Tag Archives: Jet Lag

The land of the Gods

25 Jan

We made it!  I am up with jet lag…aaaarg.  I got into bed at 7:30, that was probably a mistake!  Oh well, I might have slept for a total of 45 mins on the first flight.  Flying coach without Xanax is such a bummer! And I might have slept about a total of 40 mins on the 2nd flight. All 200 lbs of our luggage, that we avoided having to pay extra for by the skin of our teeth, arrived in tact thank hey Zeus!  Golden rule of traveling?  Bring half the stuff and twice the money!
Our descent into Athens provided spectacular views!  The snow dusted mountain tops looming above lush green hills tumbling into the dark blue waters of the Aegean is really a sight to behold!  The sky was so clear and the sun singing its happy song, dancing off the water like thousands of tiny mirrors!  Little boats carved tracks through the oily water and I almost forgot its the middle of winter!
Finally back on solid ground after traveling for approximately 20 hours we exit the Athens airport and step into the thick stench of cigarette smoke.  That’s when you can be certain you’re in Greece!  There is not a soul milling about, except the taxi drivers tucked snugly in their bright yellow benzes, and still the air is permanently blanketed with the haze of the billions (could very well be trillions) of butts smoked in the last hour or two, could even be the last 20 minutes!  America is so clean and pure.  Our cabbie, being true to his trade,didn’t stop talking the whole time.  We learned how many fares he had that day, we were his 3rd so far, how he’s struggling to pay the rent and bills.  How he’d been at the airport since 11am, it was now 5, and had taken 3 naps in his car already.  i suppose one in between every fare. The crisis, the crisis, the crisis….some story about his uncle and an old lady.  There might have been a dog or small child involved in that stream of consciousness too.  I tuned him out as Athens unfolded in a swirl of tail lights and neon signs beside me.  So disorderly and jumbled together are all the buildings here.  There really seems to be no rhyme or reason to the zoning laws.  I have to say I’m quite impressed with the extent and skill of the graffiti in Athens.  Despite what law official have been saying for decades, I think it really adds a nice touch to the decaying and abandoned concrete behemoths that seem to be on every corner.  Besides I always get a kick out of seeing the word skata in extra large letters whirl past me when I’m in the car.  It’s like that guy wanted to contribute too but was having some kind of creative block, or lost the rest of his graffiti palette and was left only with black and the idea that that word might solve his or anyone else’s problems.  Skata. It turns up a lot as a matter of fact.  Think it’s the same guy?
We were deposited at a busy corner near dimitris childhood home.  People on their way home from work doing their best to ignore traffic lights and pedestrians. Bundled up in their winter coats and hats, at one point on the ride to the house a guy walked out of a store with a brand new set of skis, the kind one uses on snow.  Wait, what!  I guess he’s an anomaly because the only sports I’ve ever seen Greeks participate in is smoking and tavli!  Eating whole animals and gulping wine could be in there too I suppose. Wait maybe that’s just the Cretans.  We lugged all our stuff up the stairs and sat down to a simple but delicious meal of fasolakia with potatoes casually floating in a pool of oil.  Hey I forgot those guys could swim!  So now it’s almost 3am here, gonna try and get some more z’s.Image