March 30, 2009

Athens, Day 5 – No More Gyros

So, it turns out the train line to Piraeus is closed on weekends, so we didn’t get to go to the museum. Instead, we wandered around Monastiraki and the Plaka, seeing the Roman Agora and the Sunken Church (where some people were giving away mini free Cokes to advertise Coke Zero). Then I went off by myself and did some shopping in the flea market, where I acquired some spices (so I can cook my own food), an awesome antique Turkish necklace, and an amazing gelato. I met up with Ellie and Mariana for a bit, then wandered off by myself again, looking in fancy shops and things. There’s a little section of Ermous (the fancy shopping street that has the Zara and Camper stores) called “Carnaby Street” where they seem to have put all of the Greek Goth things, including an entire Emily the Strange store. Eventually (after much confusion with the map), I made it to the synagogue, where I rung the bell and was immediately confronted by a policeman demanding to know why I was there. I told him I am an “American student” and I wanted to find out about a “Passover seder”, and I assume one of those two terms was code for “I am not carrying bombs”, so he let me in. I asked the woman in the office about it, and she told me who to contact about a community seder.

After this I made my way back to Syntagma, where I observed a man depositing cans into a machine. He described with hand motions that this earns him money, so sometime I will be filling my backpack with all the empty wine bottles that have been piling up around the building and getting some cash. I also bought a chocolate from one of the numerous kiosks and was hit on by the kiosk man.

Then, sometime around 8, I started feeling really sick. I was freezing and wrapped up in every blanket I had, and took as hot a shower as I could (which meant the shower time itself was reduced, as there’s only so much hot water (we have to turn on the boiler for 30 minutes, turn it off, then shower.) I slept for a really long time, then decided this morning I really wasn’t up for a hike. Turns out the weather was bad anyway. I had a fever, chills, a really bad headache, and what I will politely call “Pericles’ revenge”. I felt a bit better in the afternoon, so I decided to go to class. (No one else understood this.) Greek was pretty good – the teacher, Ianna, is adorable and friendly. We learned how to introduce ourselves and ask how we are; I was the only one who replied ετσι κε ετσι (not good). I talked to the Athens Centre people to see if they could take me to the pharmacy, but it turns out the pharmacies were already closed by that point. They advised me to drink lots of water and eat simple foods and let them know tomorrow. Also, I should not go hiking tomorrow either. Although I am feeling much better (except my shins which still ache from my walk Sunday). They also told me that under no circumstances should I have gyros for the next few days, as it is very fatty and will make me worse.

Gyros count: still 2😦

Ice cream count: 2

Weather: 50s and smoggy (apparently this is due to a southerly wind that blows sand up from the Sahara)

Currency: 1.31 dollars/euro

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