Caturday: Penelocat waits for Odysseus to open the cat food


Welcome back to Caturday where, every Saturday, I feature a photo of cats I meet during my travels.


This cat was lying in the Sunday at the Acropolis in Athens.

It refused to let me photograph its face so I only have an image of its head.

How catty. Meow.

Glutton in Greece

Greek gyro

Welcome to YQtravelling’s FoodFriday. The day of the week when I show off some of the lovely eats I had while travelling.

Today we’re going to heading to Greece for some happy glutton time.


Before I went to Greece, I had no idea what the people ate. I know from the myths that the gods eat ambrosia and nectar but I was pretty much clueless about what the mortals ate.

I imagine they ate a lot of olives since Athena gave the Athenians the olive tree. Is Greek yogurt really greek or is it just a marketing label?

I do like yogurt but I’ve never a fan of olives. It’s just too salty and tiny to be satisfying.

Fortunately when I reached Athens, I found out that Greek food wasn’t all about olives. I even had meals that were so good that I was willing to stay and eat that for the rest of my life.

Pita gyro

Pita gyro
Pita gyro

After I took a bite of my first pita gyro (pork), I knew I could stay in Athens forever and not get bored with the food.

A gyros is a bit like shawarma in Dubai but there is a choice of pork. For the people living in Malaysia and Singapore, a pork pita gyro is  a bit like eating Chinese roasted pork wrapped in a roti canai/prata.

The first place I had a gyro was at one of the shops opposite the central market. The dish came hot. Pita wrapped the roasted meat, french fries and salad so snuggly that I didn’t mind I was eating raw vegetable.


Greek Frappé
Greek Frappé

I love drinking coffee. When I found out that it was a Greek who invented frappé, I knew what my default drink in Greek would be.

The Greek frappé is unlike anything I’ve ever drank. The coffee powder, milk powder and syrup are all whisked by a machine with water added in later.

A thick firm foam appears at the top and would not dissolve even after a very long while. If you taste the foam, it is sour but the drink itself is sweet.

What usually happens is that I finish all the liquid and have remaining foam and ice cubes. I wait for these to dissolve or melt before I sip on the sour remains.

[A side note, if I have to drink either only coffee or only tea for the rest of my life, I would choose tea because it is comforting and makes me less jittery than coffee.]

Traditional breakfast

Greek breakfast
Greek breakfast

Can you believe it? I only had one traditional Greek breakfast. I didn’t pay 5 euro extra for breakfast in Athens and I could only have one meal at my hotel on Mykonos because my ferry was leaving way earlier than breakfast time. :(

Greek yogurt with honey
Greek yogurt with honey

Greek salad and feta cheese

Greek salad and feta cheese
Greek salad and feta cheese

I hate eating raw vegetable. When I saw the salad that came to me, I almost pushed it away. Then I spotted a white chunk of something that looked curiously like tofu.

I nibbled on it and found out that it was salty and tasty. Using that unknown white block, I covered the taste of raw vegetable and finished all my bowl. Thank goodness a Greek salad didn’t have a lot of raw greens.

Later I read that the tofu-like food was feta cheese. Clever old me went to Carrefour and bought a pack of feta cheese.

Unfortunately, I found out the hard way that feta cheese on its own is too salty to be consumed as a main meal.


Greek souvlaki
Greek souvlaki

The Greek version of satay has a lot more meat on a thicker stick but is also more expensive than a regular stick of satay.

Compared with gyro, I didn’t eat that many souvlaki when in Greece. I like it but it’s not as satisfying as roasted pork. Yum yum.


Greek Moussaka
Greek Moussaka

When I had the moussaka, I thought it was like lasagna but parts of the pasta replaced by eggplant.

The large rectangle contained layers of eggplant, minced meat, cheese and pasta. it was as rich as a lasagna that by the time there was only 3 bites left, I had to stuff the rest into my mouth reluctantly.

Greek pies and pastries

At the little cafes, there was always loads of pastries on display. I usually randomly choose any one of them and nod as if I knew what they were.

