The American Douchebag’s Guide to Europe: Greece

OK this is my last American Douchebag’s Guide to Europe post, so brace yourselves. Things are about to get epic like the Odyssey.

Overview

Greece is where that newfangled thick yogurt comes from. Also, democracy. It has been run by a bunch of sex crazed immortals, blood thirsty warriors, and men who really liked young boys. Pop culture as taught me that those are the only three groups of people from ancient Greece. I don’t know how women fit into this triad. They’ve also had their list of history’s greatest minds: the warrior king Alexander the Great, The philosophers Socrates and Aristotle, the  great scientist Archimedes, and that guy who you sell all your old clothes to: Plato.

He may have also invented Play-Doh

Now a days, The Greeks  are a little bit less on changing the world and more about fixing all of the problems of their fucked up government. Clearly the ones who invented democracy were not the ones to perfect it. U.S.A! U.S.A!

Initial Thoughts

There’s an awful lot of water here… like, a ton of water. It’s everywhere. Wait a second. [looks over the balcony] I’m on a boat!? Oh shit, my group got me deported! I need to get off of this boat! [runs inside and into Shar]

Shar! You got deported too? What did you do?

Shar- I didn’t get deported

Me- then why are we on this boat in the middle of the sea?

Shar- we’re on our way to Greece. How do you not remember getting on this last night? You threw someone overboard right when you got on.

Me- Hmmm… I don’t think that sounds like something I’d do.

Shar- literally every conversation that I’ve had with you makes me think that throwing someone off of a boat is exactly something you would do.

Me- Oh. [turns around and sees and island in the distance] IS THAT OUR ISLAND!?

Shar- How should I know?

Me- [after a few minutes sees another] IS THAT OUR ISLAND!?!?

Shar- [long sigh] I don’t know, Minigan. We’ll know when we get there.

I continued to ask her for every new island we saw, that is, until she got frustrated by something and went inside. But before she went, she did take this picture of me:

Is it just me, or do I look like I might have Down's Syndrome here?

Shar, was this our island?

Accommodations

Holy shit, check out the view from my hotel room:

Fuck yes! Every new hotel room Sammy and I had, we were always disappointed that we never got the nicest room. We never had nice views (well, except for in Austria, but everyone had good views from that hotel, and we had scaffolding right outside out balcony) and we kept telling ourselves that we’d have the best view/ room eventually. This was our best room. The room itself wasn’t that much different from anyone else’s room, but we were on the highest level and were facing the bay, so we won.

Now the hotel wasn’t spectacular. If too many people took showers at once, the water pressure would drop and the water would go cold.  I seriously had to crouch under the facet to rinse the shampoo out of my hair on our first night because so many people were taking a shower that only a trickle of water came out. After that, I saw to it that I took a shower when everyone else was doing some other activity.

Our hotel in Athens didn’t have the nicest view (it was down an alley) but for us having to walk our luggage a city block to get to it, it was actually very nice. It was quite modern and had a rooftop patio where my group spent our last night in Europe. I and my fellow Jersey Boys (I was inducted into the group in Rome) each bought a bottle of champagne for the celebration. Also two of the people in our group, Zack and Shar, got engaged that morning. So, you know, we celebrated that too.

Sites

The first thing we saw in Greece was this trench:

OK Greece, off to a slow start

There were a few sites to see in Poros, like this clock tower:

And these ruins:

I didn’t actually go to either of these things; I spent my 2 days in Poros bike riding through the town and relaxing on the beach. I did visit the temple of Poseidon, but I didn’t get any pictures. (I’ll explain why later).

In Athens, we got to walk up to the Acropolis and be jealous of the Archaeologists who were allowed to frolic through the ruins of the Parthenon. When we were there, it was 99 degrees out, which was kind of shitty to be honest. That isn’t even all that important to anything, I just wanted to point that out to all my friends back in the states because they couldn’t stop bitching about hot the temperature in Pennsylvania and Ohio was. It was 85 degrees, it’s always that temperature in July, and I climbed a goddamned mountain in weather fifteen degrees hotter, so stop your bitching and go someplace with air conditioning, you pussies.

Here’s some pictures of the Acropolis:

They apparently have modern day concerts here

Jersey Boys and the Parthenon

Food

I ate 2 gyros (pronounced yeer-oh, as Wikipedia tells me) one was chicken and the other was standard lamb. They were amazing, which is given, since “delicious gyro” is a redundancy. I also had a Greek salad. This is a lot less salady than you think. It is essentially fresh tomatoes, red onion, and green pepper with feta cheese, olive oil, and oregano. I’m not usually a fan of tomatoes, but the feta cheese made them very tolerable.

