The past couple days in Athens have been interesting. During the day we spent our time doing controlled wanderings the first day, as we got in late enough that after a quick bite to eat the sun was setting, so we just strolled town a bit. We sat down in a little square, probably not in the best area of town, and were approached by three individuals. (By we I mean Me, Tara and Scott and Katie, a couple from London who were on the train with us and are staying in the same place). The three individuals were two guys, and one of the guys girlfriends. It appeared at first as if the girlfriend was trying to dissuade her boyfriend from approaching us, but he was going to talk to us one way or the other. We were a little worried at this point. Thank whatever religious deity you choose to that he approached me first. He asked where I was from and I said Canada, so he automatically assumed we were all from Canada. He proceeded to tell us how he was born in Palestine, moved to Lebanon and now has political refugee status in Greece. He went on in detail about how Bush was responsible for killing his father and brother, Bush and Sharon, and how he hated Greece because the people were close minded and “resisted” the integration of the muslims. At this point we were glad he hadnt asked Tara where she was from, and even the Brits were leaning towards being Canadian at this point. He says that he feels like he is being treated no better than the stray dogs by the local greeks, and that he hates this fucking country. He stressed the fucking part of fucking country, and made sure we used it whenever we reffered to Greece. His friend apparently was going on about how he agreed with what Bin Laden had done, but he himself said he hated bin Laden and thought he was just as bad as Bush. The conversation continued for almost half an hour, he was a little intoxicated, but passionate about what he was talking about and glad to have found a group of Canadians to talk to. He eventually left, and we went to bed.
The next day we went sightseeing. The acropolis, the pantheon, Ancient Agora…we saw statues, buildings, dating back 2500 years ago. I saw the places where the great thinkers, the original concepts of todays world and governments, were thought up and brought about. I revelled in the remains of one of the greatest civilizations of all time. By the end of my sightseeing I was begging for somewhere to sit and the sight of an intact building was an oddity. We napped and met up again with Scott and Katie to bring them to this rock face/cliff that is just under the Acropolis and overlooks athens and the surrounding hills. It was a beautiful sight, the city all lit up, and we were perched close to the edge enjoying it, me being the closest to the edge with my legs dangling over the side. We were talking and we heard a voice behind us tell us that we made him physically sick. I turned and there was an obviously intoxicated, homeless/hobo man with a bag in his hand. I expressed my sympathies for his sickness very subtly, as I was getting a bad feeling about this guy. We were high up on a rock face, with more pointy rocks below, and the rock was marble or some other kind of very, very slippery rock. It was hard enough to stand and walk on it in the day without slipping a little, let alone running from a hobo at night. He made a stumble at Katie and Scott pulled her away, they got up and started walking. He started stumbling towards me and had me basically cut off, and we weren’t sure if he was going to push me off the edge or not. He informed us that we would not like his presents tonight and to get the fuck out of here, I agreed that these presents would probably not be enjoyable and I thought it sounded like a good idea to get the fuck out of there. So I did, avoiding being pushed off a rock face, but then he made his lunge at Tara. He was right behind Tara when I grabbed her arm and led her out, and we headed towards the stairs to make our way back down to the road. He stumbled towards another group of girls, calling them very inappropriate names, broke into a quick rendition of “aint no sunshine when shes gone” and then he turned towards us again. I was watching at the top of the stairs while the others were down at the bottom, as I wanted to see where this all was going. With surprising speed and agility he started for me, and I decided I could wait till it came out on video to see the ending. We started down the hill and he started down after us, so we took a little side street/back alley and never saw the homicidal hobo again…hopefully.
Anyways, today is Friday. I was up at 5:30 this morning to take Tara to the port where she is leaving from to do some Greek Island hopping, and tonight I fly to Berlin to either go to Prague or I may be headed back to Switzerland where there may be a possibility of free accommodation with someone I met in the hostel in Florence. Other than that, Amsterdam next week around tuesday or wednesday, and this time next week I will be on my way home.