Saturday, March 26, 2011

On classical music

The folks at Itunes sent me an email with various offers for classical music. I have always found classical music too intellectual for me, but my hard core anti-classical feelings have been softened by regular listening to the freakzone on radio 6. (And watching inspector Morse of course on the TV). Perhaps I don't hate classical music, but just classical musicians.

Anyway I took advantage of the Itunes offers and download some classical sympathizers of some kind. At the same time I decided to listen to "the sonics". The sonics were a garage band in the 60s, who many people feel were really one of the first punck bands. Fuck you Mozart!

Classical Athens day 1

For my first introductoion to classical Greece I went in the remains of Hadrians library. There was not much left, but the pillars are so impressive.

I am never a great fan of Cathedrals or big churches, because they seem to me to be monuments of worker exploitation by those pesky Christians. The classical buildings did imprress me, although they were built with slave labour no doubt. The Athenian Acropolis dominates the view from Athens.

On the first day, I only managed to view Hadrian's library, partly because everything shut early and I was reading too much.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

On being robbed

In Wuppertal I always carry a small rucksack on my back, just in case I need some stuff, or need a place to put shopping. On holiday, I also carry a small rucksack, for my books and stuff. Sometimes in Germany I would forget to close my rucksack and then people in the street would stop and tell me my bag was open.

Did I mention I once owned an Android tablet. Well no more!

I was drinking a coffee in a small cafe close to my hotel. There are a lot of ownerless dogs in Athens. They mostly see to lie down and sleep. There was a dog sleeping near me. This guy asked me if the dog was mine. He then started talking to me. He told me he was Italian, and he had lived in America and had visited the UK, when he finally understood I was English. He told me he was just visiting Athens for the first time. He wanted to meet up at 18:00. The trouble is he sounded like a street hassler getting me ready for a con. Somehow he just talked too much.

o I was wandering around Athens trying to avoid the coffee bar the guy was going to wait for me in. I started to get lost. It was past 18:00 and I needed a piss, so I stopped in a bar. I was the only customer in the bar. The landlord was takking on the phone with someone in Greek, but I think he was trying to set skype up. I noticed that my ruxksack was open. "Idiot", I thought and closed the bag, after I had checked that nothing had fallen out.

After the bar, I got more lost in Athens. I found a metro station, but it was closed up. I think the metro was closed that day. It was not a great area to walk around, because there were a lot of "sex shops", although it wasn't a red light district. I was on a main road and was trying to figure out whether to go right or left on the road to get back to my hotel. There was a small corridor on one of the pavements, because of some building work. I felt someone behind me a bit and I speeded up. I am not a fast walker, so people busy trying to get home needed to get pass me. As I was trying to figure out how to get home, I noticed that my bag was open again. I checked the contents -- my android tablet was missing. Bastards!

I am not completely sure how they could sell a cheap Android tablet made in China. Also they missed the charger. What would Socrates have done I asked myself? So I went for a beer in a quiet bar amd then got a taxi back to the hotel.

When I got back to my hotel. The guy at the desk told me that someone had phoned for me, but he didn't have any details, because he wasn't on duty. This was a bit weird, because no one knew I was here. Paranoia costs nothing.

first day in Athens

So after getting a map from the hotel, I first walked the wrong way from the interesting parts of Athens towards Omonia square. I found a cafe in a tent, where I had a coffee and a big doughnut. A day later, I was warned off this square, by a polite Greek scammer, but it was OK foe coffee. I walked towards the more historical areas of the city, after I got the map the correct way round.

My hotel was near Monastiraki square. I walked around the general area. Unfortunately, I was in a reading mood. Rather than buy a guide book, I got a copy of a crime thriller set in Athens. The book was "Assassins of Athens" (Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis Mystery) by Jeffrey Siger. I had purchased that book via Kindle, and was reading it on my Android tablet (but more of that later). The book was a crime novel set in the high society of Athens. A son is killed and the police's investigation reaches the top of Greece's society.

Arrival in Athens

I have been feeling more than usually burnt out recently. So I thought a holiday was in order. I have been wanting to visit Greece for a while, so after checking online I decided on Athens, because it was cheap.

On Wednesday I flew from Dusseldorf to Athens via Paris.

Bitter experience has taught me not to trust taxi drivers. The information from the hotel suggested I took the metro, so that was what I did. Normally after I get off a flight, I normally wonder around the airport lost for a couple of hours. But this time, I found the trains quickly and got my ticket. The metro was very clean and modern.

In the carriage I acidently dropped a 5 Euro on he ground. An old couple, who couldn't speak English, told me it was there. Shit I thought, it was like I was testing Greece, now that I am living in Germany.

The hotel was meant to be near the metro station. The city seemed to be full of energy, with people walking around, even though it was close to midnight. I passed a little kiosk, it was still open, and I could buy beer. This is not Germany where everything closes around 8:00 pm. I found the hotel quickly. My room is a bit sparten, but what did I expect for the price. (There is very good wireless though)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


It is holiday time again. I am just about to get a flight to go to Athens. I am really burnt on. So some R and R will do me good. I am staying in a hotel that is hopefully close to the main sites.