Back in Athens I check into Zorbas Hostel, just 10 minutes from the city center. The hostel is pretty nice, and I got a bottom bunk. Thank god, because these bunk beds don’t have stairs. You just climb up!
My stay at the hostel is pretty good, and I meet several cool people from all over the world.
In my room, is Jamie from New Zealand, who is doing something really cool. He is volunteering at the refugee camp here in Athens. He did not plan on doing this, but during his stay he met another person doing this and he tagged along one day. Now he has been working there for almost 10 days. I wish I knew about this before I came, I would have joined him.
The one morning we are all sitting outside on the patio having coffee and cookies, and I meet my first traveler who hates Canada. I truly mean hates Canadians and Canada. He tells me, Canadians are ignorant and clueless about how much they pollute, he even states we are probably the worst country. I at first got really defensive in my mind, but somehow controlled myself and only said, “I don’t know any Canadians who litter, and I am certain you might get punched in the nose if you did!”. He then changed his wording and said, “Maybe you don’t through garbage on the ground, but you all drive bug trucks, burn oil, and so on …!”. I didn’t argue back and just said, “Yes it is true that many Canadians don’t notice what their carbon footprint is on the world, and also our tar fields in Albert produce more carbons in the air than most of the world. And I am sure most of the people I know, don’t know this.” So, sure! I will let him have his opinion. The last thing I said to him was, “I wouldn’t hate a country because of this, considering there is no country that does not pollute more than they should, but maybe instead, help educate the people so they can make a difference.”
Anyways, the guy is from Israel, where I know they pollute a shit load also, but why argue. He actually was a really nice guy, other than hating Canadians. LOL.
Back to the cool people I met!
One Aussie guy was super crazy and really fun to chat with. He was always drunk as shit, and still talked very educated, about the coolest things. He told me all about the Anarchist in Athens and where the area is. So, of course I had to walk through and check it out.
This is what I remember him telling me. Basically the cops no longer go in this area, only a few days ago there was a riot here, which happens often. The Anarchist basically took over and run the entire area, don’t pay taxes, that sort of thing. Oh, and sometimes when you walk through the area your throat gets a little sore. This is because of the amount of tear gas that has been released over the years.
In my mind, I felt the sore throat, but I am sure it was in my mind. However, walking through the area I felt safe other than one street. I got a lot of stairs, and this is my own fault. Being a clueless Canadian, I wore my tourist hat, with my Knob Apps shirt. Yes, I was obviously not local.
Onto the next group of cool people I met.
The one day I was just wondering around looking lost, when I saw 3 Aussie’s from the hostel. We all said hi in the street and then they asked if I wanted to tag along to the market. I had never been, so yes and off we go.
Our walk to the market turned into me showing them all the free and cool things to see. Since I have been here for 7 days already, I have don’t a tone of exploring. The market we were looking for, turned out to be just one of the streets with open store fronts. I had been here a few times, but it was great hanging out with these 3 Aussie’s and they told me I was a good tour guide. Hmm, new career?
Nice pose Aussie!
On my last day in Athens, I was taking it very easy. Actually doing nothing, as tomorrow I will be traveling for 30 hours to Thailand.
Then he walked into my life. A cool American! I know, I know, Americans are not as cool as Canadians, but they all right!
Qasim had a 8 hour layover on his way to Egypt and took a bed in my hostel to toss his bags in. We spoke for a few minutes, and then he said he was off to get something to eat. So I invited myself, as I was getting bored.
While we were eating, I told him all the cool Athens sites are within a 45 minute walk. He should do it, and heck, I will take him free of charge, since I am still in Tour Guide Training.
So just like that, I went from being bored to a 3 hour tour with a cool American.
We went through all the awesome sites, and then walked back through the Anarchy area. Yup, we did it all with an hour to spare for Qasim to get back to the airport in time. He was really a thankful guy and I loved our chats. We had a lot in common, from girls, to traveling, to political views.
Back in USA/Canada, I know I will visit him again.
A great picture of us at the half way point of our tour and an added bonus, I got to see some of the sites after dark.
Athens, Rios, Patras, Greece was amazing and I hope to come back but visit the Islands and some of the other cities.
Thanks to all of my friends that I met, and I hope we meet again!