We booked our tickets for Paros but planned on taking the ferry all the way to Piraeus, the port in Athens. As explained before, no one checks your tickets once you’re on board, so booking a ticket for the next closest island and then just staying on is the most economical thing you can do. Plus, if they decided for whatever reason to check tickets (which is impossible anyway on a barge with a thousand people), we figured we could just say, “But we said Piraeus, not Paros! Our Greek is so bad!” We made it on the barge with only minutes to spare, security hurrying us along and Teresa lagging behind in her flats, which had come to irreversibly smell like rotting death traps, but were at least functional (her other shoes had broken). And I leave a trail of gross air everywhere I go because my shorts and jacket haven’t been washed in two or three weeks. We make such a good pair.
Our reaction to our own stink.
Then, the unthinkable happened. Back in Santorini, we ran into Jeff the morning after we basically lied to get him off our trail and keep him from following us to the food store. Then we ran into him again before leaving. Now, we were on a boat full of hundreds of people, sitting on the middle deck on the outside, and there was Jeff. Walking towards us. I acted like I hadn’t seen him, but he stopped by our table.
We had the shortest conversation of my life. He headed up the stairs and Teresa and I glanced significantly at each other and burst out laughing. A bit later… We went to get food at the boat restaurant. Once again, there was Jeff. What do we have to do to get rid of this guy?! Another conversation consisting of Teresa and I talking and not looking at Jeff while still being mildly polite and a few minutes, he was gone.
Right before disembarking (yes that’s a word) WE SAW HIM AGAIN. He wanted to know where we were going and wanted to know if we were heading to the city center. Actually, we were headed directly to the center. But we told Jeff we were going directly to the train station and leaving Athens. And so we said goodbye to Jeff for the last time. Or so we thought.
Later that evening, we were on the metro again. I couldn’t figure out if we were on the right side headed the right direction, so I started walking really quickly towards a metro map, and then I heard Teresa’s voice calling my name. “Aaahhhhh! Brandon!” I turned around and she grabbed me, urgently whispering “It’s Jeff! IT’S JEFF. I HATE JEFF.” Cackling at the situation and our own reactions, we ran the other direction and tried to figure out how on earth it was even possible for us to have run into a single person so many times over the course of six days. We hid inside the metro behind a bunch of other people, making sure to check for Jeff before we got off. He was no more.
The rest I’ll try to keep short. Teresa and I got to town too late for her to catch her night train to Meteora, so she booked a room at the same hostel I had, Dioskouros, and when we checked I there was a mixup. We got a private room for €10 each and I got to keep it for two and a half days. Woot! We got towels me free breakfast and our own bed and I had the best sleep I’ve ever had. I had no plans for the next day except sleep and recovering from the freaking ridiculous amount if mountain climbing that had destroyed my body earlier that day.
The next day I literally did nothing but sleep. I slept until 9am, got breakfast, slept until 4, watched tv on my ipad until 7, got dinner, went back to bed and stayed there until Monday morning. Teresa left for Meteora on Sunday night, so I at least walked her to the metro. I planned on going out, but I was just too tired and missed home so I slept instead.
Monday morning I finally decided to do something I hadn’t done yet in Athens, so I checked out the “First Cemetery of Athens,” which was started in the nineteenth century and houses the graves of some of the most important or wealthy Greeks from the past couple centuries. There is an entire section for the Protestants, which is entirely too boring for my taste. The only thing you see there is white cross after white cross after white cross… Boring! There were some cool christian-themed graves but for the most part I just like looking at statues of various things. My favorite type of sculpture so far is the mythological beings rather than the people. Statues of actual people are just weird.
Also, this morning when I woke up, my camera wouldn’t open. The lens is stuck. I took it to a shop and while it was being fixed I took these photos with my phone. Unfortunately, camera is still broken. I’ll have to get it repaired when I get back to Spain. Ugh.
The rest of the day I spent back at the hostel downloading a bunch of tv to watch on my six-hour night train to Thessaloniki. I had some pleasant conversation with some people for all over the place staying in the hostel. As horrible as it sounds, it’s actually a really easy way to make friends if you tell people all about how your family disowned you for being gay. It’s kind of like a war story! And it gets other people to open up about things they probably wouldn’t have so quickly otherwise. When ya travel, dig deep!
So now I’m sitting in a cafe inside the train station because it’s freaking cold outside and I’m supposed to meet Teresa at the airport in five hours. I can’t wait. I literally cannot wait until I’m back in Spain, where it’s warm and there is a laundry machine and people who speak a language I can speak. Omg