Trouble with the law...

Athens Travel Blog

 › entry 6 of 45 › view all entries

Well, as I had expected my time in Greece has been, well, interesting so far. After the debacle with the buses and trains trying to find our hostel, then finding that we're in the world's seediest red light district, things continued along the same disastrous path.

Met a few cool people at our hostel, and one of the girls, Jenny (another Aussie), came out with us to explore the city. Walked around the city trying to figure out our way around, then grabbed some dinner, did some shopping (ok, it was just alcohol) and spent the night swigging ouzo straight from the bottle with our roommate Mamiko (from Japan). It was great, we were all giggling like idiots and I'm sure I'm not the only one who was more than a little drunk. Ouzo is bad.

Very bad. Woke up in the morning ready to take on the world (well, ready to take on the city, anyhow). Went to see Hadrian's Library and The Roman Agora. We were trekking our way up to the Acropolis when all of a sudden the beautiful sunshine turned into a thunderstorm. As usual, I was very appropriately dressed for the weather, in shorts, and we got absolutely drenched. By the time we crawled back into the hostel we were dripping wet, and it was still pouring, so we spent the rest of the afternoon cowering in our room.

Went out looking for dinner, and things went from bad to worse. You'd think in such a big city it would be easy to find decent-but-cheap places to eat, but no, not in this city.

While we were walking around, I was bailed up by some awful police officers with really big guns.

There were 3 of us there, but they demanded my passport. I asked them why they needed it, and was there something wrong, and they laughed to each other and said that it was a routine check. I asked them again what it was about, and why, and kept questioning it, and they kept brushing off my questions. Now, ok, I admit, I'm kinda feisty, but I don't think that they had any reason to be harassing me in the street, so I continued to ask why, and didn't want to hand it over. My blood was absolutely boiling, and they wouldn't let us go until I handed it over. I argued with them some more, and Ma got all maternal and joined in, and to be honest, I was really mad but absolutely shitting myself (remember the big guns…) and I didn't particularly want to be arrested in a foreign country. Eventually, inspired by the big guns, I relented and handed over my passport, and they laughed to each other while writing down all my details and asking me my fathers name and where I was staying.
Understandably, I really didn't want to tell them where I was staying, so I lied to them, and they wrote it all down. Then, because she stuck up for me, they took down ma's details as well. The whole thing had me absolutely creeped out, and I don't scare easily. Eventually they let us go, and I have dodged every policeman I have encountered since. Bastards.

After that, grabbed some food, and headed home to down another bottle of ouzo. I spent the whole evening pacing up and down cos I was so mad. I don't like being bullied, and I can't stand not being able to stand up for myself, but what could I do? And what the hell did they want anyway? I mean, we're a bunch of tourists, we weren't doing anything wrong, (and just for the record, I wasn't dressed inappropriately, I was rugged up in a jacket and jeans…) I guess I don't like feeling helpless, I like to think I can handle anything, and they kinda got to me.

I need a hug! Next day, went out to try to see the sights again, hoping the crazy Greek weather wouldn't turn on us again. Had a great day, saw the Ancient Agora, the Acropolis, Parthenon, Temple of Olympic Zeus, then headed home for dinner and ouzo. Haven't been "out" at night at all, it's a little too scary in this sleazy place that I'm staying, and I doubt that we would make it home alive if we did…

Next day, started early, went to the pet food store to get some dog food for John, the Belgian man who lives on the streets and feeds the animals. I think that he has become something of a local institution round here, and he is absolutely amazing. He seems to be really genuinely happy with life, caring for the animals and living with only basic means… After that, more sightseeing, The Acropolis, Parthenon, Ancient Agora, The Temple of Olympian Zeus, and The Theatre of Dionysus… The massive buildings are amazing, you just kinda stare up and wonder how the heck that built them so long ago (although did I mention that the ruins in Malta are thousands of years older…!) By the time we did all that we were absolutely exhausted, but now that the sights are done I can get the hell outta Athens! Now, don't feign surprise when I say that the night was ended with greek food and ouzo, I mean, I couldn't go and break tradition, could I! Decided that next stop would be Olympia, so will get a bus there in the morning, supposed to be about 5 ½ hours to get there…

So, hopefully it will be a little, well, a little less scary!

Until then, Kali Nichta.



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photo by: Johnpro