I woke up this morning at 0700, I lay in bed for another 2.5 hours. It was awesome. 0930 (16Nov)
There are tooled up cops everywhere. Since the new government came in a few weeks ago they’ve been trying to give off the whole impression of the people being safe. I dunno I reckon it looks pretty imposing. There not just regular cops, there’s boys in their black pyjamas with mp5’s all over the place.
Saturday we left the appartment at about 1000. The plan being to go to the gym and then for a run and then be at Jordi’s basketball teams practice at 12. I wasn’t sure how we were going to get there, it was going to be tight.
After a 40 minute walk and a short walk I realized that the gym was at the stadium where the practice was. I thought we were goinng home and sudden found myself wishing that I’d worn more then a jumper over my running shorts and footy Guernsey.
We dropped our bags and went for a run, we’d already walked up a fair hill to the gym and we continued up it, afte 10 minutes I was fair knackered, but the top of the hill had no buildings no cars and was a park. The view of Athens from the top was awesome. I wish I’d brought my camera. The air was clean too, which is more then I can say for most of Athens. We continued running laps up and down the hill for 30mins, it was awesome and by the end my quads were killing me.
Next we went into the gym, well the tiny dirty room with a few pieces of gym equipment in them. That was ok though, 1, it was free, and 2, I haven’t been to a gym in ages so it was good to mindlessly lift weights for an hour.
I was finished by 1230, the practice didn’t finish untill 2, so I sat in the bleachers half sleeping half laughing at the coach screaming at the players for the next 1 and a half hours.
We went home via a few shops, looking for a present for Jordi’s friend, I was so hungry, my original plan was to make sandwiches and eat those while I wrote my diary during the practice. Of course that went out the window when all I took with me was my wallet.
We got home at about 4. And cooked some food. Jordi did up some meatballs and some fried potatoes and we watched a movie.
We spent the rest of the afternoon watching movies and having a few pre party drinks before stepping out the door to go to one of Jordi’s friends parties.
This girl, Anna, whose party it was is a bit of a high flyer over here. Her old man owns a big hotel here. As a result the party was in a club in one of the rich areas of Athens.
We got to the club a bit before 1130 and went in, the girls had said they’de be there at 1130 so of course they weren’t there. The club was awesome, not huge but great. I was wearing jeans and a neat collared button up shirt, I was seriously under dressed most people including Jordi, were in suits and the girls all in c*** tail dresses. It was great.
Before watching the Godfather
“I love this film some of my friends, they call me the god father. Even my phone’s blue tooth name is the godfather.”
Jordi woke me up yesterday morning at 1030. We left soon after. Jordi’s team had a game at 12 and we were there by 1100.
The game was so much fun, the club is really old and has a huge fan club. The club also has a guys football team that plays in the afternoon, but first all the guys come down to support the girls basketball team. Of course Jordi was mates with all of them so he introduced me to a couple of them and I sat with them.
I spent the majority of the game chanting lyrics that didn’t make any sense. A few of the tunes were familiar, so I just sang the lyrics I knew, including an offspring song I cant put a finger on and even Bingo, as in was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name-o. A few people kind of looked at me funny but that was ok they didn’t really care.
The game was a heap of fun, singing while the other boys took turns in beating the crap out of a massive drum that they had and were attempting to play. some of the boys had even bought a few beers so I helped them with those too, it was after 12 oclock so it was ok. The girls won too, quite easily in the end.
I spent the whole afternoon laying on the couch watching movies untill about 2200, I was knackered, my legs were killing me from the night before, so I just lay there, planning on going for a run, but that never eventuated.
Man that was a short entry, I guess that’s what happens when you sleep in and watch movies for a majority of the day.
Showing me some photo’s from his summer holidays where he met a few Czech girls.
“Have you ever seen a man’s eyes that say. This girl is with that a******. Imagine the guys eyes saying these three girls are with that a******”
After an awesome sleep yesterday I headed into the city. I spent the morning trying to organise the next stage of my trip. At the moment it’s looking something like this. Milan tomorrow with a small loop of pisa, Florence and Venice before flying out from Milan to Madrid. From there a flight to porto, bus to Lisbon then train via Madrid (again), Barcelona, paris and then a flight to Dublin, where I’m starting a mini tour of Great brittain. This tour will take me from Dublin to belfast, a flight to Edinburgh, Glasgow, leeds, Oxford Cardiff, and then down to Switzerland for some skiing over xmas. That’s the rough plan, but I’ll see what eventuates., I’ve got people I’ve met to stay with in all the locations except Ireand so it should be easy and cheap.
In the morning I again tried to buy a sim card. Again I had no luck, turns out that as of two weeks ago a law was passed to mean that all sim cards have to be registered. To register them not only do you need identification but u also need a greek tax number. Thus making it impossible for tourists to buy sim cards, it was a pain in the ass, my Austrian sim is only getting reception bery infrequently, and sometimes it wont even send messages.
At lunch time I caught the tram out to the beach. It was really nice it was sunny but still almost the winter months here as a result it was full of only old people, a lot of them topless, men and women. Not cool.
