Day 40: IST

Well I woke up early this morning and caught my ferry from Naxos to Athens at 9:30. Sitting down I had a business class seat because there were no other seats available when I booked everything back in Athens days ago, so it cost a bit, but I made the most of it meeting a really nice Grecian woman.

She sat down after boarding at Paros, and I was needing a pen to write down my flight reference number, and asked if she had a pen gesturing with my hand. She said something along the lines of “ya I think I have one here” with an American accent, and I remarked that she sounded American and she blushed and said she watched a lot of American TV growing up. Really that wasn’t all it was as it turns out. She was a reporter for Greece TV, and had been on vacation in Paros. She had spent some time in America as well reporting on the last election, and was friends with people in the US Embassy in Athens, so I’m convinced it was more than just TV as a child.

It was really nice talking with her for almost the entire 4 hours left in the ferry trip. Shes 29 and about to become an anchor on the new program, which is kinda cool, so I can say I know someone on Greek TV now haha. Its weird though that her boyfriend is in his 40s since shes in her late 20s, bit of an age gap. She also helped me figure out which trains I needed to take to get to the airport which was nice.

Arriving at the airport I checked in, and on my way met an American couple in their 70s returning home as well through Istanbul. They had been sailing from Turkey to Athens in a chartered boat with friends, and hailed from the bay area. We chatted all the way until the plane boarded.

On the plane I met yet another interesting person, this time a Palestinian businessman who was returning from a business trip in Cyprus to Israel. Of course I asked him what he thought about the Tony Blair thing, which brought on a 20 minute lecture on how it wont solve anything. Anyways, I’ve learned a new trick. Everyone has strong feelings about American foreign policy, and in Europe people don’t hesitate to tell you how Kissinger or who ever screwed them over. I find its easy to deflect these uncomfortable conversations by knowing a bit about every countries problems and just asking how they feel about that, though it ends always in long lectures that may or may not be interesting, its a good way of pointing out they have their own issues without doing so directly.

Landing in Istanbul I decided I wanted to see if I could change my ticket for Sunday, because here I am in Istanbul, and I would love time to see the city while I’m here, and I was regretting planning like I did this last bit since I had the opportunity. The desk clerk though told me since I had an e-ticket they couldn’t change the dates for me, so plans are going on as before.

Sitting to wait for the 11 hours or so remaining I met a Turk and an Chinese girl from Hong Kong, and the three of us chatted for 3 hours before I got bored and pulled out my laptop to make this update and found I had free internet, the time should pass by quicker now. The next entry will be written once I’m back in Riverside.


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