Areopolis Travel Blog› entry 30 of 90 › view all entries
Let it not be said that I can't be a total jerk now and again.. not that I think that I was mind you, just that well, sometimes when I get tired and cranky, I can pump out a rant concerning something fairly trivial .. and well, just sort of take it to it's extreme. But with any luck, my friends can take a joke or whatnot. In any light, I was thinking that I might add a new segment to the travel journal, the sociologist doctoral thesis overview segment, since I feel that it might be highly unlikely that I will stumble along the cure for cancer along the trip...
But before that, some of the more mundane trivialities. Aeropolis is sort of off the beaten path, which isn't a real problem to be frank. I thought that perhaps I would find myself twitching and searching for pocket change so I could sit on the internet all day but instead I spent a good part of the morning.. well, touring. The group went down to these caves that have been a part of greek civilisation for.. well, awhile and have essentially the only cave paintings in the country. Which I promptly passed upon (since it was an unguided 30 minute boat ride for 12 euros) and decided that my time was better spent swimming in the sea. And well, I may have missed out some fantastic prehistoric scribbles I did enjoy about 2 hours worth of remembering how much I loved swimming in my childhood. Hell, the tour guide and myself spent a good hour doing handstands and other various stupid beginner synchronized swimming things.. in any light, it was a much better use of my time than I think a cave "tour" would have been.. then again, I can only conjecture based on what people who went into the cave thought and well, the enjoyment i had doing the whole swim.
Afterwords, we enjoyed a harrowing ride back the on the bus with a driver who I think was rather upset that he was driving a bus instead of flying an airplane. At one point, he had decided to play chicken with his pal who happened to be driving a truck and he was rather generous with his use of the horn with anyone that happened to be on his road at the same time that he was driving on it. Mind you, the roads around here are very twisty, very small and very, well, not so well maintained. So the trip should have lasted about 15 minutes but we found ourselves in the main square in less than half of that. Which, gave me a new appreciation for life.
Afterwords, I wandered around with Sarah, a girl from the tour group. We ate these cheese pasteries that are sort of .. well, common around here. They're nothing to write home about, but I can definitely put it into a journal, of course. We spent a lot of time just conversing about whatever and attempting to avoid direct sunlight as it was the middle of the day. The siesta I was going to take, was interrupted by the internet.. and then that by my little tirade, but inbetween those two episodes, I went up to this abandoned town that overlooks Aeropolis. Well, it isn't quite abandoned, but for the most part, the place is a shell of it's former self. Quite interesting, actually, to see buildings, churches, unused, left .. kind of sign from the gods that I should go and explore them though, as the only clouds I have seen in the past few days, rolled up and gave a bit of a reprieve from the burning sun. I sat for awhile in what must have been the town square, it had a great look over the town below, the sea, looked into the windows of a few of the places, into the church that still had a bible visible, turned to a particular page that I could not make out... it was sort of like people had turned out the lights and decided to just up and go.
Tirade, then dinner with the group at a fantastic little place off the main square in Aeropolis (I'm sorry I have forgotten the name of the town overlooking the "city"). I've been experimenting a bit by having the local food, which while I haven't been too adventurous has revealed some interesting tid bits.. like I don't mind gyros and thaziki (sp).. I'd prefer it without it, but that's just a weird quirk of mine where i don't like condiments. But I digress. It was interesting hearing the travel stories from the older members of the group, what a wealth of experience and well, I am obviously very jealous as they have been so many places that I have not and will probably not be heading to any time soon, mongolia, tunesia, moracco, the congo, indonesia, etc.. it's bizarre being in a group where I am the person that has travelled the least.
Anyway, to the new segment: bill's sociology doctoral thesis outline of the day: the fiercely independent mahne (mani) people still to this day do not think of themselves as greek. when the greeks won their independence, it was the mahne people who started this uprising against the turks and when it had completed 10 years later, the first prime minister lost his life by jailing the mahne leader who did not want the mani to be under the umbrella of greece. is this fierce and independent spirit a product of the harsh environment and conditions in the mahne? or is it an over inflated form of self importance? compare and contrast with otehr independent minded cultures from arid climates, such as say, texas.
It has come to my attention that this journal seems overly verbose in its inclusion of trivialities instead of involving me going out and doing things, seeking a grander meaning or making some positive discovery that will somehow move the course of mankind. And I will freely admit that I have not put much down here that will enrich the to be future of humanity, certainly not with my fixation on the steps that I have climbed, weather seen or experienced, buildings passed or entered, paintings seen, countries visited, etc. Not to say that I couldn't one off a doctoral thesis concerning the tower homes that one finds in the Mahne penninsula from the 18th and 19th centuries and how they relate or not to the tower homes that were built in Florence from the 14th century (and possibly onward but since I am only working on the outline its not like I need to have hard dates, details and supporting or refuting reference material). In all seriousness though, I have given it some thought, if you cared to read about it and I cared to write it down. Also, I've put some thought into their blood feuds and the possible connection to vendettas in Italy not to mention their focus on males as far as being more guns for the family.
