Stop 18: The two sides of Athens

After the worlds shittest bus ride (and I’m including the one where I was sexually molested by a monk and the one in Laos where I had to share a bed with some fat Laotian man…) Me and Matt got to Greece with a day to spare, a crick in our necks and severe lack of sleep. But we made it, so go us! I think…

Check in was at 1:30, but the hotelier let us check in at 9 in the morning. I collapsed on my bed and stared at the ceiling. That’s a lie; I got on top of my washing and dried it all on the balcony. I had 24 hours for it to dry so as long as it didn’t rain I wouldn’t have to leave any clothes like I had to in Italy with my CM Punk jacket…

Midday was afoot and it was time for us to be tourists. Great! Except the tourist area is a shithole. Well overpriced to see things (so you literally stand outside, take a photo and carry on…) and there were pickpockets in droves. I felt two separate people brush past my pockets only to be thwarted my my zip pockets. (I may not be making women ovulate with my sexual prowess, but I still have my wallet!) Oh, and graffiti, lots and lots of fucking graffiti. Couple that with the smell and I was looking at Matt wondering why he wanted to come here so quickly as opposed to staying in Albania. Poor old Matt was looking at me in disbelief saying, “This wasn’t what I was expecting…”

To make up for it we wandered into this sex shop for a laugh. I joked to Matt that one of the huge fists, butt plugs or the multiple dildo collections could the present for his girlfriend that she was asking for on this trip. He looked back at me in pure panic…

After we saw enough ‘alternative’ porn DVD’s on the shelves to mentally scar us until 2019, we then went home and had a nap, charging up for the evening. Matt left the heating on so it was boiling in the room, which I think he did deliberately so I could bring my clothes in and dry them quicker, the thoughtful bastard!

That night on the way home we saw some more nasty looking pornos casually being sold on the street like it was at a car boot sale on a Sunday afternoon. I told Matt that this was going to be my present to him. I don’t know if he wanted it or not but he didn’t put up much of a fight! It was strange because the normal porn was only €5, whereas the more graphic and borderline fucked up porn was €10 a pop. Maybe the Greeks have to pay more to admit they are into sick shit. Either way it worked in my favour and I got one for him with cute Ariana Sure and petite Pixie Dakota cheering up the male population who can’t get laid, and it only cost me €5! I was expecting it to be a lot more expensive than that…

The next day we got our stuff and left, I found a hostel and left my bags in there so I could walk around nice and free. I skipped around Matt like Dee Dee from Dexter’s Laboratory…

DEE DEE! Get out of my laboratory!!!!!!!!!

…until we found a place to have lunch for the last time. We went to this place next to the bus stop that took Matt to the airport. It was pretty emotional, well for me anyway; Matt didn’t give a fuck and swapped my water with pure Ouzo as I went to the toilet…

And that was it! I hugged Matt for the last time and he jumped on the bus excited to see his missus again (I’m sure the porno had nothing to do with it…) and I was left in Athens, a city that hadn’t appealed to me so I decided I was going to stay one more day and then head north.

Good plan, except I got sick about 2 hours later (I think I was missing Matt that much…) and a day turned into four. It was cool though because on the second day I had the room to myself (€9 for a private room…SCHWING!!!!) and not only were they really cool at Zeus Hostel, the people who were staying there were easy to chat to and I made a shed load of friends, including some crazy Belgian’s who are cycling from Antwerp to China. 

So Athens had a mixed vibe for me. I couldn’t say if it was good or bad because even though there were negatives it still had an energy about it that made me somewhat like the place even though it was a city (I’m not usually a fan of cities) The place itself wasn’t that great despite all the historic monuments, but what made it a cool place was the tourists I met and the hostel. This means I’ll be looking forward to the rest of my hostelling around southern and eastern Europe (And I suppose western Europe if the work situation doesn’t work out and I have to fly to Asia from Heathrow). Next stop: Trikala! As recommended by some legendary bloke from Oregon. Let’s do this!

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