August 30th, 2007
I’m in Anthens, in a web cafe. I hope this posts ok, because all the text on the screen except what I am typing is in Greek.
After three days of travel, with a long layover Tuesday in Philly (where we got to meet up with friends Gayle and Omar) we finally made it to Greece. I’m not on fire, where we are at is not on fire. We are quite safe. They made it seem like the whole country was ablaze from the news in America.
It took me a long while to realize that I wasn’t on some super Persian strip of West LA, and that YES, I am in Greece. The way the women and men dress is very Euro. And they are super skinny and pretty in that way I see Iranians in West LA dress. So I was confused the first day. It wasn’t until we were at the Acropolis yesterday, looking at the Parthenon that I finally realized that we weren’t in West LA.
The old people here are so darling, I just want to squeeze them to death.
It was only today when we went through the meat market did I really realize that we are “travelling while yellow.” Because the guys who work in the market kept screaming out “Sayonara? You Japan? You Japan?” To which my mother said, “No we’re from China!”
To which I bit back… “NOOOOO!!! We are from America!”
What is the best thing I can say about Greece? What is the best thing I can say about travelling anywhere? In any country they manage to sell you a lot of crap they have you convinced that “all the locals use” and you drag that crap home to all your friends for them to pawn off at their yard sale years down the road. Here the local crap du jour are magnets that look like bits and pieces that fell off of old Greek architecture, Olive Oil soap (that comes with free magnet), and sea sponges (the kind that I associate with sea sponge tampons). There is also a good heaping of t-shirts with the greek flag, more magnets, and these weird glass things that are supposed to be Greek God eyes. There is this licorish tasting booze called Ouya that my mom suggested we buy a small bottle of and drink in the hotel room. (gasp! boozing with mommy!). I’ll probably bring a couple bottles of that stuff home. But for the most part, thanks to my Buy Nothing Year and the fact that most of this stuff can be bought at Cost Plus, I don’t plan to bring back any crap. I only plan to bring back memories and what photos I can get. The first time I think I’ve ever done a trip without buying stuff.
My friend Mike gave me a book by Henry Miller on Greece that I plan to read while out here. How romantic of me.
So the cruise we are going on is of the small islands around Greece. And apparently they aren’t very popular islands though I am sure it will be beautiful and hopefully less annoying and crowded than the popular islands. Though I do have a fear that it might be like if your friend was like, “Oh come visit me in San Francisco…. even though I actually live in Cupertino.”