Greek pastries on display
Greek pastries on display
Spinach pie
Spinach pie

I’ve never really been a savory pastry person so all the pies just tasted normal to me.

Sugared orange

Sugared orange
Sugared orange

At one of the cafes, they served a sugared orange slice. It was delicious! The tangy and bitter orange peel mixes well with the sugar coating.

Coca Cola in Greek

Coca Cola in Greek
Coca Cola in Greek

Even though I want to drink something local with my meal, I always ended up with a Coca Cola because it was the easiest thing to choose.

Caturday: Good Cat Hunting in Athens

Good Cat Hunting

Welcome back to Caturday where I feature a photo of cats I meet during my travels.

Good Cat Hunting
Good Cat Hunting

Today’s black cat was trying to hunt pigeons at the Sanctuary of Dionysus in Athens. It was actually too far away from the birds to do a lion-like pounce.

The birds flew away even before the cat reached within 2 meters distance.

Poor cat.

Curious about other meows?

Athens to Istanbul by bus [YQrtw Day 46 May 23]

A long way to Istanbul

Location: Mykonos -> Athens -> Istanbul

When I was planning my journey from Greece to Turkey, I didn’t think of doing a bus trip. I wanted to take the train or even a ferry to reach Istanbul from Athens.

But I found out that there is no direct train from Greece to Turkey. I will need to take two ferries to reach Turkey and take another bus ride to Istanbul.

In the end, I chose to buy a bus ticket from Athens to Istanbul.

Figuring out how to get the tickets was a pain in the buttocks. The web page for Crazy Holidays’s Athens to Istanbul was a jumble and there was no way to figure out how to get the tickets.

In the end, I found out how to get tickets from Athens when I stumbled upon this page. Silver Star Agency’s location was easy to find with Google Maps.

How to get to Al Travel Metro

The directions to the bus terminal was a little confusing since Google Maps couldn’t interpret the full address that was given to me.

The right address to search on Google Maps is Leoforos Athinon 222.

From Larissa station and Metaxougnio, there are buses A15 and B15 which stop at ΠΑΛΙΑΤΖΙΔΙΚΑ‎. Walk with the direction of the traffic and you will reach Al Travel Metro.

Being the scatterbrain that I am, I was too excited about the bus ticket spot check that I did not stop at the right stop.

Instead, I got off at one stop after. I had to walk on a overhead bridge that was parallel to the huge highway. The journey felt a lot longer than it was as the sun was hot and my bag was heavy.

I reached at 4:00pm. My bus was to leave at 5:00pm. I hung out at the stuffy lobby until the departure time.

At Al Travel Metro, there is a toilet behind the lobby. It’s in a warehouse and looks dark and creepy–you never know what you’ll step into.

The 14 hour bus ride

Long way from Athens to Istanbul
Long way from Athens to Istanbul

According to Google Maps, my journey was about 1,000km.

Thank goodness the seats were comfortable and I didn’t have anyone sitting beside me.

Throughout the night, I experimented with different sleeping positions. I was a pretzel, The Thinker with knees to my chin, a cushion with my head on the seat.

I never figured out what was the best position for sleeping. The position I want to experiment was hanging my legs out the aisle having my whole upper body on the two seats.

Bad backseat mates

Turkish shows on the bus
Turkish shows on the bus

I am blessed with a magical ability to attract the worst behind-seat mates. Last trip from KL to Singapore, I had a lady who crossed her legs through out the journey and whined loudly when my seat even reclined that just little bit.

This time, it was a pair of Brazillian buddies. They could not stop talking from across the aisle!

The only time I realized that there was no sound coming from them was at 11:00pm. I peeked at them and found that they were trying to sleep.

Rest stops along the way

Greek rest stop
Greek rest stop

The rest stops in Greece looked more like nice coffee shops that are generous with their toilet.

In Turkey, however, it cost 1 euro to use the toilet. Just as bad as it was in Italy.

Land border crossing and the smuggler

I’ve only entered another country through the borders in two places: Malaysia-Singapore and Malaysia-Thailand.

I was curious how the border crossing was for Greece and Turkey.

