It’s time to head back to Athens International Airport (Eleftherios Venizelos) (a.k.a., AIRPORT #9) to catch a flight to Heraklion International Airport (Nikos Kazantzakis) (a.k.a., AIRPORT #10) for my upcoming three weeks in Crete.
After saying goodbye to my apartment (and Starbucks), I hopped into a taxi for the most fun cab ride of my life (at least, so far). The driver, George, and I talked the entire way to the airport. We covered a slew of topics about life in Greece and in America. Here are some of the priceless gems, from George, that will continue to make me smile long after he delivers me to the airport. (Be sure to use your best Greek accent when reading these.)
“What? Atlanta is 4 hours to the sea?
What do you do on the weekends?”
George, I could not agree more — why would anyone live so far from the ocean? I ask myself this regularly. (George went on to assume that everyone in the middle of the country must have swimming pools. Of course.)
“Before the Euro, we were kings!”
I happened to have visited Greece during the transition from the Drachma to the Euro (when you could still pay with both). Knowing absolutely nothing about international finance, I thought to myself “That seems like a bad idea.” I have no clue why I thought that, but apparently, my intuition was correct. It has not been so great for the Greeks. (More detail from George: “Everything costs the same as it does in Germany, but our salaries are only one tenth of what Germans get paid.”) Interesting.
“Greece prays Obama will do something good
to help the world.”
I’m not sure if this is likely or not (though, I do believe in the power of prayer), but I’m really glad to hear that the Greeks like our president. (I will find out next week that Greeks stayed up all night, watching the U.S. election results in 2008 & 2012 more attentively than (I would venture to say) most Americans did.) Also, interesting.
You might be wondering “Why didn’t you take the bus back to the airport, Kristen?” The answer is simple — there’s a transportation strike. The subway shutdown, then the buses shutdown. I was thrilled to have the option of a taxi.