acropolis was built up on a hill so most of it stayed unlike the temple of Zues.
Next I went and checked out the ancient Agora, the old market. This place was really cool too, it seemed real and the old buildings were really cool. Again there weren’t many paths and next to no tourists. So I was just free to wander around by myself. It was so quiet that I was able to relieve myself in the bushes next to a building a couple of thousand years old.
From there I was pretty keen on getting a greek sim card. I didn’t have much luck though. I bought one from a kiosk, put it in and it didn’t work I just got some message in Greece. I took it back and they gave me another. Same thing. So I went back to the kiosk and played the message I was getting to the owner.
He was as old as some of the buildings around us so he gave my phone to another guy who translated for me. I needed to take it to a phone shop and register it. I got myself pointed in the right direction and took off. I didn’t have any luck here either. Since two months ago a new law came in in Greece where all numbers needed to be registered. As a result I needed to either have my passport on me (which I didn’t), or a greek tax number, (which I definitely didn’t have).
I took the sim card back expecting a stand. There was none, so I got my money back. Luckey 1, dodgy greek kiosk owner, zero.
From there I was having lots of trouble getting ahold of Jordi my host. I took a gamble that he was home and ended up catching a train back to his place. I knew the street he was on but I couldn’t remember which building it was. So I walked up and down the street reading the names on the buzzers. Luckily from my limited engineering I was able to read the greek well enough to find Jordi’s place.
Last night was pretty quiet. Some guy cut some wire in some place so Jordi had to go in with his dad at 9 to fix it. I spent the night watching movies. that’s fine though I’m super keen for a big one tonight. . To give him some credit. Some of his arrogance seems to be based on some stuff. Tonight we’re going to one of his friends birthday parties. She’s the daughter of the owner of one of biggest hotels here in Athens, the celebreation is at a club, one of the fanciest in town and it’s all paid for. I cant wait.
While talking about the army.
I was in the army for one year. For the first 6 months I did everything. For the second 6 months I did nothing.
While talking about the second 6 months in the army
“In Greece, if you are a nice guy people take advantage of you. So I took advantage of some nice guys and did nothing.”