Leaving Greece, everyone had to get off the bus, pass their passport to the customer officer who was at the bus lane. The officer asked a few questions to suspicious people (like someone with a Malaysian passport). Those who have suspicious baggage had to take things out and unwrap them.

The passports were later passed back when we all got back on the bus.

For Turkey, the inspection was a bit worse. My luggage inspection was fast since I only had a backpack. The officer still put his hand into my bag and felt around.

There was a man who brought two tall boxes wrapped with newspaper and taped with brown tape, inside which was cognac, at least according to him.

The Turkish customs folks tore open the wrapping. In one of the boxes was a tall alcohol bottle that was about the height of my knee.

The man was detained and our bus left without him. It’s pretty scary to be him.

I drifted in and out of sleep on the bus. Most of the time I had my feet on the other seat and rested my head on the my seat. (Later I took a 2 hour nap when I got to Istanbul).

The bus was surprisingly on time and we all made it to Istanbul at 8:00am.

What was the longest bus ride you have taken?

Tix to Mykonos bought! [YQrtw Day 43 May 20]

Little Venice in Mykonos

Location: Athens, Greece

Today was a very mellow day because most museums were closed and my 4-day Acropolis museum pass expired today.

I did buy my tour package to Mykonos in the morning so the day did have a slight climax. I initially wanted to go to Santorini but I told the travel agent about my time constraint (bus to Istanbul leaves at 17:00 on Thursday) so he chose Mykonos.

Since the day was a bit of a bore (lunch of gyros; nap; coffee at Public Cafe; back to hotel), I’ll discuss a little about my plans for Mykonos.


Little Venice in Mykonos
Little Venice in Mykonos

CC Photo by Apel.les

I’m staying in Mykonos for two nights. The hotel I’m booked for seem to be low on Wi-Fi so do not fret if you don’t find any updates.

I heard that Mykonos is a party island. And if you know me, I’m not party-going person.

I also found out that Mykonos is “one of the hottest gay holiday destinations that Europe has to offer”. This probably means that half of the men out there play for the other side of the team. (So much for Eat, Pray, Love huh.)

I’m not that much of a beach person so I’m glad to find that Mykonos has plenty of museums. (I can hear the facepalms from my friends now.)

There’s also a magical island nearby. I’ll definitely head there on Day 2 morning.

Early bird

My ferry to Mykonos leaves at 7:35am so I need to leave my hotel at about 6:00am. This also means that I need to wake up super early (and pack today too).

So that’s for today! I promise I will start packing soon.

Changing of guards at Syntagma Square [YQrtw Day 42 May 19]

Marching ceremony at Athens's parliament

Locations: Athens, Greece

Ceremony on Sunday at Athen's Parliament

In front of the Parliament building, there are guards dressed up in fancy costume, guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The guards are sort of like the those at Buckingham Palace–standing straight with no expression.

At the start of each hour, they have a changing of guards thing going on. The guards march with high kicks.

But on every Sunday at 11am, there’s an even more elaborate “show” with band music and many guards marching down the street.

Since I’ve not caught any of the changing of guards, I thought I should head down today to catch the most awesome of the show.

When I reached the area, I saw that many people were already lined up at the square in front of the Parliament. I went closer and looked between other people’s shoulders to find that the guards were already doing their lining up.

I had to look between others’ shoulders for a part view of the procession.

Then something caught my eyes. It was the very good looking face of a young policeman.

Why are Greek policemen so handsome?

I've cropped this photo. I didn't actually push my camera into this gentleman's neck to get this photo.

I think I now sound very much like a creep. And based on the photo above, you’ve probably removed the bookmark you had for this blog.

But I have to ask: Why are the young Greek police people so good looking?

Since coming to Athens, I have been stunned by how good looking the younger police officers are. (The policewomen are also gorgeous but there are more policemen around to look at.)

How is it statistically possible for this place to have so many good looking police people? Do they have a “good looking meter” that recruits have to pass?Someone, tell me!

Anyway, after the marching, I didn’t linger around for more stalker shots so that’s the one and only photo of Clark Kent that you’ll see here.

