September 28, 2009

The Virgin Traveler: Remedial Sightseeing

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I woke up with an airplane hangover. It was 11:00 in the morning in Athens and my head was throbbing. My back was sore and my stomach hurt. Not getting enough sleep for me is like being chewed up by a dragon and spit out. But we had to get up and go - I needed some real food and probably a Coca-Cola Light, as they call it here.


We wandered over to a nearby Cafe Ristorante. Chicken pita sandwich seemed like a good choice to get rid of my hangover. Jen ordered Greek Coffee and a chocolate croissant. I liked watching all the people while we waited for our food. For some reason, hearing Greek and not understanding a word of it is like listening to music. It sounds beautiful. I also love that when I say "thank you," in English, they understand what I mean.



The pita sandwich was good, the mayo was sweet and the carrots were pickled. It was just what I needed. I had a bite of Jen's croissant, too, which was lovely. Soft, warm chocolate in the middle.

We headed out walking down the street and saw some gyro shops with big hunks of meat in the window. I'm going back there to get some - it smelled so amazing! And across the street was the meat market. I've never been anywhere like that before - huge hunks of meat, lambs, pigs, hanging and the vendors shouting, trying to get you to buy their meat. It made me wish I was staying somewhere with a kitchen.

We ended up at the Athens Flea Market in the square with Hadrian's Library. It's bizarre really, to see a Columbia Sportswear shop on one corner and then walk a few feet and see an ancient building. A little girl playing the accordian walked up to me, smiling. When we got up to walk away, she asked for money. I didn't have any change, so I said sorry - I felt a little bit bad.


Then another guy came up and was speaking in Greek very fast. When I told him I didn't understand, he said, "Thank you for [made motions with his hands to indicate smiling]," then he crossed his wrists, which I guess meant he was incarcerated. So I guess he was saying, "Thank you so much for your beautiful smile because I just got out of prison and it made my day!" Right? That's how I'm interpreting it. Now if I can just find a Greek man who has teeth and not so many drug scars and maybe hasn't been in prison...

We came back for a nap, and I slept too long. It was getting dark, so we ended up just going to a bakery for dinner and I got cheese pies and something like baklava, except it was filled with dates. It was sticky with honey and chewy with dates and crispy with filo dough. And it was all over my hands.


We retired early. This jetlag thing is serious! And this morning I woke up with another headache, which I am determined to fight off with caffeine and ibuprofen. We are headed to the Acropolis today and to find some gyros, and lamb and feta cheese. I can't wait!

2 comments:

Transformations said...

Jet lag is serious business, but you should be over it after this...
Have a great day!

Hey, It's Ansley said...

Meeting cute Greek boys and eating good food; sounds like your priorities are in perfect order.