Athens, Day Two: Piraeus and Australians

Athens Day two:

I was woken early by the family stirring. Good god, they got up at like six o clock. What there was even to do at that hour still befuddles me.

I rolled outta bed at nine and went in search of breakfast. I discovered the flea market south of the acropolis and then found a little pastry and coffeshop. I saw in the patisserie, what may be one of the single great baked good creations in the world. It was a crusty loaf of peapod shaped bread, but baked into the top was bacon, feta and loads of gouda. It took me a moment to figure out how to eat it without sending a sticky delicious trail of cheese all over my hand.

I sat a few moments after completed the perlinisomethignorotherbaconcheesebread to ponder the wondrousness I had just experienced.

I stopped in a guitar store and bought some picks and strings and mulled over a bizouki or two. A novelty instrument, for sure, but where else am I gonna get a bizouki?

I walked around a few hours more and set off back to the hostel. I watched a movie and passed out for a few hours. Then it was on to plan the rest of my time in greece.

I set off on the metro to Piraeus. I had read online somewhere that in addition to being the port of Athens, there were loads of seafood restaurants around. I tore apart Piraeus, and there were a lot of hardware stores. There was even one store that specialized in doorknobs.

Seriously.

But no seafood.

“I think we’re on the wrong side. Let’s go over there.”

Good call InMo. I kept walking and walking around and nothing.

Exhausted, I fell into a chair in a little orange corner bistro.

“Beer,” I exhaled at the waitress.

A little lady arrived with a list and I eagerly ordered a Smoked Lager. It wasn’t that different on the attack, but the finish was husky and with hints of oak and roasted pine nuts.

I ordered another.

The little lady appeared with three tiny pastries and smiled.

I smiled back.

One was a sort of crab meat puff with fresh parsely and a hint of citrus. The second a spring roll shaped tube fileld with eggplant, and lamb and mint.

“I don’t even like eggplant!” cried the InMo.

Me neither. But this was really good.

I took the long haul back to the main port area since I had to organize what I had set out to do: Get some island beach time.

I found out some times, but I had some thinknig and planning to do.

And I still wanted seafood.

I did some more walking and found the Cyprus Tavern. I sat down on my own and ordered some hummous and a Mythos greek lager. I was writing some stuff down, had finished my hummous and was now trying to make decisions. There was a couple sitting at the table outside. I looked up and the gentleman was waving at me. I popped out my headphones and lifted my sunglasses and gave him my hotel manager’s look of, “what can I do for you?”

“Would you like to come join us for a drink?”

Somewhat taken aback by such overt friendliness, I hesitated.

“What the hell. Why not?”

I sat down and we did introductions. They were from Australia working in London (also dual citizens) and waiting for a ship at 10:30 to Ios. It was about 6:00 at that point.

“Thanks for letting me crash your party.”

“No, no party,” Aussie Dude waved it off. “Just the two of us getting drunk while we wait for the damn boat. I had some trouble getting your attention. You looked troubled.”

“well. . .” I went on to explain my dilemma and my quandry of choice, involving multiple islands and Germany. We all agreed I had a tough decision on my hand. Aussie Chick offered some female insight into the ordeal, and I think I got it settled. We then went on talking for the next hour about traveling music and laughing our asses off.

Australians are awesome, in general. But these two were explemplary specimens of humanity. Courteous, pleasant, affable, drinkers who like to hear and tell stories. The world is a greater place for their being in it.

More beers that I had anticipated having earlier did I say my goodbyes.

I headed back to the metro and back to the hostel.

I got into the room and the internet was not working and the family was talking all at once.

I went to the bar.

I chatted with the bartender a little bit, then with some guys from Istanbul showed up and praised them intently and profusely on how wonderful their city was.

I go to the bar for another drink, and pretty, dark haired girl, with eyes the color of impure malachite materialized. She looked Greek, but sounded American.

We talked.

She was American, had just graduated from top level school in southern California and was traveling Europe. We chatted a little about my job, which is apparently really interesting to people. We talked more about our respective significant others and the joys and perils of traveling alone. We even agreed to go to the museum together the next day.

She left and I realized that I was toed up, lights out, three sheets to the wind and there was no way this little lady would actually show up tomorrow at ten, but would in fact avoid me completely.

Meh.

It was time for bed.

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