It is really freaking easy to get lost in Athens. And that's if you have a decent sense of direction, which I don't. The Greeks aren't real big on signage, as evidenced by the professional placard we encountered while fumbling toward the Acropolis on our first day.
And that, as we were soon to find out, was one of the *clearer* signs in Athens.
People who know me well understand that I have a few character traits that just ain't gonna change. 1) I have the most backward internal compass in the world. I do believe the term directionally retarded has been used in more than one instance, probably not unfairly. 2) Despite evidence to the contrary, I am always absolutely certain that I know exactly where I'm going. 3) And I'm obnoxious about insisting thus. And, last but not least, 4) When I get hungry, I get mean. Not just cranky, not just mutter-under-my-breath snarky. We are talking full on foaming-at-the-mouth-like-a-rabid-dog MEAN.
Which is how, on our first day in Athens, we found ourselves wandering around maze-like streets at 2pm, with maybe 3 hours sleep (out of the last 24) under our belts, starvin' Marvin, with no relief in sight...huh?
Back up a minute, Belvedere. There's at least 4 restaurants on every block in Athens. And half of those restaurants have handsome Greek dudes outside of them, trying to convince you that their souvlaki is the only thing in town worth eating. So what's with the "no relief in sight" bullshit?
Honest, the "no relief in sight" is not bullshit. And this is why. There is no relief because rabid-dog-mean Dana is dragging her resigned and exhausted husband through the Plaka, insistent upon finding the one restaurant she needs to eat at, the one recommended to her by a random hotel employee, the one that her husband insists that we've passed by twice--which of course is crap because she knows exactly where it is--
Yeah, I don't know why the guy married me either.
One hour later, we still haven't found it. And I haven't gotten any nicer. And I think the Karma Gods decided that I needed a little kick in the pants, so we rounded a corner and saw:
Okay, probably only about 3 of you are laughing right now, but it's worth it. Allow me to explain.
I'm a former English teacher, which means I've taken more literature classes than is healthy for any human being and is probably the reason that I'm stark raving mad and have a tenuous grip on reality.
For some reason, damn near every professor my in undergraduate and graduate studies had a love affair with the Irish author James Joyce. "Brilliant," they said. "Complete genius," they said. "The greatest writer of all time, hands down," they said.
I said, "WTF? This guy is totally writing drunk."
But I, diligent student, continued to read Joyce and they, my very learned professors, continued to insist that Joyce was Genius...which resulted in my acute distaste for Joyce.
Seriously, put me on a desert island with nothing but a copy of The Dubliners and I will be roasting my own toes on a spit within 2 days. He makes me that mental and sure, I expect to grapple with Joyce in a classroom or in a coffeehouse or in a pub in Ireland. But that wanker followed me to Greece!
ps: The black and tan and chips were delicious.