Return to Athens
Before saying goodbye, Kathy and Chris took me to the port of Merihas for lunch at Ostria. Its location grants a nice view of the moored boats, and the service was fairly attentive. We enjoyed some house white wine with our meal.
We ordered the tzaziki (€3.50), boiled almira greens (€4), sfougato (€5: fried local cheese), fried zucchini (€3), fried calamari (€30/kg), and pastitsio. Our complimentary dessert was a layered biscuit cake with chocolate cream and sprinkles. Everything tasted fresh and was seasoned nicely. We accidentally ended up with two orders of fried zucchini, but we didn’t complain.
They dropped me off not far away at the waiting area and hugged farewell. While I did find a seat, some weirdo non-English-speaking Greek dude sitting next to me kept trying to take my phone away. He seemed fascinated by how I was typing with Swift Keyboard, and perhaps touching my phone was supposed to reveal its mysteries to him. I got up and left to wait for the ferry outside. It was annoyingly hot, and the boat didn’t arrive until almost an hour after it was supposed to. There weren’t many open seats either: the passengers who were already on the ferry were taking up as much space as possible by lying down, having all of their luggage sitting on the seats, or sitting as far apart from their companions as allowable without seeming like they were in separate parties. I grabbed a free corner and listened to podcasts until I fell asleep.
When we arrived at Piraeus, it was chaos trying to get off the boat. As expected, many people crowded around the exit, but the staff were trying to get passengers with vehicles to get off first so that they could drive their cars off the boat. They really should have a much better system of separating drivers from pedestrians with staff to verify their status by checking their tickets.
After returning to my Couchsurfing host Thanos’s apartment, I met fellow Couchsurfers Jimmy and Sylvia. They’re on their 30-day holiday between their two years of serving in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, where they are teaching English to 9th and 11th graders. They grew up in Wisconsin and lived in Colorado Springs most recently before their move to Ethiopia. They might move to Denver after their assignment ends.