Monday, February 25, 2008

The Ministry of Silly Walks

Spent most of my day in the Athens National Park nearby the house of parliment. It must be some sort of Athenian holiday or something as I ran into a parade of soliders in funny hats and slippers on the way there complete with their own brass band. They were doing some crazy walk which I managed to find a video on youtube of:

The park was pretty big, and I spent most of relaxing, reading and generally having a look around. My only real interuption was when some weird old guy started coming on to me. He started rubbing my leg whereby I said no and shook my finger at him tsking. He then proceeded to put his hand on my crotch which I then took and put back into his own lap. Seeing as he seemed to be ignoring the message I decided to try every gesture for no I had at my disposal (Said no, shook my head, did the stop motion [Showing him my palm], etc). He then started tounging his thumb [really the only way I can think of describing what he was doing] and he even tried for a reach around (Which I stopped, said no and shook my head at him again followed by a bit more tsking). By this point he finally seemed to understand that this was a lost cause. I tried then to to find out why he was trying to do what he was doing, but he didn't speak any English though so I didn't have much luck there. I'm not sure if he was seriously coming on to me or if he was trying to make me feel uncomfortable (A lost cause either way). He went pretty far for a joke if that was the case though, so if that was his aim then I'm pretty impressed.

I've also left the buildup out whereby he approached me while I was reading, tried to strike a conversation (Mostly in gestures), and even gave me some flowers (Really tiny ones when he lifted from some bush somewhere [I did think that it was a little odd for him to give me the flowers, but I didn't think much of it at the time]). A fairly bemusing encounter all in all.

People are silly sometimes.

At the center of the National Park they have a zoo of sorts. As I was interested in checking out the indiginous animals of Greece I had a look around. It's safe to say I wasn't overly impressed as Greece's claim to fame as far as animals go seem to be Chickens, Cats, Donkies and Budgerigars (Budgies). No wonder Greek tourists are so impressed by Australia's native animals if that's all they have as part of their nation's natural fauna. Things like our Platypus (Duck-Otter) and Kangeroo (Rabbit-Dog) would just blow their minds.

At the center of the park they also have a really huge tree:

UPDATE (11:28am 25/02/08)
After getting back to my hostel I met up with my new bunk mate (A Vietnamese Uni student that was using his school holidays to go travelling) and as we were both interested in checking out the Athenian night life we finally tracked down a night club (With the help of a guide book that he had photocopied a few pages from) and had a look. Compared to clubs and bars in Australia, Athenian clubs seem to be somewhat on the small side (If the club we went to is the norm for Athens). Apart from the size of the place it wasn't too bad and my roommate and got up and danced for a bit (*sigh*) before leaving to try and find another place (No luck there though, they seem to be very scarce). In the end as it was fairly late (and a Sunday night) we ended up going back to the Hostel. An interesting outing and I can now cross off clubbing in Athens off my mental checklist.

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