It's a call between the beach and buddies. They've decided to take the 11:30 morning boat back to Athens in the hopes of a more favorable bus schedule to Nafplion. I was in favor of spending a few more hours on the beach before heading out at 4:30, crashing at the bus station and taking the first morning bus to Nafplion if necessary. So, I had a choice: was it worth the hassle of hastily made plans to meet up for a few bonus but possibly solo hours on the beach? Then again, do I really want to leave tropical beauty for boring old ruins in Nafplion, Epidavris, or Mycenae? How important is it that I go to Germany next week / school next year / get a real job at all for that matter? I take the ferry with my friends, suppressing sadness and trying to come up with excuses to return next summer to Greek island paradise.
It had never felt bad to come into a city until today. Our frustration upon trying to get a bus in a city featuring little documentation in our travel guide and heavy traffic throughout definitely enhanced the mood, but Athens would have been a downer under the best of circumstances. I've gotta wonder who's the wealthier between an investment banker in a luxurious penthouse atop the thrilling/frustrating chaos of New York City and the Aussies I met who were working on Ios making just enough to get by (20 euro / $22 day / less than our investment banker spends on lunch) promoting bars in paradise.
The day's filled with travel hassle that makes me wish I'd stayed on the islands.
Most memorable was getting yelled at by the bus driver for removing the headrest cover from my seat. Orange, fuzzy, and featuring the Mercedes-Benz logo, I figured it would clash nicely with the EasyJet and Buzz Airways cloths I'd already snagged. The ticket-taker guy had asked me where the cover was so, after stumbling around a little, I explained that it must have fallen to the floor and reached into my bad to get it. Apparently, I'm not a good actor: the driver confronted me upon our arrival in Nafplion. A discussion ensued along these lines:
"Why did you remove the seat cover?"
"What are you talking about?"
"The cover to the seat. Why did you take it?"
"I didn't take it: it must have fullen off. I gave it to the ticket guy."
"Where are you from?"
"Where am i from? America."
"America? America is shit country!"
Equal party suppressing a laugh, confused, and insulted, i leave the bus driver to his feelings of nationalistic superiority with what I hope was a condescending "tuh." Maybe I should be more insulted, but it somehow doesn't seem worth it to explain to a bus driver just how bad at life he is over a worthless headrest cover and grammatically incorrect insult.
After a good, pain-in-the-ass hour of wandering around with overpacked bags, we finally land a hostel for 10 euro ($11) a night, and the sweet call of actually getting to sleep in a bed prevents me from writing any more today.