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Day 1 - Athens
12hr flight to Abu Dhabi, followed by a 8hr stopover in the airport. Every seat where I can put my feet up and rest my head is taken. I'm reduced to sleeping on the carpeted floor on which I wake up periodically every hour for the next 6 hrs, worried that I've missed my connecting flight to Athens.
I'm now on the plane, a little less stressed than I was before. Still extremely tired but relieved I'm closer to my destination. Yet, I'm faced with another obstacle. No luggage… I'm the last person on my flight waiting for my belongings to come through the conveyer belt, there's no big red suitcase. The only thing I'm handed is 35 euros to buy some toothpaste and other essentials until my luggage is tracked down. Taxi to my hotel alone was 40 euros, thank goodness I had my travel card on me.
Finally, in my hotel room and although I'm without my belongings I'm thrilled to be in a new place and enjoying the warmer weather than what I'd be receiving back home in Perth. I've earnt this shower and I was hungry to splash my face with some cold water. I'd decided to hang my clothes on the balcony to air out, as I will probably need them for the next coming days seeing as my suitcase was MIA. This proved to be one of the stupidest moves I'd play on my whole journey. After my rinse I went to collect my clothes off the balcony however, one item is missing… my jocks. They had blown off my 5th floor balcony onto the balcony of a resident on the 1st floor. "great I thought, now this." I was determined to run downstairs and collect my only pair of underwear from the occupant of the 1st floor apartment. Suddenly, I'm hit with devastation. The man occupying the room on floor 1 has stumbled out of his room onto the balcony, taken one look and my jocks and kicked them over the edge into a puddle of drain water! This isn't happening. No suitcase, no friends around, no one speaking a lick of English and now my last bit of comfort is taking a bath in a puddle of drain water. I've had enough, I'll call my sister and vent to her all my trials and tribulations.
I've woken up 12hrs later and faced the reality that I need to trawl the streets of Athens, birthplace of democracy, for a pair for jocks. They were easy enough to find. On my quest I've found a small shop that sells gyros a souvlaki type snack packed with chips, I gobbled down three then took to the streets to do some site seeing. After visiting the Acropolis, the New Acropolis museum, the Temple of Zeus and the Old Gate of Athens I searched for the nearest restaurant and parked myself in a chair for the next hour sipping on a mojito and reflecting on the last 24hrs I've had in this city. I'm feeling hard done by, hosting a pity party of one in the Acadia restaurant in the café strip. Looking up at the Acropolis that was only a couple hundred meters from me I came to the realization that I was having a sook over so many little things. My problems in the grand scheme of things are so pathetically small that I should forget about them and look towards what's coming up. Tomorrow my two friends from back home would be arriving and the three of us would be setting sail around the Greek islands for the next eight days. I'm fortunate to be here and excited for tomorrow.