Benaki Museum and lunch on the rooftop

The Benaki Museum was just around the corner. Since today was International Museum Day part 2, it was free entry to the 3-storey museum.

The collection in the museum was great. Finally I get to see art that wasn’t related to Christianity (those are great too but there is a limit of how much Marys one can handle in a week).

Since Museum Weekend was on, there were a lot of events for children as well. I wished I had those when I was a kid but then I might rather stay at home than hang out with a crowd of stranger kids.

The Benaki Museum has a nice rooftop restaurant that is shaded by umbrella. I decided to treat myself to some nice lunch since I’ve been keeping within my budget in Greece.

Lunch was moussaka–which I dub eggplant lasagna–and a pricey frappe. The creamy moussaka took a lot of effort for me to finish.

Damn you Google Maps

Next stop, I thought of going to the Byzantine Museum, to see the wonderful…Christian art. (Wait, who was it that said she cannot stomach more Marys?) I like the Byzantine Christian works because the characters are deliberately stiff.

So using my trusty Google Maps, I mapped out my route. Hmmm… A 40 minutes journey? OK, I do have a lot of time.

I waited for the longest while before bus 132 came. The bus went through a long route before I got off.

Following Google Maps’s direction, I arrived at a residential area, in front of a house that did not look like a museum.

I got out my phone and checked Foursquare. The app told me that the museum was just next to where I got on the bus, near the Benaki Museum.


Other things that happened today: Got back to city center; sat at a nice cafe, reading; went to see the public cemetery of Athens but the gates were not open; saw creepy lady in cream blouse and skirt while walking away from cemetery; got back to hotel; bought club sandwich for dinner; read Jezenbel.

Greece day 4: Let’s go shopping at the Ancient Agora [YQrtw Day 41 May 18]

temple of hephateus

[I just spend a good part of the past hour reading up comments on Game of Thrones! Let’s get some work done.]

Location: Athens, Greece

Today’s my fourth day in Athens but things are still exciting.

In the morning, I decided to see the Central Market and maybe try out some tripe soup recommended on TripAdvisor.

Athens Central Market

I never saw the tripe soup stall but I did enter the market’s meat, fish and vegetable zone.

There were so much seafood on display. My heart longed for the huge squids lying on their bed of ice. Sadly, I do not have a kitchen I can cook the squids.

Next on my To-Do list was the Temple of Zeus. However, I wandered to the wrong place and visited an ancient public bath.

Scene from a Greek public bath

The public bath was housed in a small house. The inside of the place was cool, a great escape from the heat outside.

There wasn’t any water around but they showed some marble washbasins and benches.

I was disappointed to see that the women’s section was much smaller than the men’s.

Shopping at the Agora

Just down the road from the bath is the Ancient Agora. My tickets to the Acropolis covered this sight as well so I dropped by.

Turns out I didn’t need my ticket. It was International Museum Day and it was free entry to the sight.

At the Ancient Agora, I followed Rick Steve’s brilliant walking tour.

Halfway during my tour, an older American couple followed my route with their audio tour on speaker. It was so annoying having their audio tour on so I waited until they left.

The Ancient Agora was where the ancient people met for town meetings, theaters and so on. Most of the buildings were turned to rubble so having the audio tour helped make more sense of the place.

Temple in Agora

I tried to look for the Temple of Aphrodite Urania but couldn’t find it.

It was past lunch time when I finished seeing the Ancient Agora. I head back to the Central Market area where I had spotted souvlaki shops.

For lunch, I had a delicious meal of kebab in pita with a cold Coca Cola for only 3.30 euro. The pita bread was still piping hot when it came to me but I wolfed it down rather quickly.

Greek kebab pita

The afternoon sun was too punishing so I head back to the hotel for a quick shower. Despite having coke for lunch, I finished a tin of carbonated lemon to cool down. I think it was worth the calories.

In search of a bus station

When it was past 5pm, I headed out again. This time, I needed to find the bus station where my Istanbul-bound bus will leave next week.

The directions given by the travel agency where I bought my bus ticket was fuzzy. Even with the help of the Internet, I couldn’t figure out exactly where it was.

