Ah, Greece. Greece was a respite between the tough legs of my trip (Egypt and Jordan). I blended relatively well in Greece, enough to have more than one person approach me speaking what I assume was Greek. I probably offended each of them when I just shook my head and shrugged. And can I also mention what a delight it was to use a currency I understood? Though the Euro isn’t quite 1-to-1 with the dollar, it’s much closer than the 6 Egyptian pounds-to-1 US dollar rate I had been dealing with in Cairo. You think you’re good at math? Trying multiplying and dividing by 6 all day. Then pretend you’re me and terrible at math.
What did I do in Athens? I went to Ikea, obviously.
I wandered around a lovely neighborhood looking for a different Ikea. Never found it.
Not pictured above: cars parked fully on the sidewalk, women yelling in Greek, barking dogs.
I ate gyros wherein French fries were stuffed; a marvelous idea, if you ask me.
And a couple of Greek Mac value meals:
I saw the Acropolis, on which are the Parthenon, Hadrian’s Arch, Theater of Dionysus, and Temple of Zeus, among other things.
I tested the self-timer on my camera:
And I shopped for cheap and cheerful tourist trinkets in the Plaka (market).
My go-to line regarding Greece comes from an old “Pearls Before Swine” comic strip written in the days before the Athens Olympics. It was about the construction of the Olympic stadium, and the punchline involved three Greek construction workers standing around smoking while one said “Today we smoke, tomorrow we work.” I think Greece’s economic struggles speak to some of the, um, cultural issues there, but I’m okay with a more “laid back” atmosphere when I’m touristing. (As opposed to the “Death to America” atmosphere.)
Next stop: Jordan!