Then there was this lasagna esque dish. I don’t know what it was called because Sammy and I fell asleep and showed up while everyone else was on dessert. Luckily, my group saved me a plate. I love those guys. They didn’t save Sammy one because fuck Sammy.

What did I ever do to you, Sammy?

Alcohol

Greece has their own beer: Mythos (guess where they got that name). It was ok I guess. Definitely drinkable. Then there was this fruit drink that I’m pretty sure was sangria mixed with chunks of fruit. I drank a few of those, mostly because we did have some nondrinkers with us on the trip and I didn’t want them to feel like they were being forced into drinking…. we had that drink at our group’s toga party. That was a blast. I was sunburnt, I thought I lost 20 Euros, but it turned out that drunk me is smart and just gave it to Julie to hold. Then we also threw Andy (the coolest tour guide ever) into the pool behind our hotel. Later, Jon and Brennen got banged up on a old boat, Sammy got some from a girl in the group one day a head of us, Paul and I almost skinny dipped  with everybody else but decided to just go in in our boxers instead, and Paul, Ohio Michelle, and I got drunk in Paul’s room. Then, Jersey Boys (including me) and Michelle then busted into my room to catch Sammy nailing that girl, only to see that they were already asleep. The girl did wake up at one point to see the six of us standing at the edge of the bed looking unsure of what to do next. Simply put: We didn’t plan it well. Oh yeah, and Brennen and Cj started fucking around with a fire extinguisher. I ended up sharing a bed with Paul and Jon and we didn’t look at each other the next day. What I’m getting at with is that we had a good night.

People

This dog:

Daaaawwww!!!!!

I know I might have said that I would only talk about a dog in the people section for Venice, but I had to talk about this dog. In fact, I cannot talk about Greece without talking about three things, and all three of those things are that dog. The dog’s name is Paul Jr. and he is not named after our Paul. There is actually a story behind this that I had politely asked Brennen to write for me, just to give everyone a different perspective to view Europe through and not at all because I’m lazy, but he never replied to my texts. I even told him it would be OK if he didn’t want to, just as long as he told me so. But that bastard never did, so it looks like I’m going to have to tell his story for him. You brought this upon yourself, Brennen.

___________

I was drunk. Like, really drunk. I hadn’t felt this way since Rome. Minigan did this, I thought as I peered around the crowded club. I couldn’t see his head of majestic curls anywhere. Oh yeah, I remembered, Kevin asked him a question about his writing, and that had completely distracted him while a large group of us piled into the bus that was to take us to the club. Even while being drunk and partying I was just so irritated that no one else had tried that the entire trip; each of us asking that question at key times during the trip would have made everything run a whole lot smoother than what it did and probably would have saved a couple of lives. In any case, we really owed Kevin one.

Suddenly, I felt a slight pang of guilt (I’m pretty sure “pang” is a word), not about leaving Kevin with Minigan, but for leaving Minigan in general. I tried to shake the feeling by grinding harder with the girl I was dancing with, but it didn’t help. I just couldn’t stop thinking of how nice a guy Minigan is. No he isn’t, I tried to tell myself, he’s attacked a bunch of people on this trip, God knows how many more when I haven’t been around him. I then thought back to Rome, when Minigan, in a drug induced frenzy, forcibly made out with me. My heart fluttered. After a panicked second or two of wondering what that meant, I decided to push Minigan out of my mind for the rest of the night.

A few hours later, I was good and hammered and talking to one of the girls from the group one day ahead of us. As we talked, a strange looking, obviously Greek man walked up to us.

“Ello tere!” he said (I don’t really know what a Greek accent sounds like), “You Americans?”

“No, no no!” the girl (whose name I cannot remember) cried.

“Oh, no!” I laughed in my best foreign accent and continued, “I am Fredrico Bernardo, Treasure Hunter and this is Paul. She is a gypsy.”

I guess you had to be there

We talked a little while longer to the man, still pretending to be an Italian explorer and his gypsy slave and telling him of the adventures I’ve had and the women I’ve conqurered. But after a while, we grew tired of lying to the Greek man, so we agreed to walk back to the hotel.

