Made the call early this morning to fly to Athens and to try to get an earlier Easyjet to London. I figure Easyjet should let me go standby if they have any empty seats. I mean why not move me forward in case they can sell my seat on my flight? Right? Anyway it wasn’t that much more expensive and it was fifteen hours and twenty minutes faster.
Tried to hire a scooter to go down to Larnika for a day at the beach but failed because I didn’t have my drivers license. This turned out to be even more of a bummer because the bus I took passed several beautiful bays that I would have loved to stop and have a look at. It didn’t matter too much though as the bay at Larnika was pretty bloody nice. It is surrounded by pine trees, a small white walled red roofed Greek town and even has a castle overlooking it. The water was much colder than I have grown used to but I stayed in it for ages anyway because I didn’t know when I would get a chance to swim again.
Going through customs at Rhodes international airport I set off the metal detector. As usual I was still stuffing my passport and ticket back into my money pouch. I looked up an started to apologise to the customs guy that it was my camera and I would have it for him in a minute and he just looked at me with an “and?” expression on his face. It took me a couple of seconds to realise that he didn’t want anything from me and that I was free to go. He relaxed attitude caused me to wonder about airport security. I mean I could have gotten anything through. Anything. Paranoia got the better of my thoughts, as this was the first time I has flown since September the 11th. In the departure lounge I noticed that the flight before mine was to Tel Aviv. How much of a terror target is that city I ask you? So lets recap:
- I set of a metal detector alarm
- At an international airport
- 25 days after the worst terrorist atrocity of all time
- That used passenger planes as terror weapons>
- In an airport about an hour away from one of the biggest terror targets of all time
- And I wasn’t searched
- And I wasn’t made to go back through the gate without the offending metal object.
Scary fucking stuff for the solo traveler with plenty of time on his hands to think. Damned overactive mind. Was initially calmed by the fact that the flight before mine is going to Tel Aviv. But then I was reworried by thought that a hijacker would probably rather hijack a plane full of soft Greeks (and one tough Kiwi) than a plane full of Israeli soldiers and undoubtedly some members of the Hot Chick Brigade, who can kill with a single punch. Eventually I got a grip on my paranoia and the flight went well. Of course.
At Athens it turns out that the price tag on taking an earlier Easyjet is one hundred quid. Fuck it I have gambled and lost. Now I am stuck in dirty old Athens instead of the paradise that is the island of Rhodes.
On the up side the mosquitoes are at least two days behind me again.
Bused to the center of town where a taxi driver offered to take me to my hostel for a mere nine pounds. I smiled and asked him for directions. Which he gave me. After that he said “So how much do you want to pay then?” I offered him two, which he declined. I offered my hand by way of thanks for the directions and he slapped it away, which was a fucking cheek. If you try to rip off a visitor to your country because you think they will be naive and stupid then you don’t you have any right to behave all snooty when they turn you down. In the end I gave him my ‘look mate, I’ve played this game with the Gypos’ look and walked off.
Ten minutes of walking later I started to worry if I had been given good directions or not (remember Morocco) when I noticed one of the three guys weaving in front of me was wearing a Speights t-shirt. Sweet, pissed Kiwis. They arrived in town this morning and their taxi driver didn’t know what or where a hostel was (yeah right) so they ended up paying sixteen quid each for a room for one day. For the billionth time, DON’T TRUST TAXI DRIVERS, almost all of them are laying cheating wankers. Not only were the Kiwis highly entertaining, but also they’re heading my way and they even gave me their map. And we only had to stop to buy porn once (them, not me).
Finally got to the Athens YHA to find it fully booked for the next three days. Eventually I found another hostel around the corner. The new place is the usual budget travelers, cramped dorm, red light district affair that I tend to find myself in. On the upside I share my room with three Japs who live up to all the usual Japanese stereotypes about politeness and quietness.
Am reminded by the advertising here that Athens is the host of the next Olympic games. During the thirty minute walk to my hostel I passed heroin addict woman with hundreds of needle wounds on her arms walking through traffic in a daze and was sized up by at least five street people (that I noticed) who were deciding how easy a mark I was.