Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Phelps Swims Ionian Sea, Sharks Flee Smell of Feta

Ya sas! Greetings from Patras, Greece! Only 30 minutes time on the internet access card I purchased from the hotel for 10 euro ($14) most of which will be spent figuring out the keyboard and menu. What a wonderful country! The food, the beautiful landscape, the antiquity, the beautiful people... and talk about a wonderful beach, the rocky shore is softened by a thick layer of cigarette butts.

AAGH! The sound of the access card expiring is excrutiating! Has it been thirty minutes already? Serves me right for taking a detour from the blog to find the URL to our hotel's website. It looks very much like this, if you add stacks of ashtrays on every flat surface, the donkey tied to a bush outside my hotel window, and surly-looking men in sweat-stained polyester short-sleeved shirts who may be security, local mob capos, or the guy who rents you towels by the pool.

Don't ever ever try to drive a car here. It's not only the alphabet that's mind-bogglingly different. When driving, two lanes means four lanes (highway shoulders are used liberally); when paying for a taxi, twenty euros on the meter means the cabbie will ask for thirtytwo; and a red light means stop if there's a police office standing in the intersection, otherwise just force your way into the traffic and ignore the honking and obscenities thrown your way.

Here's a depiction of me punching out the taxi driver for charging us 250 euro for the ride from Athens to Patras, which should have cost 150 euro. Bastard.

Oh, yeah. The Greek language is actually heavier than other languages. Just learning three words in Greek has totally wiped out three months of Italian vocabulary. So I'll be totally useless in Asiago, next week.

Ya sas = hello parakalos = please & you're welcome efkhareesto = thanks


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