Sunday, September 20, 2015

Saying goodbye to the sea

For the first time ever, a reporter wanted to talk to me on election night. It was an interesting change being on the receiving end.

Of course, being as it's Greece's election, I was useless. I had to ask the camerawoman what was happening, though I had guessed the numbers on the big screen in Syntagma Square, across the street from Parliament, were election results. They look the same in every country. 

Syriza won, by the way. The anti-austerity party of Alexis Tsipras kept the power, even after he resigned in a furor after the last bailout. I'll be curious to see how this plays out. Part of Greece's problems come because of their membership in the Eurozone, so there are only so many fixes the country can make. 

I overheard the camerawoman tell her reporter that there were more journalists than actual people there tonight. Maybe they knew what was coming. 

I only had a couple hours in Athens (after a 6-hour ferry ride, which included sitting across a table from two strangers and being jolted awake by the ferry horn) and most of that time was spent looking for a spice store. I bought salt and pepper grinders made of olive wood and wanted salt and pepper to go in them. The store was closed, however, so I'll have to get less exciting seasonings for my table. I also had one last gyro (pork is the traditional Greek way, not lamb) and one last piece of baklava (actually Turkish). 

Then I watched the changing of the guards at Parliament. This is a very solemn occasion in London. In Athens, it's more like a slow, regimental tap dance with pom-poms. I assume the soldiers train how to keep their faces straight while doing this, because I'm not sure I could not giggle. 
Google it. I'm sure the ceremony is on YouTube.

Tomorrow I leave. I have about 13 hours of actual flying, plus another seven in layovers. My taxi driver from the port tonight asked if it was worth it. I said yes. I did not tell him I'm counting the hours until I see my dog again. (42)

He wants to go to the U.S. and visit Alaska. It kinda makes me think I should see more of the sights in my backyard. This is of course assuming the entire country is my backyard. 



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