I caught the tram back into the city and continued organizing my trip, being so flexible is actually making it really hard to organise, not that I’m complaining, just making a statement. So I spent another couple of hours sorting this out, trying to fit into everyones schedules.
I was due to meet Jordi back at his flat at 430 so I headed back there. He wasn’t there he’d been caught up at work, but with the phone situation it meant I just had to sit there and wait. While I was there a couple of interesting things happened.
About 15 minutes after I sat down, a girl who looked about 30 came stumbling down the street, she was dressed reasonably well, and looked presentable, except she looked like she’d drunk a full bottle of Ouzo. I ignored her but regardless she walked upto me said something and sat on the step beside me. I continued to ignore her and read my book. She sat there for about 20 minutes, occasionally shifting her position and sometimes mumbling something unintelligible, it was probably in greek, but it was more just a serious of slurs, which are the same in every language, eventually she left annoying a couple of motorcyclists who were about to leave on her way to the end of the street, I wonder if she made it to where ever home is.
The second much funnier incident happened about half an hour later. An old guy in the appartment beside and slightly above the front step I was sitting on leaned out from his balcony and started lecturing me. In greek. It seemed he wanted me to leave but I tried my best to explain I was waiting for a friend. This went on for a good 5 minutes while I pointed at my ears and mouth indicating that I obviously didn’t understand me. He didn’t get the point and continued to rant and rave so I just sat down and continued to read while he went on for another couple of minutes.
After 5 minutes out of the corner of my eye I saw a few droplets of water hit the ground beside me. I looked up and the old man was standing there with a hose. He continued raving and I again went on the whole I obviously don’t speak Greek thing. Next thing I knew I could hear a tap being turned looked up and there was water splashing on the side walk 5 meters to my left. The old guy then put his thumb over the end of the hose and taking advantage of the whole A1U1 = A2U2 sprayed me. I quickly averted the fluid by sitting in the stairwell but never the less I was still pretty pissed.
Jordi showed not to long after and I told him he might want to explain to his neighbour that I’m a friend staying over. They shouted at each other for a couple of minutes and Jordi eventually just put up his hand and walked away saying “I do not care for this old man, he has not touched a woman in 20 years and it has made him crazy.”.
Jordi was having Woman troubles with a girl he’s after, who’s still kinda with the cheating deceitful ex and she was coming over, so I quickly got changed and got out of there while Jordi spent a majority of the time expliity discrediting her judgment.
I was meeting Nickos, one of Ioanna’s (The greek I worked with in Graz) friends at 830, it was only 630 so I had the time to walk into town. I thought I knew the way but got lost, yet it was a pretty straight line and my internal compass was on. That combined with my limited ability to read greek (I knew my engineering education would come in handy for something) meant I still ended up at the spot I needed too. Only 1 and a half hours early.
I had my book so I parked myself in a nearby coffee shop and ordered a brew. I sat reading for the next hour and a half, breaking only when the waitress came out with a complimentary bowl of ice cream for all the patrons. I wasn’t complaining especially as it was chocolate.
By the time it came for me to go out side I’d almost finished my book. As I’ve been traveling I haven’t been able to store my old books in my shelf so as a result I’ve just thrown them out. As I’d almost finished the book I figured carrying a majority of it was pointless. So I tore away the first 2 thirds left some money and went out side into the bitter cold.
I was standing against a wall, the cold wind was freezing so I pulled up the collar of my trench coat. I must have looked like a right criminal. I stood there and continued to read, being at the end of the book it’s getting pretty good. And I just tore the pages out as I went and put them in a nearby bin.
Nickos arrived not too late, turned out he’d taken a train the wrong way, I didn’t mind, I’ve sorta got used to it. And we walked upto an area called Alexandria, or some similar greek equivillent. Where there has been some issues in the past.
Today, being the 17th is the thirty somthingth anniversary of the day that the former dictator of Greece was ousted. All those years ago just before the fall of the dictator a bunch of students were protesting, surprise surprise, and the police were having trouble breaking it up, to fix the problem they decided the best way was to drive a tank through the gates the student were using to barricade the police out. Weather it back fired or the main porposed intent was achieved I’m not sure. But the tank incidently drove over 15 students, of course they died, this was the start of a series of riots and the dictaator was ousted.
Also last December some kids got into a kerfuffle with some cops. One of the cops allegedly fired a warning shot ‘beside’ the kids, which unfortunately ricocheted and killed one of the children. The result was massive riots through Athens (Which the people I was hanging out with on Sunday were apart of). The rioters torched buildings and cars. They even burnt down the massive Christmas tree that the city had put up in the centre.
On the 16th of November last year, Nickos was in the area, he said he was walking around and came across a car on fire. The area is known as a hangout for anarchists, as the police aren’t welcome there. As we went there there was cops all around the area but none were inside. The cops were also all tooled up, but not with weapons this coppers were in full riot gear with batons face masks and shields. I was not expecting this from Athens.