I can’t believe the trip is done already. I’m sitting back in the living room of the Istanbul apartment I began this adventure in. Erdi has been a great host, really beyond the call of duty. He let me use his home as my launch pad on this whole saga; from busing around Turkey, to jetting off to France and Morocco, and hopping over to Athens for the weekend. Without the ‘home base’ his apartment afforded, I just don’t know how I (or my back) could have done this trip sanely. Each time I returned I would unpack and repack from a tucked away corner of the guest room where he let me leave the extra things I seemed to continuously acquire. Doing that final packing job and fitting it all back in two bags was quite a feat, let me tell you. But pack away I did, and I now sit comfortably; letting the clock tick slowly towards midnight, when I’ll run to the metro to catch the last train of the night. I booked another one of those inconveniently early flights and the best way for car-less me to get to the airport is to take the 2TL metro a few hours early. Another airport camp-out awaits, but lets be honest. I’m so excited to get home and jump in to the Christmas festivities that I wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight, even if I WAS in a bed.
So, how was my weekend in Athens? Great. Greek. Phyllo-doughy. I took two leisurely and warm days to stroll around all the ruins and contemplate ancient civilizations. Did you know that even then, they had timed speeches? They would fill a pot with water, and remove a stoppered plug from the bottom. The speaker had to finish his speech before the water finished running from the first pot into a second. Very fair.
I filled my stomach with spanakopita, gyros, baklava, and even some grilled veggies. I had a great conversation about governments with my Chinese roommate.
I was also really happy about street show find. There was a surrealism artist there very Dali inspired, selling originals and prints. I picked up about a half-dozen prints (at 3 Euro each I felt inclined to splurge) that I can not WAIT to display at home.
Rather un-touristic of me, I spent the last evening in Athens snuggled up with old Christmas movies on YouTube. But I enjoyed it, and now I am completely ready for the madness when I get home. I think my favorite video of the evening was the Muppet Family Christmas, when Fozzy brings home all the Muppets for the Holidays. In the end his mother says “They’re weirdos, Fozzy, but they’re nice weirdos.”
Its good to be a weirdo. Its better to be a nice weirdo. Its best to have nice weirdo friends.
To all my weirdos, I love you! Merry Christmas!
PS: Look back for a final verdict on the trip budget. I think I came in well under the $3700 cap I set for myself. Wahoo! And I did all my Christmas shopping without setting one foot in the mall…too bad I had to go half way around the world to do it though!