Saturday, February 23, 2008

Athens - City of Dogs

Arrived in Athens around 7am this morning (Athens time) and as my first order of business I checked into the my hostel. The room I've been assigned seems nice enough, and I should be getting bunk mates sooner or later, however they still haven't arrived at this point (Now 5pm).

Spent most of today wandering around Athens aimlessly, and actually covered quite a bit of ground using this method. Ended up at most of the touristy spots whereby I took the required photos (Which I think I'll end up deleting from the camera). The photos were nice enough however they're nothing that aren't available already, and I'm not into the whole looking at buildings thing anyway. Instead from now on I'll only be taking shots of stuff that takes my interest, if at all.

Some interesting things that happened today:
- I hung up with some crazy bum on some benches for a bit. I say crazy as he kept mumbling to himself and laughing randomly, which usually is a pretty good indicator of the Cray-ZEE. Tried striking up a conversation however he didn't speak English (Go figure) and I don't speak Greek. Instead we just kicked back, and enjoyed the day while everyone else moved about. Eventually he decided to it was time to go, and he sort of stumbled/waddled off. I considered following him to see what bums get up to while everyone else goes about their normal day, but decided that stalking a possibly paranoid, schizofrenic bum probably wasn't the best call.
- Dogs! Athens is full of dogs. Packs of them running around the place or just lying on the sidewalks. For the most part the dogs have collars so I assume that they have owner, however considering the lack of space in Athens I assume that most Athenians don't have backyards (and no dog-catchers from the looks of things). The dogs seem friendly enough, however you've got to look out for the dog poo (Which is everywhere).
- Almost got in trouble with a riot patrol officer today. Saw a few Athenian police in green camo with riot shields and tear gas launchers and stopped to look. What I learnt today? Well apparently "The Man" doesn't like it when you stare at them with a goofy grin on your face. I guess a grin usually means you find something funny (Or in this case amusing), and people that have to deal with rioters on a day to day basis usually take themselves pretty seriously, and interpret a smile as mockery. The commander waved me over and said something to me in Greek. I told him that I didn't speak Greek and at that point he said that I "could go" (In English). Probably would be a good idea to keep this in mind when I get to Israel, as the IDF are sure to take themselves *even* more seriously considering all the shinanigans that goes on over there.

All in all, a pretty cool first day. Hopefully Athens still has more to offer.


El Davo said...

sounding very interesting so far... im thinking i should go to marakesh maybe.

wish i could be following around with ya but hey your journey, maybe next one eh

Toby said...

I think you should change the purpose of your trip to a study of bums around the world.