I'm back at the Internet Cafe looking for flights and I had to blog a couple things. Last night I went to the Plaka area for dinner. Streets full of touristy shops and overpriced food. I enjoy people watching in tourist areas though. You get to sample different people and listen to snippets of conversation. This Greek guy stopped me on the road and scolded me for coming to Greece with no money (I told him I was staying in a hostel because I had no money- I'm sure he was trying to sell me a room somewhere else... I always work in the fact that I have no money when a local engages in conversation with me. As soon as they find out I'm not some rich tourist, their friendly demeanor changes in an instant). He claimed to be a chemical engineer from Houston. I asked him what he was doing here and he said "Spend my money. I have girls here and here (holding out both of his arms as if they were around women). I drink, I have fun. Why you come here with no money!?" I told him to see beautiful things and pointed to Hadrian's Gate, dramatically lit down the street. He sighed, "That's nothing, nothing here", before storming off. I turned and continued whistling my way back up the street.
When I returned to the hostel, the three guys sharing my room were all sitting on the steps. One of them said I may as well have a seat. Turns out they had battled some roaches in the room while I was gone. One of the guys was really upset about it because it had flown up and crawled across his bed. Nice. The hostel went up to spray and we asked for new sheets. When we got back into our room, we exchanged wonderful stories about bed bugs and sea lice. Good times. Oh! I asked them whether the girls down the street were prostitutes and they said yes as they pointed out the window to the plaza below. "No, not those girls, the ones on the way to the Metro." Turns out, they're all prostitutes. Athens. The girls never bother me though, I'm pretty sure they know I have no money.
As I've traveled, I've often wished that I could download some of the knowledge and abilities that my friends possess a la Neo in The Matrix. For instance, a friend studied Greek and Roman history in college. It'd be awesome if I could explore Greece and Rome with his understanding. It'd be great if I could have my artist friends' abilities to sketch people as I'm waiting at stations or eating alone in restaurants. If I had the charisma and balls-out personality of my Indian friend in LA, I'd be able to leave a place with everyone waving goodbye to me. If I had the linguistic skills of EKD, I could manage to remember how to say thank you in Greek. Still, I try to soak up as much as I can right now for later study and practice. I've got a growing list of books to read and films to watch and re-watch. I think having this bank of memories is going to make them a blast to experience. Gotta go, I haven't had lunch and I'm late for the museum.
[Note to self: Greek Travel Guide]