So Far Away

For the vast majority of this trip I have been a happy camper, despite (or because of?) the fact that I am alone. Every time I moved on to a new destination I'd think, "hell yeah, I can do this; not only can I do this alone, but I like it."

Until this morning when I made the trip from Athens to Rhodes.

Let me preface this by explaining that yesterday I spent fourteen hours getting from Parma, Italy to Athens. I left Parma in the morning, took a train to Milan, took a bus to the Milan airport (an hour's drive), waited in crazy massess of people forever, took a plane to Athens, and got a cab to my hotel. I arrived at 11pm; I had to be up at 3am the next morning to catch my flight to Rhodes. So I was running on about three hours of sleep, which really never ends well.

I arrived in Rhodes and figured I'd just get a cab to my hotel, which is in Old Town Rhodes. The cabbie seemed to understand where I was going and gave me no inclination that it wouldn't be a cinch. When he got to the massive gates of Old Town (Rhodes is a mideival Turkish fortress and village), he stopped the cab and gestured just head, leading me to believe my hotel would be a hop, skip and a jump away. I heaved my ginormous backpack on and headed in the direction he'd motioned.

It was 6:30am and the streets were totally deserted, which would prove to be troublesome when I spent the next two hours completely and utterly lost. Apparently my hotel was not just around the bend, not at all. And the Turks really did not give a damn about laying their fortresses out in a logical way, because the streets are insane. They're about four feet wide in many places, full of potholes, and the entire village is built out of the same kind of rock so there is no way to distinguish one street from the next. It's a maze. And the street names are usually just in Greek. Which, in case you need to be reminded, is not even an alphabet I can remotely begin to understand.

It was already getting hot, and I was hungry and tired to boot. There was no one around to help me, and I got to the point where I seriously considered just sitting down in the middle of one of the winding roads to have a good cry. But I perservered and at long last, by a stroke of pure luck, I found the hotel.

I rang the bell, and nothing happened. I rang again. I was barely holding on to my last shred of dignity, and began pressing the bell like a madwoman, over and over again, holding it down for thirty seconds at a time. Still nothing. It was about that time that I looked down and realized I was standing in a puddle of vomit from the night before.

That was the last straw. By the time the hotel manager finally came the door I had lost every ounce of my ability to be even halfway decent to him. He told me my room wasn't ready yet and that I could wait on the terrace, and without a reply, I rushed past him and onto the terrace. I figured it was better not to reply at all; I think if I'd tried to talk it would've turned into ugly sobbing or crazy yelling.

Slowly I began to regain my composure and realized the terrace was actually really beautiful. And before long my room was ready. I slept for three hours, and spend the rest of the day today giving Rhodes another chance, which it totally deserved.

So I guess the moral of that story is that traveling alone is not a walk in the park. At least if I had been with someone else we could have laughed about it. But being alone, with that many factors working against me, was 100% miserable. The good news is, I think I've fully recovered and am working on an itinerary for the Greek Islands, which should be a boatful of fun.

No dogs here yet, but there is this cat, resident of the Hotel Via Via, who acts like a dog.

1 comment:

lauren said...

So far I am really impressed with how you have managed to travel around in foreign countries so well despite a few glitches here and there. I guess there's always a little bad with the good and visa verse.