Thursday, September 29, 2011

ONLY ME: Part 2

The Germans have left, all 36 of them ( so I was off by one). I was literally crowded out of my seat for internet last night!!! So picking up where I left off, the room, refer to pictures below

kind of like the hotel card keys except a " very high tech" Greek version

the teeny weeny safe

I basically threw my stuff in the room and headed downstairs to find out how to get into town and was told there was a bus, but the schedule wasn't regular. It was however in my budget at 1.60 E. The receptionist told me there was a kiosk 100 meters to the left on the road where I could get a ticket.

I walked over to the kiosk which was like a rustic 7-11 in a hut. The guy who worked there was about my age  but super weather worn but kind of cute in a Greek earthy kind of way. I now know his name is Elias because today when i was attempting to wait for the bus which did not come, he has asked me out for Saturday night to hear Greek music, I told him I'd think about it, didn't want to be rude. I also know now that the little white dog he has is named Ilam. She is 5 which I was informed is 29 in dog years and has had 4 litters of 4 puppies each, 16 in total which makes her like the Duggar of dogs and it's no wonder that pup looks exhausted!

I bought a bus ticket and a chapstick which basically came to the 5 E I had left. After I paid he said," From where did you come?" Kind of a difficult question to answer these days so I just pointed to the direction of the hotel and said there. He asked could I do something for him and for me to wait and then he bent down behind the counter and arose holding an old plastic coca cola glass. The kind that was bulbess at the top and tapered down bottom with the raised coca cola writing in script . He handed it to me. Now normally this would be odd, but this is me so perfectly usual I guess. I took the glass and he said," Over there, across the street see that guy?  His name is Nick, Bring this to him and tell him thank you". I looked around for the hidden camera because even for me now weird so I was sure there was one, but there was not. So I said ok, and I walked across the street handed the glass to Nick, pointed at the kiosk and said, " That guy says thanks".

I spent the next 4 hours writing yesterdays blog, catching up on Facebook, uploading pictures during which time I had a delic Greek dinner from the restaurant at my hotel.

So after a horrible night sleep in an uncomfortable bed, but more so because those loud Germans were up and yelling at 5 am, the icky bathroom and 3km distance from town (which I walked today) I have decided to book 5 more nights here, the remainder until I leave. Why? Because today when I went downstairs I was greeted by a great breakfast, the staff is amazingly hospitable and right across the road is this, where TWO cute waiters bring me my iced tea. I can live with that :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I have been a blogger slacker, I know, but life has been busy, internet precarious and traveling an abnormal amount. That said, nothing like a day like today to get back in the saddle. Oh, and it's gonna be a long winded one.

For the past 3 weeks I have been sailing aboard the Oceania Marina for work. It's really a great gig, I get to see awesome places, meet great people while selling my jewelry. Today I disembarked 3 days early from the end of the cruise in Agios Nikolas, Crete a small and somewhat sleepy port town. I will stay here for a week awaiting the sister ship Nautica for the last of three scheduled trunk shows. I pick that ship up 4 days in. Why Crete? Well it was the only overlapping EU port where I could switch ships and because I am traveling with a ridiculous amount of jewelry an EU port makes customs a whole lot easier.

I woke up early to meet with the boutiques manager for last minute paperwork, do my laundry and finish packing. I'm always a bit sad to go after spending weeks on a ship, I start to feel like Eloise. After saying my goodbyes and retrieving my passport I disembarked with THREE huge pieces of luggage, one of which holds about 800 pieces of jewelry. I had stopped at the concierge to have a taxi waiting for me. Finally off the ship and there sits a silver sedan, the taxi and as I approach I say Faedra Hotel.  He replies, " No, airport! And I say, " No, no airport, Faedra hotel" at which point he starts shouting something in Greek and the port agent, a stocky old Greek guy with a walkie talkie comes over. He asks if I'm Mrs. Vandekamp ( and I'm thinking Bree from Desperate Housewives?) and I say no and he says that the taxi is not for me. Soooooo I ask if I can get a taxi and he replies, "No, No taxis, there is a strike today".

My face just fell! Are you freakin kidding me????? I live in the land of strikes! and although I knew there had been taxi strikes in Athens I did not expect it in Crete! There was no strike in Crete yesterday and maybe won't be tomorrow but TODAY, the day I stand there with THREE ginormous luggages and no way to get to the hotel there is a taxi strike. Maybe I could walk if I had only 2, but with three, UGH! After a half hour of arguing I ask the guy, " Listen, don't you have a friend with a car who can give me a ride? I'll give them 20 Euro for a ride to the hotel". Well money talks and it especially talks in an economy on the verge of collapse! He makes a call and tells me to wait that someone is coming right away. Well it seems the Greek schedule is a close cousin to the Italian schedule where right away = 1 hr. and 20 minutes.

                                       Mean Airport taxi guy
About an hour and a half later I see a 5'2", 80 year old Greek guy with like 4 teeth and literally covered in grease in 6 day old clothing approach saying car, car, car. OMG is that my taxi??? Why yes it is! With his dirty fingers he grabs the handle to bag # 1 and I motion that i've got the other 2 and I follow him to a beat up miscellanous gold colored ( I think, was hard to tell through the dirt) 1970's type of hatchback with a mini ships steering wheel propped up in the hatch. No kidding, the guy did call a friend, some mechanic I'm guessing. He was very sweet, hurled my bags in and opened the passenger door where there was a dirty, greasy striped towel that covered the seat. all I could think of is why were there TWO eggs, one brown and one white next to the stick shift? Were they hard boiled? Was it his lunch? Were they lucky tokens and why were they just sitting there next to 2 lighters?? And as I sat on the greasy towel, in the greasy car, next to the greasy nice old man I thought, ONLY ME!

Through the town and up the hills the man drives along all the while mumbling in Greek under his breath with an occassional 4 toothed smile at me. As we drive and drive and head out of the town I'm thinking where the fuck is he going????? Expedia said IN TOWN! But no, it's definitely not in town and after 3 phone calls, 1 to the police station to get the number for tourist board, 1 to the tourist board to get number for hotel and 1 to the hotel (after each he smiles) we arrive at the Faedra hotel, most definitely NOT in town, in fact 3 km outside of town, which makes me think how happy I am I didn't attempt to walk!

There I am on the side of the road with my luggage in a tiny beach town in bumfuck Crete. I drag my stuff to reception where I am greeted by the very nice but 5 toothed receptionist, there either must be no flouride in the water OR she is related to the taxi driver/ slash friend of the port agent. While checking in I ask about the internet in the room (like it said on Expedia) but there isn't any only in the lobby and pool area. I ask about an ATM, there isn't any only in town. So now I am stuck a 20 minute drive from town with 20 Israeli sheckles, 10 Britsih pounds, 4 Us dollars ,30 Krona and 5 Euro and no ATM and a taxi strike. To make matters worse I am in desperate need of lip balm as I am getting a horrific cold sore.

She shows me to my room, 2 flights up, just can't catch a break when it comes to stairs and luggage. There it is the small old dingy room with the most uncomfortable looking beds ever! I immediately begin longing for my stateroom on Marina, with a heavenly bed, huge plasma tv with english stations and a veranda and chocolates on my pillow. I drift back to my new reality only to find the in room safe which needs to hold a good amount of my jewelry is only big anough for a toothbrush ( which btw I do not want to put in that bathroom.

To be continued in next post due to a 35 member German family who has just surrounded my little poolside table,  no joke.