I followed the advice of the travel agent and took bus A15. Luckily, Google Maps helped me narrow down the area and I spotted the bus station.

Since I had nothing planned, I continued my bus ride until its last stop. The bus stopped at a residential neighborhood on a very steep hill.

Posh steep neighborhood in Athens

I tried walking up but gave up before the last staircase. Even standing on the pavement made me feel imbalanced.

While I walked down back to the bus stop, I passed by a family of a grandfather, a father and two twin toddlers. They were playing baby football (the ball is kicked gently to the kids). The boys followed the father’s cheer “GOAL” when the ball reached their feet. It was so adorable.

The bus back to town was uneventful. We passed many shops that were closed. Maybe it’s a Saturday so everyone’s out.

The bus eventually ended near where I boarded. Luckily for me, that’s very near my hotel.

At Carrefour, I did a little shopping for feta cheese (Greek cheese is so yummy!), milk (equally yummy), body lotion (I hadn’t tasted it yet) and a big bottle of lemon soda.

The rest of the evening was spent on the internet. Good night!

Greece day 2: Athen’s National Archaeological Museum + Acropolis [YQrtw Day 39 May 16]

Corridor of Athena statues at National Archaeology Museum

Location: Athens, Greece

King Agamemnon's mask
King Agamemnon’s mask (not really his though)

Since I am staying 7 nights in Athens, I have 6-full days for sightseeing in the city. I had planned to slow down my pace and visit only one museum/ site a day.

Today’s plan was to see the National Archaeological Museum which is near by hotel and roam around the city in the afternoon.

When I went out a little before 8:30am, the sky was grey and cloudy and the temperature was cool. It felt like my kind of day.

Using directions by Google Maps, I took bus B12.

The signs for buses here in Athens is all Greek so I don’t think the government recommends tourists to take the bus.

Before the museum, there was a little cafe and the price of its bread was very reasonable. I had a pastry with cheese filling and a cappuccino.

While eating, a little tanned girl with messy hair came into the cafe to ask for money. It was rather awkward for me and I focused on my bread.

I didn’t want to encourage begging and thought that it was better than her going out and pickpocket. Actually,  begging is not any better than stealing.

National Archaeological Museum’s goodies

The museum was large but not overly gigantic like the Vatican Museum.

My Rick Steve’s audio guide for the museum worked perfectly, telling me highlights of the museum and the history behind them.

In fact, I had been enjoying Rick Steve’s audio tours for all the places I’ve been. I highly recommend you to download them if you are heading to Europe. He has mobile apps as well as podcasts and they area all free.

While the museum had lots of great Greecian works (like the gold mask above), my favorite section was the little corridor with statues of Athena.

Corridor filled with Athenas
Corridor filled with Athenas

At the end of the corridor was a small statues of Athena, her helmet decorated with winged beings, her Peter Pan collar decorated with snakes (!) and her shield also decorated with a snake. This was a miniature copy of the gigantic Athena statues that stood in the Parthenon in the ancient time (a replica in Nashville shows the size of Athena).

After the museum, I was thinking of where next to go. The sky was still grey and cloudy so I thought it would be perfect to go to the Acropolis and enjoy a not sweaty climb.

Off I went to the metro, buying a frappe to drink along the way. This time, the frappe had a less sour endnote. I’m getting to like this more and more.


It was about 12 noon when I reached. Based on my experience at the Vatican Museum, this was the best time to visit any famous sites as the tour groups have headed for lunch.

I got my tickets at the Theater of Dionysus so there wasn’t a queue. Even with the ticket, I had to exchange for an electronic ticket at the main entrance so it kind of annoyed me.

Rick Steve’s Acropolis audio tour kept me company the whole way. This is way cheaper than hiring a tour guide and less taxing!

Pathenon being refurbished
Pathenon being refurbished

The path to the Parthenon wasn’t a smooth walkway and I was thankful that my sandals didn’t sprain my feet.

Oh, I forgot to mention, the sun decided to come ot and play when I bought the ticket. The sky was cloudy but the ray of the sun pierced through and made it a little too warm.

