Saturday, May 2, 2009

Greek Adventures: Take 1

April 2
I got everything packed up and headed out the door. I had just left the gate of our apartment and stepped down off the curb to cross the street when I somehow miscalculated the step and rolled my ankle over and fell to the ground. I was slightly embarrassed but other than that alright. An old lady stopped to see if I was alright and I told her I was fine. I got up and continued on my way and slowly the throbbing in my ankle went away and the burning of the new scrape on my knee went away as well. I made it to Trastevere Station and waited a few minutes for the train. Once at the airport I checked in for my flight and luckily the lady checking in let me slide with my heavy bag (I had my laptop). I thought it was 10 kg, but really it was 8, she lectured me about how it wasn’t fair to others but let me through with it anyway. Next I joined the rest of the travelers in the security line. It was really busy again, not as bad as when Jamil and I had gone to Paris but still pretty full. Luckily I had plenty of time until my flight. I made it through with no problems and made my way to the gate and sat and relaxed. After a while I noticed that I didn’t recognize any of the people at the gate from when I was checking in. I got up and looked at the gate only to see that they had moved my flight. I checked the board and got to the right gate and waited for 20 more minutes until they started boarding. I got on the plane I had a window seat, perfect for sleeping and got settled in. I didn’t fall asleep right away but it was taking a really long time to get onto the runway so I did catch a quick wink of sleep. I woke back up for take off and then fell back asleep. I woke up soon after though and they were serving food. It was nice to be on a flight with free service again! After all I had paid for a ticket, it was only right ! We had some sort of keish but it was better than any I had ever had before and chocolate cake and they served coffee and tea. I then read my book for class for the rest of the flight and almost got caught up to where I needed to be by the time we landed. We got off the plane and they stuffed us into a bus to go to the terminal. I got off and wandered through to the exit. I asked the information desk about how to get to the hostel and she said the metro wasn’t running from the airport right now but I could take the 95 bus to the city center and get off and I could walk to my hostel or take a taxi. So I went outside bought a bus ticket and got on for the ride to the city. There were some other American students on the bus, so that made me feel a little more comfortable, like I was going the right way. I waited a while and asked the others where they were going and unfortunately none of them were going to my hostel, I figured I would be alright still though and if worse came to worse I could always just take a cab. So I began to walk and at the crosswalk, I decided to ask a group of men in business suits which directions I should go. I started out with, “Do you speak…” and he responded before I could finish, “Yes I do.” I asked him where to go and he pointed me down the street and said that it would take me straight to the square. I took his word for it and started to wander off. I kept going down the street which was pretty deserted and hoped that this guy wasn’t totally off his rocker. Luckily, I saw a group of girls ahead of me toting luggage and felt more confident in my direction. I followed them a ways and then found that we were in the square. I saw the metro stop (or what I thought was the metro stop) and got out my directions to the hostel. I tried to figure out what street I was on, but…everything is in Greek and even though I’m in a sorority I definitely don’t read Greek. I decided to take a stab in the dark, literally and just head one direction. I walked up the street awhile looking for an Applebee’s like the one shown on the map. After 5 blocks or so I didn’t think I was going the right direction so I turned around and decided to try another way. There was only one other logical direction and it looked pretty dark and not that promising, but I started down that way anyway. After a bit I decided to go back and ask for directions at the ice cream shop I had passed. They said I was headed the right direction and said I would come to a circle drive of some sort and then to turn right. So I started down the street again keeping my eyes open for this drive. Eventually I decided that I was still not going the right way or had gone too far. I passed an Irish pub and stopped to ask for directions again. The waitress didn’t speak English and directed me to her boss, he took me out to the street and pointed me in the direction back up the street and said to turn left up aways and I should find it. I headed back and ended up stopping a taxi and asking where to go he just said I had to go to the first one to take me somewhere. I went to the front of the line showed the driver the address and map on the brochure and he said that I was here. I said I know but where is the hostel and he just replied again that I was here. I had almost lost hope. I sat down on a bench tears welling up in my eyes and broke down and called the hostel. The man that answered the phone laughed when I told him I was lost. I told him I was in the square and had gone almost every direction and couldn’t find it. He asked me if I could see a fast food place called “Evergreen” I told him I was looking at it. He told me to wait there that he would come and find me. I stood and waited for only a few minutes, when I was greeted by Tony. He was really nice and led me to the hostel. I walked in and went up to the desk. I handed him my passport and they started to look for my reservation. For some reason they weren’t able to find it. I had my copy printed off so I gave it to them and they were so confused, they looked to see if they had made a mistake or something but then realized that my booking wasn’t until tomorrow. I had forgot to book a room for tonight. I was so frustrated with my self at this point and could barely hold the tears back. They looked for a room and the only one open that they could find was a double private. It was going to cost me 80 Euro. I didn’t really care at this point and asked if they took credit card as tears streamed down my face. They spoke to each other in Greek for awhile and said that they could give me the room for half price for tonight since it wasn’t going to be used anyway and I was in such a situation. I was so thankful that they could help me out. I finally got checked in and paid and Chris, the guy at the front desk, showed me to the elevator and sent me up to my room. It had been quite the eventful evening. I now have a different view of “It’s Greek to Me!”

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