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19 FEB - Athens, Greece

Date received: Mon Feb 19 2001, 03:58 AM PST

Before I left on my latest travel leg, my father gave me one piece of advice: "Don't get hit over the head again!" (in response to the attack that occurred when I was in Nicaragua.) Well, the second I walked out of the metro station in Athens, a whole mob of people surrounded me and started clubbing me over the head. This time, however, it was with toy clubs and mallets! It appears that there is a strange tradition here in Greece, that for the beginning of Lent, everyone takes to the street and hits each other over the head with plastic clubs. Kind of like Halloween with everyone dressing up like Fred Flintstone.

I spent the evening hanging out with a bunch of students from Tuffs University, who are on vacation from their Paris program. Quote of the evening: One of the students, who is 20, said, "I'm so glad to see that it's still possible to 'hang out' when you're 33." Someone pass me my Geritol.

Yesterday I hiked the fortress in Nafplio, which was absolutely gorgeous. Nafplio is my favorite place in Greece so far.

The weather is crappy today, so I'm going to the museum. If I get any good weather, I may visit Santorini for a day or so.

I've done my research on flights to Nairobi, and it looks like I'll be flying on Friday. The flight, including a stopover in Cairo, is 120,000 Drachmas (about US$350.) I want to spend a day or two in Cairo and do some advance research on buying a motorcycle there.

For those keeping notes, this will bring my total spent of flights during these four months to about US$900. For the year, it is about US$1600. All my arrangements were made along the way.


Copyright 2000 Peter Birch All Rights Reserved.