The night was warm and conforting, like Minigan’s mouth when he kissed me. His hands were strong, but they held me so caringly that I had never felt more safe. And his lips. Oh! His lips were so soft, yet so passionate and forceful. I think I could go the rest of my life without finding a better kisser than Minigan. He has set the bar for the rest of the world.

Wait, was I talking about? Oh yeah, the night I found Paul Jr. Sorry about that. I don’t know what came over me. As Paul (the girl whose name I don’t remember) and I walked down the hill to head back to the larger island of Poros, we heard a light clattering from behind us. We both turned around to see a large brown dog trot up to us, its eyes bright and its tail wagging. I immediately fell in love. Despite my better judgement I knelt down, whistled, and beckoned for the dog to come closer. Its tail went into a frenzy as it bounded towards us. The dog was obviously a stray; it had no tags or collar, it was dirty and its hair matted, and it smelled like the ocean.  Despite the rest of its appearance, the dog appeared to be well fed. Paul and I petted the dog, and it seemed to be enjoying it, that is until it started barking like it just discovered it could.

Fearing that the situation was about to go bad, Lady Paul and I stood up and backed away from the dog. As I took a step back, I hit something warm and fleshy. I turned around to see the face of a disgruntled looking gypsy man. I let out a small, shriek and stumbled backward. The dog, took my spot and began to bark at the gypsy. The man became nervous just as Lady Paul and I had and began to run away. The dog chased him for a little while, and then trotted back to us, looking very pleased with itself.

“This is the greatest dog ever!” I said, beaming down at the dog.

“Yeah!” Lady Paul replied, “We should totally name it!”

“Well, that’s the best idea anyone has ever had,” I said rather hyperbolically now that I think about it, “We should name it Paul Jr.!”

Really, you just had to be there to appreciate it

We continued our walk back to the hotel, Paul Jr. merrily trotting along, keeping an eye out for any more of those Goddamn gypsies. After a few minutes of uneventful walking, we started to hear a strange noise. It sounded like someone was trying to mimic the sound of an old timey train engine. A few seconds later the voice grew louder and closer, and we could recognize that what the person was saying was actually, “Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit…”

It was Minigan. My heart climbed into my mouth as he came sprinting up the hill, still saying, “shit” over and over again. He passed us, barely even noticing that I was even there. I haven’t felt that disappointed since I found out that Santa Clause isn’t real. Then, to my great pleasure, he stopped, turned around, and looked at us with his sexy, steely blue eyes. They reminded me of Anderson Cooper’s eyes, but more manly. My heart was back in my mouth. I knew how dangerous it was to look him directly in the eye, especially unwarranted, but I couldn’t help it. All I wanted to do was stand there and drink in those majestic blue eyes forever.

“What the fuck are you standing there for?” he snapped,  disregarding that I looked him in the eye, “RUN!!!”

Just at that moment, a horrible Earth-rattling screech came from the bottom of the hill. Fear filled Minigan’s  beautiful eyes. He picked up Paul Jr., turned to us, and said, “For fuck’s sake, follow me!”

He sprinted up the hill, and Lady Paul and I followed. There was another screech. I increased my  pace  to catch up with Minigan and his powerful, Olympian legs. Once I had, I said through deep breaths, “What is making that noise?”

“The Kraken.” He replied, somehow not out of breath.

“What?!” Lady Paul and I cried in unison.

Even he looks surprised

“The Kraken.” Minigan repeated, “I accidentally released the Kraken. Now we need to get to higher ground-“

“How in the Hades (zing) did you both find and release a giant sea monster within the past three hours?” I interrupted. To be honest, I didn’t really need to ask this question; I already feared the worst.

“It was actually pretty easy,” he began rather casually, seeing as though we were running up hill from a giant sea monster, “I just went to the temple of Poseidon that’s on the peak of the big island and told him that I was his son and if he really loved me, he would give me control of the Kraken.”

“So you released the Kraken on purpose?” I replied.

“Yes”

“That doesn’t sound very accidental at all!” Lady Paul, whom I had forgotten was still here, snapped.

“Well that is the definition of ‘on purpose,’ sweet cheeks,” Minigan snapped back.

“Why would you want to release the Kraken?” I asked, ignoring Lady Paul’s stupid, woman  remark.

“Well, first I thought it would be funny. Secondly, I wanted to conquer Greece. I clearly didn’t think things through.”

