We are still alive, and one of us is still in Greece. Phil left yesterday for another work trip. This is his third since we've moved here. His job requires about 50% travel. He really enjoys it. He likes seeing new places, and working with new people. I have the option to travel with him, but I've not been feeling up to it. It's a massive bummer, but I'm dealing with it by marathon watching one of those fake, scary ghost hunter reality shows online. It's 2pm in my bedroom, full sun outside, and I keep looking over my shoulder. It's great.
Yesterday, I met my Californian cousins at their hotel, across the street from the Arch of Hadrian. It was wonderful to see them. When we were kids, we all used to play together at my grandma's house. It was one of these cousins that first developed my interest in fake, scary ghost hunter reality shows with the impromptu haunted houses he'd set up in grandma's basement, and his vivid retelling of the story of the "Phantom Horse," in grandma's orchard. What a liar.
My liar cousin took us to lunch, which was really nice of him, but doesn't quite forgive the horror horse story. We ate lunch in an extremely touristy district. I'm glad we did, because I learned not to do that ever again. The food was okay, but much more expensive than every other place we've been, and the server threw a rude fit over his tip. I'm actually still really mad about that. Service workers in Greece aren't working for tips; they make a living wage. A few times, I've given larger tips, and been able to witness the really confused, sort of weirded-out reaction of the recipient. So the fact that this dude was angrily and openly trying to guilt my cousin into leaving a large tip really made me mad. It was pretty clear that he's used to exploiting tourists.
In an effort to pay that guy back, I don't want any of you to ever eat at one of those touristy places again. Hop on a bus (or get in a cab, they're not expensive), and ride 15 minutes into the suburbs just north of Athens. Psychiko and Chalandri both have fantastic restaurants, most with English menus, better prices, and without predatory service. Heck, once I get a car, I'll drive you away from those awful restaurants myself. We can indulge in a nicer restaurant setting, or sit on my couch and order Greek food from Click Delivery while we watch fake, scary ghost hunter reality shows. That's the true Greek experience.
But, going back to my cousins, it was really, really wonderful to see them. Being away from my family and friends has been difficult. It was nice to get a dose of both.
Coming up later this week: Zakynthos. We'll brag about our trip, and hopefully have pictures for you. I know it's hard to look at this much writing without pictures. You've done well.