If I am glossin gover significant points to be made along the trip here (and places previous), then well, you are have caught me. I have a fear that while there is a scholarly work of some kind is in the making, it isn't a central theme or point. Or at least it hasn't revealed itself as such. Granted the point of the trip is sort of to ehave a point, and since I haven't discovered that point yet, it can only mean one of two things, either the trip has been a miserable failure to date or I haven't found it yet and therefore must keep on going. Then again, I supppose that really depends on your idea of travel or more to the point, my idea of travel. Some may find it horrifying that I didn't take a history course in greece prior to coming here. Some may find it horrifying that I didn't bother to take a history course in greece, knowing that I probably could have. The fact that I left without a 600 page guidebook and several texts in archelogy, archetecture, poetry, philosophy, may in some people's minds constitute a great miscarriage of the proper appreciation of the position I find myself in.
And my oversimplistic explaination will probably not win me any fans either. I simply do not wish to be told what is significant and what isn't. It doesn't mean that I wish to be ignorant, I just have no desire to have Lonely Planet or anyone tell me what is a good use of my time and what isn't. Not that I do not welcome the subtle or not so subtle hint that I am spending too much time on the internet. Granted, I found it kind of ironic that I got the message while updating the journal in lieu of a siesta. And I find myself now penning this, in lieu of a siesta. And when I finish, I will eat dinner in lieu of a siesta and then I'll head to bed (or shortly after) in lieu of my siesta.
Point, yes, back to that. The search here for a grand insight, scientific, biologic (if that is even a world), sociologic, mathematic (highly unlikely, most math geniuses make their discoveries well before their 30s, so I am screwed statistically speaking) or otherwise will probably not be found here. Again, not that I couldn't produce them, but that they do rather seem difficult to come by and resemble in shame and form an awful lot like labour. Which seems to be the antithesis of enjoying myself. And while "Woman walking down stairs" may be considered a great work of art by Piscasso, I would still rate it next to someone crapping in a bucket and putting a cross in it.
Let it not be said that I cannot focus on meaningless trivialities (as evidenced by the journal). Were I not to be able to do so, I would find it impossible to be a sports fan. How else can you root for a team where the players do not come from the town they're supposed to represent and the owner isn't from there either? This ability, amongst many others, allows me to focus on steps climbed, talk about the weather, the places I've visited before and still consider the journal a success if it conveys that I am happy, healthy and alive, preferably alive and then the rest following in order of significance. Sure it probably puts this journal somewhere along the lines of travellers who focus on the number of women they've slept with (or conversely men) but I won't look down upon that persuit since I have no idea if what kind of trip this would be if I had a lack of timidity, a wealth of opportunity and a herculean body. Although I still think I would enjoy the places I went to.. even if I didn't score.
It doesn't mean that I haven't had a dirth of interesting conversations on everything from child reering to whether or not anyone that opposes a war will be labelled an appeaser vis a vis the french and the bristish who doomed thousands of czechs years before the invasion of poland. And maybe these discussions would be as fascinating here as well, but I fail to see the difference between penning then onto a page or writing them into a computer terminal. Well, minus the obvious difference in that I actually spend a bit more time thinking about what I put into physical script. But this, of course, is also time not spent experiencing something which may prove meaningful and yet may advance humanity. Essentially, I am damned if I do, damned if I don't. Each moment I spend writing this is a moment that I am not spending experiencing things and yet, I do ascess value into this effort, as much or more than a siesta by any stretch.
Long short, since I am about to miss something, this place will more than likely have a ton of generalities, trivialities, things I find humourous or humourless and I will spend time on the internet journalling them in as boring a way as possible (although I will attempt to brighten it up a bit every now and again). Doing so, I may miss out on some grand addition to humanity or I may miss out on a nap. I may, through the realm of possibilities, miss out on both.
And yes, I will freely admit that I have, at times, spent too much time on the internet. Its probably something I shouldn't do, just like I shouldn't root for buffalo sports teams or eat chocolate flavored cereals, but sometimes, just sometimes, you have to do something that is bad for you because doing without just might make life and your cereal flavorless.
Just so you don't think that I have disappeared.. I really have not. I'm writing this little note on the 4th of June. I have been in Pylos for the past few days and while it is a wonderful spot to be in greece, it does however lack internet access. As does the place that I am currently staying (I believe) in the Ionian islands. Fantastically lovely, really, just no access. Right now, instead of wandering around and admiring rich prima donnas and their yahts, I decided to dart into the internet cafe that I found here and pound out this poor excuse for an update. It appears that I have some sort of writer's award, not sure how that happened, as my last few entries you could probably line a nice bird cage with, but we here at Bill's RTW travel blog grately accept all honors. Of course, money is always considered far better compensation for one's talents, but in the absense of money, I will take high praise. In any light, I may have to spend an hour or two pounding out entries at some point about the things that I have seen (mithros, olympia, pylos, nestor's palace.. just some breath taking, .. well, yea.. ). But that time will not be now as I am expected to be on a bus headed to the opposite side of the island in roughly 5 minutes..
So with that, .. well, that is all you get. Hope you are all doing well... oh, as a note: there is no controlled sunburn. Either you are sunburnt or you are not, but there is no such thing as a little sunburnt.