Prettier side of the Parthenon
Prettier side of the Parthenon

It got so hot that I had to hide in the shade, thinking if I should wait for sunset and leave at 8pm (it was 2pm then). I didn’t leave that late but I did hang around in the shade, writing postcards.

Postage in Greece is cheaper than in Italy. I had to pay 2 euro to mail a postcard from the Vatican City but here in Greece, it was only 78 cents each.

Postcards from Athens
Postcards from Athens

Oh, I also started eating a chocolate pastry I bought. I was told by someone working at the Acropolis that only water is allowed. Oops.

After my long wait, I finally finished my audio tour and descended from the holy hill.

My phone’s battery was dangerously low then so I decided to head back to the hotel. Before that, I stopped at Carrefour (!!!) for some dairy product to prevent my stomach from having severe gastric.

Carrefour in Athens near Larissis Station
Carrefour in Athens near Larissis Station

I did plan to head out later but my lazy bones decided to stay in with my computer. Let’s hope tomorrow’s more productive!

Greece day 1: No Museum Day in Athens [YQrtw Day 38 May 15]

Location: Athens, Greece

Hello I’m back on my laptop! I was afraid that my netbook would die and leave me after it got wet from a leaky water bottle. I switched it on last night and it shut off when I tried moving it.

I gave it a night to dry and was glad this morning to find that it was OK!

Back to today’s event. After many days of museumseeing in Italy, I was getting quite tired of seeing lovely old things.

Plus, I really didn’t want to do any planning for the day so I rested by setting today as No Museum Day.

Anyway, I will be in Athens for 7 nights (much longer than any cities I’ve been) so I’m sure I’ll get to see lots of the city in the following week.

[My airconditioner is making noises like a lawnmover as I write. Last night, I had to switch it off and rely on the cool night air of end of Spring, or else I would get no sleep.]

Back to the day’s event. So what does No Museum Day mean? It means I get to leave my room late at past 10am–not possible when you need to be in line for a gallery before it’s opening–and I do not need to plan anything.

Of course I still need to tick a few things off my To-Do List, the most important being #1 Get a local SIM; and somewhere down the list is Get a cheap hat that fits my head.

After getting a weekly transport pass in the shape of a small ticket, I started my SIM hunting at Syntagma Square. The square didn’t seem very busy compared to the cities I have been to on this trip. Maybe there weren’t too many tourists around crowding the place.

I walked down the sloppy pedestrian street near Syntagma Square. When I looked at the cafes, it didn’t seem like Greece was in a downturn. I saw a lot of locals sitting at cafes, chatting over coffees. Today is a Wednesday, why are you all outside?

While walking, I passed a bakery, overflowing with bread and pastries. I grabbed a braided bread–which might have been a tsoureki–that was only 70 cents. The bread was big and had lumps of sugar on it, giving me the energy to continue my search for my SIM card.

While walking, I saw some parts of the Acropolis from afar. There was a gated area which had an unguarded door, leading me to think that it is possible to sneak in without paying charges.

Acropolis from afar
Acropolis from afar

Sipping Greek coffees

As I walked down the street, I checked out the menu of one of the cafe. The waiter came out to greet me, and left me with a stunning employee who was the “coffee master”.

The coffee master looked a little like Jason Stackhouse from True Blood. Of course, how can I say no to getting the recommended cappucino freddo which was overpriced by 2 euro? Damn these sneaky businesspeople and people with fairy blood.

The coffee tasted different from the smooth drinks I had in Italy. Its taste reminded me of Turkish coffee but, thankfully, without the coffee grounds.

I took my time with the coffee and read a few chapters on my Kindle. Not running around after museums is really fun.

After the coffee break, I ended up at a tram station. I took the tram to nowhere, deciding to stop when I see a Wind shop to get my SIM.

The tram snaked its way into the residential area. It wasn’t long when I spotted a large Wind shop.

Getting a local SIM in Greece was much easier than Italy. I didn’t have to wait a whole day for activation and there was a promo where I only pay 5 euro for 500MB. That works out awesome for me.

