Thursday, January 29, 2009

Attica - at a glance

I flew into Athens today... wow, this keyboard is horrible. The "shift" key actually requires physical strength to push down... anyway, I got in today and have been wandering around since.

Athens is much different than I was expecting. It's very strange walking around a city where everyone is white but speaking a different language. I also thought I'd be able to just figure out the writing because it's very close to Roman letters. That is not the case. I have no idea what's going on. Fortunately, I haven't run into anyone who doesn't speak English... yet. I've actually had two people come up to me already and ask me questions in Greek. I'm not sure why. I'm in full tourist mode with the bright red backpack, camera and map in hand... not to mention the fact that I don't look Greek. I might be able to pass, but really... they actually looked surprised when I gave them the helpless shrug and smile. For the most part, though, I still stick out when necessary. The man at this internet cafe talked to me in English before I even said anything. He may have done so because I sort of just stared at the prices for a bit before staring at him helplessly and not saying anything, but...

You know, I should really get off this thing. I stopped by really quick to find the address of a hostel/hotel. I still don't have a place to stay and it's getting dark. Note to self: simply the title of a cheap hostel is not sufficient. I must bring a street name, subway stop, or address next time. Silly me. Anyway, it was 2 euros for a half hour. That's crazy. They're going to charge me more if I don't get off now.

*added a few hours later*

I found a hostel! It wasn't the one I was looking for, but I jumped at it the first moment I saw the International Hostel logo.

Things in Athens are expensive. Well, maybe not for people who use the Euro, but I had a little meal in a small shop tonight for $7.50. The value meals at McDonalds were the US equivalent of about $7-8. I had a small sandwich. My hostel was about $20 and that was the cheapest around. They didn't even give me a key. ghetto...

I hope the rest of the country is a bit cheaper. I should have brought more than $200 with me. Eh... we'll see. I'll get a good night's sleep finally and see how I feel in the morning.

Right now I'm going to go for a walk around the area, free of my cumbersome backpack. It's a little shady around here. I may get mugged. Wish me luck!

1 comment:

Donna said...

Hi Jacob,
You do have a charge card don't you? You keep mentioning the red backpack-should we have opted for the black or blue one? Please be careful! and then have fun?
Love, Mom