A Trip to Greece – week 5

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Week 5

Monday
The strange person was a man. He stripped entirely and dove in the pool. The hotel kicked him out, we missed the whole to-do.
Yesterday was a slow day. Neighbor lady and I walked all over Glyfada. Doris did some shopping in the hotel gift shop.
I got up today about 5 a.m. and helped neighbor lady and her husband pack their bags downstairs, then visited with them until they left, I will miss them. As they were leaving, 75 or so English kids and chaperones came in. Oh joy, just what we needed. School kids on Spring Break.
This afternoon, Doris and I went to Sounion and Posiedon’s Temple. It’s a nice drive along the coast, beautiful scenery, kind of like Eastern Oregon moved to the coast. Dimitris is a good driver, not crazy like most of the others. We should have taken the small oxygen bottle with us, but Doris did well. Pistachios, almonds, figs, olives and grapes grow along here.
My jaw isn’t getting better.
Tuesday
I went to the doctors’ with Doris this morning. We saw the Parthenon from the hills on the way back to the hotel.
I walked to town after breakfast before the day gets too hot. It was certainly hot yesterday afternoon. I found some honey for Doris to take home. The kind the cab driver said was best. I walked a block past the hair salon and around that block waiting for the farther grocery store to open. I was still looking for the brand of honey served at the hotel. Since I couldn’t find it, I bought the other. I’ve checked all the stores in walking distance. Two different vehicles offered me rides, then again, I don’t know that’s what they were offering…..I ignored them and kept walking.
One kept driving beside me so I picked up a nice handy rock. He left. It’s a very pretty piece of marble. It’s laying around everywhere, very lovely stuff.
My jaw still aches. I hope I can last until I get home, to get it taken care of. It aches all along the lower jawbone, under my tongue and even my upper jaw, now. At least it’s not steady. I don’t think I could stand that.
Getting lunch is quite a feat now, with this flock of hungry kids here. Kind of like running the gauntlet with a tray of food without spilling anything.
The patients are thinning down to just a few now. Not all are still getting shots but couldn’t change their flight reservations.
When Joe called last night, he had sad news. Their dog “Lucky” had died in his sleep.
When he called tonight, he said El wants a Greek fisherman’s shirt, net or something. I’ve only seen them in regular T-shirts. I haven’t seen anything like that in any of the stores, either. None of the hats various people wanted, either.
Wednesday
Another early morning. I didn’t get to go this morning. I think I will sleep a week when I get home. The bunch of kids yelled and screamed most of the night. Then a baby started crying. Lovely night.
Doris had a blood test today. The doctor thinks she has had enough, so tomorrow will probably be her last shot.
Two of the other patients haven’t left yet. They were here for lunch today. They’ll leave Friday.
We are supposed to go to Piraeus, tomorrow. That should be nice. But I’m sure getting tired of people, people and more people. Feels like the sheer volume of people is crushing me.
I just changed Doris’s bottle to the small extra bottle. She had wanted to save it to take with us on trips. It would have been handy for that.
After changing the bottle, I went back downstairs and visited with the other two patients, then Doris came down for a while, too. After Doris went back upstairs, the three of us walked downtown and got a paper.
I went back downstairs after our dinner and got the new oxygen bottle that was delivered a bit ago and hooked it up. Now we still have part of the little bottle to travel on. There is supposed to be Greek dancers downstairs at 9 p.m. I Might go take pictures.
Thursday
I did. It was only 20 minutes so the video taped almost the whole thing. It was neat and I enjoyed it.
About quarter after 4 this morning it sounded like someone decided to rearrange the furniture on this floor. Doors slamming, scootings and crashes. Very hard to sleep through.
Doris doesn’t go until 8:30 or 9 a.m. today so we slept in until 7. Wow.
We went to Piraeus. It’s the largest seaport in the Mediterranean. Ships from all over the world, including Russia. There were yachts and sailboats everywhere, a lovely harbor. We even saw where Dimitris’ mother lives.