I never figured out which part of Athens I was at but it was a wealthy-looking neighborhood. More people hung out at cafes and the shops were selling shoes that cost more than 50 euro.

It was in this unknown neighborhood that I replenished my sunblock and had a taste of my first Greek frappé (for only 1 euro).

I saw the lady put two spoonfuls each of sugar and coffee powder. She poured in water, beat the cup’s content with a machine and added milk.

The mixture was fun at the beginning. I tasted some of the unmelted sugar and was jolted by the thick caffeine.

Later when the drink was almost gone, the foam and the leftover remained, the coffee turned sour and bitter. I had to toss the thing away.

After more walking aimlessly, I head back to my hotel, stoppined at Carrefour for a roasted chicken to feast in my room.

From 4pm onwards, I retired and did a bit of reading and writing.

Tomorrow, museum seeing will continue. Until then!

Greece day 1: Delayed plane to Athens [YQrtw Day 37 May 14]

Table on the Leonardo Express

[I am writing this on my iPhone. This morning my water bottle spilled in my bag and the computer was affected too. I’m leaving it to dry until tomorrow morning, may the gods of Greece bless the machine.]

Location: Rome, Italy
Location: Athens, Greece

This morning, the AirBnb hostess offered to drop me off at the metro since she was driving her mother to work as well.

That meant I had 15 minutes less to pack my things which were (typical of me) strewn everywhere.

Fortunately, I did manage to pack everything, even taking into account what I should leave in my checkin bag (US$20).

(Later the hostess e-mailed to say that I forgot a dress in my cabinet. That’s not too big a deal.)

I had breakfast at the train station at one of the coffee station. As usual, it was a standing café bar and everything was consumed quickly.

While I walked to the express train platform, I realozed that the bottom of my hand carry felt wet. To my horror, the cap of my bottle was open.

Taking most of the things out, I realized that the effect wasn’t too bad. The cardigan which I stuffed in to mop up the water was damp but not dripping wet.

As for my netbook, it’s battery side had some water but everything else looked OK. To be safe, I decided to wait a long while before switching it on.

On the train, I spent some time trying to figure out how to open the table so I could charge my iPhone.

I pushed, pulled, banged and knocked. On the end, I realized that I needed to push the panel up, not inwards.


The express train to the airport was fast. In 30 minutes time, we reached the airport.

At the easyJet terminal, I was told that my flight had been rescheduled from 12:40 to 15:00. Oh well, we have to embrace things out of our control.

The queue for easyJet’s checkin was horrible. It took me an hour or so to get my baggage in.

I witnessed two old ladies (one with a Canadian passport, the other Italian) jumped queue like a boss. Just unabashedly push pass others (especially if they are German or Asian).

The wait for the plane was slow. I ate expensive airport food, drank a cappucino, tried to turn on my computer to pass time.

Finally, it was time to board. The shuttle that was taking us to the plane didn’t leave even though it was fill until the other bus came to pick the rest of us up.

EasyJet had a nice plane. Their inflight magazine was hip with articles about music festivals.

Even their inflight meals were co. They serve Starbucks instant coffee and sparkling wine–all at higher price than on land.

I snoozed on the plane with my mouth open. All these days of sightseeing was taking a toll on me, I’ll take things slower in Athens.

We landed in Athens airport a little after an hour and a half.

The signs to the Metro station were clear but when I got there, I found a sign about train stations with so much greek alphabets that my jaw dropped.

I did figure out my train and got to my hotel safely.

At the hotel, a bubbly receptionist greeted me. It was Helen who wad from the Philippines.

When I asked where to go for dinner, she asked me to join her pizza dinner with another hotel guest.

The other guest, Scott, was from Australia and had a big beard with long hair. He was into heavy metal and just came from a heavy metal cruise where people drank a lot of beer.

He also planned to travel for four months, focusing on Europe. I didn’t share my four-month career break because it felt odd blurting it to a stranger.

Now I am in my room. My airconditioner makes noises that sound like the motor of a noisy fishing boat. I’ll take it as a lullaby.