Day 1: May 25, Friday
Lucas and I arrived last night in the middle of the night to the sketchiest part of Athens to find our Bed and Breakfast—three minutes walk from Omonoia Square. The Square itself is super sketchy, so much so that the Greecian government is making a conscious effort to clean it up with more security and police presence, street cleaning.
Today we walked around the city and found the old town, which is what I have been dying to see my entire life, and found the Acropolis and the Athens Flea Market, as well as some gyros for 2euro20.
We managed to get a ticket to the Acropolis for free, because the Greek lady assumed we study in France (we think), instead of the anti-EU country of Switzerland.
It is incredibly hot here, making the old town seem like we travelled back in time to the days when Zeus ruled the land and democracy was the most successful form of government.
We saw the Parthenon, the Theatre of Dionysus, and a few other things.
Then, after some (of my) complaining, we sat down to a Greek meal of meat kebabs, tzatziki, tomatoes, onions and much needed water.
After that we made the 10minute trek back to our B&B, and tried to open the door to the apartment with the wrong key. A little boy with a small accordion slung over his back and black fingernails, and barefeet approached us with the biggest smile on his face offering to help. Of course, I let him take the keys because my heart believed this little boy would do good, and maybe he lives in this place. But after a moment of him trying to open the door, my mind screamed at me “this is a gypsy boy, what are you doing?!” and my hands instinctively snatched the keys out of his hand, my fingers slightly touching his soft 7-year old skin on his dirty hand while my purple-glittered polished nails clutched the key and his uncut, dirty nails slid from them. “I can do it, its fine.” I muttered. When I succeeded at opening the door, the boy gave us a winning smile and ran off without another word. We let the door close behind us before Lucas said “that was weird…” We both checked our pockets and bags and realized we had everything—nothing was gone. He did not even ask for money, or even imply he needed it. Was he just being nice, or did I catch him in his act before it was too late? I felt almost guilty, like I should run after him and give him money to take a shower, but the rational part of me was thinking “no, that is just want the gypsies want!” How could I know which is right? I could tell Lucas was on the same mind track, as we both stood there in silence for thrity seconds before we telepathically decided to make a move for the flat upstairs.
It is obvious that Greece’s economy is terrible, leading to a rise in poverty, homeless dogs, and money-less children. Is this kid part of a greater gypsy band whose intention is to live by stealing money from tourists and begging for sympathy in front of every major monument? Or is this child part of a Grecian family who can no longer afford to feed their dog and can hardly afford to feed themselves, and he has decided to take the responsibility of extra income?