Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 12: Sleepless in Katerini

Prior to our trip to Greece, we figured that by mid-journey we would take a break in Katerini, a random place picked out of curiosity and the only place where we didn't plan to do anything, see anything, or meet anyone. We didn't expect to be wrong on so many things, like not being stressed or exhausted with all this traveling and meeting people. Even our last stop, Kozani, was more like a vacation than a mission.

Who would have expected Katerini to be the most sleepless, stressful experience we've had during the entire trip? No one. Lets just say that several tourists from the northern neighboring countries spent the whole night driving around the streets with their loud cars, singing/shouting as much as their throats allowed, loitering the gutters with bottles of vodka - rakia or something more flammable. It was only during the early morning that the first signs of peace and quiet entered with the sunrise. Fra gave up with the tossing and turning and went to take a walk by the beach.

We wake up around 9-10am, decide to make some lunch before leaving and then we hear a loud banging against the door. Its the owner, a big mafia-looking man with a blading head and a heavy gold necklace, demanding us to leave before 12 noon. It sounded more like a threat in fact but we thought, hey- lets just get some lunch at least, we didn't get any sleep and we're not even taking any showers, so lets do this one thing and head off.

After completing my first Tzatziki (traditional Greek yogurt cucumber dip) we were about to devour it sometime around 11:30 when the next chorus of banging on the door starts. Its the owner again, now shouting at us to leave. This really ticks Fra off and the first Greek vs Italian cussing match begins. From his "Malaka!" to Fra's "Mavaffanculo!" PLUS arm gestures - I've never seen anything like it. I'm surprised they haven't punched each other yet after everything they exchanged with spit flying at such a speed. Anyway, it was an experience and after the great benevolence of our last host, we probably needed something like this to balance things off.

Now back to square one.

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