She has a lovely view from there. There is only a street between her and the seawall of the yacht harbor, plus there is a grocery store on the ground floor under her. All in all, a very nice trip.
Friday
When we returned to the hotel yesterday afternoon, there was a message to call Mrs. Giannopoulos at Swissair before 4 p.m. It was only 3:15 p.m. so I called and was put on hold for 20 minutes. I hung up and went upstairs and immediately called again. I was told she had gone home for the day. I left a message to call us. She did, this morning. We had to have THEIR Dr. Tryfonopoulos at Skoufa #66 in downtown Athens approve oxygen for Doris on our flight leaving here to go home.
That doctor was only in from 10 a.m. until noon. It was after 10 when we left the hotel. We had to go to the airport to get the health certificate from Swissair, to Dr. Alivizatos to fill it out as attending physician first. After we left his office, we found the paper wasn’t all filled in so my artistic abilities were good for something. Luckily, my pen was the same color. We got to the other doctor’s office at 5 minutes to noon. He was very pleasant and said he was coming to Alaska next summer.
Dimitris is sort of pissed off as though it is all our fault. He and Doris yelled at each other from the hotel to the airport, then not so loudly on the way to Dr. Alivizatos. Then very quiet back to the hotel. Now we don’t get to go to Corinth,
Tomorrow all villagers are going to their villages to vote in the countrywide elections on Sunday. I think it may be dangerous to be out and about then. There have been bombings almost every day since we got here, Politics. They take them very seriously. Opposing sides stand on opposite street corners screaming back and forth at each other. So far, they have only blown up each other’s headquarters late at night after everyone has gone home and empty cars. Not people or planes. That makes me feel a little better. We are very close to Turkey, Israel, Iraq, Iran, etc. Greece and Turkey don’t get along at all. Of course Turkey has invaded in the past, so…….
There are only four of the bunch of cancer patients and companions left here now in the hotel. The last four of us leave on Sunday. Now the place is filling with families and school kids on Spring Break, mostly from England. It’s certainly not as nice and quiet as it was before April 1st which was the start of tourist season.
Since I have been shopping for one meal a day since we got here, they now consider me a local and after giving me a heart attack when they ring me up, they laugh and hit another key and my total is half. Even the T-shirt shop and other gift shops do the same.
The Gypsy kids are practicing all this last week, also. Never have anything in your pockets and just stand still and let the little whirl wind of small children swirl around you, fingers like butterfly wings going over every pocket. I stand still with my hands over my head and laugh. They are laughing too. I kept some coins in one hand and as they start to leave for their next target, I drop the coins and walk on. They laugh, scramble for coins and never bother me again.
The drivers are insane, for the most part. If it is a two lane highway, they drive it as three. Stop signs are suggestions. If two drivers are arguing and pull up on either side of your car, you roll down windows so they can continue arguing across and through your car. Once in a while, if one makes a good point, you join in.
Our driver asks how I like Greece and I tell him it is nice, the scenery is lovely, the ancient artifacts intriguing and too many people, they make me feel claustrophobic. He thinks I use the wrong word, how can I feel that way, out in the open surrounded by friendly people that jostle, shove, smile, ask how you are and are so helpful. That is the point. There are so many people. There are over three million people in this small bowl of land below the surrounding hills that encircle Athens, Glyfada, Piraeus and a couple of other small (?) communities that all run together. The area is just about the same size as the area Fairbanks fills with the immediate outlying areas. I feel like there are too many people to breathe and that I am being crushed by their sheer numbers. The entire State of Alaska has less than one million people and I feel the same in Anchorage. Too many people.
Swissair called to let us know we are confirmed. I told them they cost us a trip to Corinth and caused unnecessary stress on Doris. He apologized. I told him “Not good enough. Why weren’t we told on April 3rd when we talked to you about confirmation of our reservation?” No comment.
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