There was another monsterous screech, which was followed by  the sound of the trunks of trees breaking in front of us. About fifty yards ahead, a giant creature climbed onto the cliff from the ocean. The monster was the ugliest thing I had ever seen. If it wasn’t for how scared I was, I would have noted the irony of Minigan, the most beautiful man I know, releasing something so terrible onto the world. Anyway, the Kraken’s face was lumpy and twisted, like if Picasso did a painting of Barbra Streisand. It’s upper body was long and thin, but still noticeably muscular, and its lower body was made entirely of tentacles. It screeched again once it saw us, and began to lumber (as best as an animal with the lower body strength of a squid could lumber) towards us. Paul Jr. was barking even more than when he scared off the gypsy and had managed to wiggle out of Minigan’s tight muscular arms. The brown dog then ran straight for the monster.

“Paul Jr.!” I cried, wishing that Minigan would hold me in his arms, but it was too late. Paul Jr. had already reached the Kraken and bitten one of its tentacles. The Kraken let out a higher pitch, whipped its tentacle feet around for a second or two, and fell down the cliff and back into the water. Paul Jr., who had let go of the Kraken at the last second, ran back up to us covered in slime, but still very proud of himself.

“Wow,” Minigan said while staring at where the Kraken was standing (kind of) just seconds before, ‘That sure was anticlimactic.”

Happy to escape a run in with a giant sea monster, the three of us and Paul Jr. walked back to the hotel, swapping stories of what happened earlier that night. I wanted to be mad at Minigan for almost killing me again, but every time I see him all I can think about is how I want to taste his lips again. Minigan Blackwood is the most dangerous drug, and unfortunately, I’m addicted.
______________

See Brennen? That is what happens when you don’t respond to one of my text messages. All of you be warned.

Overall Atmosphere

The atmosphere of Poros was peaceful and relaxing, as you would expect from a small island town where your hotel is right across the street from a beach. Poros is just one of those places that you relax no matter what you do. When a group of us rode bikes around the island? Relaxing. When I was chilling on the beach with Paul Jr.? Relaxing. When we sailed around the island and Melinda, Kendra, Kevin and I sang Bohemian Rhapsody the entire way through several times? Relaxing. When I “accidentally” awakened the god Poseidon and released the kraken? Relaxing.

As for Athens, it wasn’t nearly as tense as you would guess if you listen to the news. We were all worried before we left when we heard about the protests in Athens, but it turned out to be not dangerous at all. I even tried to start a riot, but no, they didn’t want any of it. It, like Paris, Brussels, Salzburg, and Rome had the duality of being a city with a modern culture yet still retaining some of its old world feel. Granted, the “city with a modern culture” was mostly shown by cars and graffiti, but you can find places like that in every city or in all of Detroit. Plus, a lot of the Graffiti in Athens was street art, not random tagging, which added personality and beauty to the city.

But none of that is what I want to talk about. What I really want to talk about is that our night in Athens was our last night on the trip so we wanted to go out with a party. We went to the roof our hotel (we were allowed to) and drank the champagne that me and the rest of the Jersey Boys bought. This was the view from on top of the hotel:

That's the Acropolis

If you’ve read all of my “American Douchebag’s Guide to Europe” posts, you may remember a similar view from London:

And that is Tower Bridge

It was moving to end our trip the same we started it: by partying on hotel rooftops with views of well-known landmarks of the city we were staying in. It felt as though we had come full circle, but all becoming close friends along the way. I will never forget this trip or all the wonderful people I became friends with on it. I haven’t got to hang out with them nearly as much as I would’ve liked since I’ve been back, and because of this blog series I’ve been reminiscing about them and this trip just about every week since I’ve gotten back. Guys, I know you’re reading this. Or, I like to believe that you’re reading this. We WILL hang out soon, even if I have to drug and kidnap each and every one of you. You know I’m serious about that.

And as for everyone who didn’t go on the trip with me, I’d like to thank you for following this blog for the past 6 months. You have made this my most popular blog series ever. So popular in fact, that I might just start doing this with cities in America. But still follow this blog! I swear it’ll still be good! I will continue to do dangerous things while drugs in my veins put everyone around me in danger. It’ll be good fun.

Until then,

Peace

I'll never forget you Paul Jr.!!!!

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2 Comments

  1. […] You almost threw me into the Canal at Venice. Andy-And you killed that poor Hüttediener. Zack- And you released the Kraken. Paul- And you smuggled drugs into Switzerland! Brennen- And you made me fall in love with you! […]

  2. […] thinking to myself, they’ll probably need my help anyway. I am  the only one who has fought immortal monsters […]


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