Vacation over.

…heads in!

That’s it then, my short [tag]vacation[/tag] in Greece has finally ended. and I must confess that it totally rocked. Initially I was planning to go on week before and one week after Easter so that I might catch everyone on their vacation period and get three weekends at Greece as well. That soon turned sour when I glimpsed on the air ticker prices in store for those dates so in the end I decided to move the whole vacation period back one week and leave on dates where the prices might be lower. In restrospect that was a bad move since I may have gotten a cheap ticket (just 100 euros) but it meant that I strayed just one weekend in Greece and I flew at awkward times. On the plus side, since I left one week earlier, I managed to catch some friends before they left for their home town

I arrived at Athens on the 27th of March at around 1am and immediately went to see my friend Vaggelis (or Baggio as I prefer to call him) who is the only friend I have left from my 15 years of growing up in Athens.

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This guy was the only one who stood up to me when I was a little dweeb in High School and kept hanging up with me when everyone else was avoiding me like the plague. He might not be perfect, but he’s one of the best guys out there. Rock on Brother!

Rock On

I stayed at his place for three nights (monday night to Thursday morning) and we got to hang out together for a while.

During the days I found the chance to finally visit the offices of Fokas in Athens, while vaggelis was meeting with a new friend of his for beers, and finally meet Antonis Stefanidis that I used to work with. He’s older than he sounds. He showed me around the offices and I got to meet some of the people I only talked to on the phone. I knew only three unfortunately since the rest seem to have moved on.

After that, I met up with Tasos (Kensha) from my old days as a gamer. It’s amazing how I ended up a friend with that guy when our last encounter while I was leaving Athens permanently was very hostile.
We went to the Monastiraki for a cofee and talked about old and new times.
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After that, I went to the house another old acquittance of mine, Tasos Zachariadis. I used to go to the same school with this guy but we were never friends of any sort. He started hanging out with Vangelis after I left Athens and now they have become close friends. I met him for that reason in the past and now we’re friends. He did me the favor of letting me crash at his place for that night while Baggio was still drinking beers and we ended up having a huge discussion about Politics.

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Btw, if anyone’s in Athens and looking to have a tattoo I highly recommend this guy. He has just started but I’ve seen samples of his initial work and have been blown away by the quality. He’s been drawing alternative style for many years and his improvisational tatoos just kick ass. I know who I’m going to see to have mine in the future.

On Wednesday, me Tasos and Baggio went for a coffee at Monastiraki where a huge discussion broke out about drugs and LSD in specific. I won’t go into details but we ended up splittiong up 2 hours later than we intended.
Me and Baggio got ready so that he would take me out and show me on of the classic metal places in Athens. Jasmin. Initially we planning to go there with Tasos and Virgilia, a girl friend of Vaggelis, but unfortunately both bailed out on us and we ended up going alone. I can’t say that it hurt us though since the music was great and for some reason they kept giving us free us beers (maybe to offset that horrible the horrible prices they have on drinks there. 5.5 euro for a Cricket? ugh!). Perhaps it was Vaggelis’ good looks or perhaps it was the fact that I kept dancing like there was no tomorrow. I even had one random girl come and talk to me because I was the only one headbanging to Kamelot and she was supposedly the founder of the Greek Kamelot fan club. Too bad she had a boyfriend with her, oh well.

I didn’t really sleep that night since we left the place at about 5am and my Train was leaving at 8. I just went to Vaggelis’ place, took my things and scrammed. Vaggelis himself would come with me to Thessaloniki on a different train that same day.

I arrived in Salonica in the noon and immediately started calling my old friends to go for a coffee. On the first day I saw Panos and my sister (I didn’t think to take pictures at that point. It must have been the fact that I was tired.). And in the night I went to see my old group of friends sitting in a classic Tavern. It was there where I fist layed eyes on my sisters newish super-Christian boyfriend, George. The next day I met Niki by chance on the street and we arranged to meet her at her place the same day.

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We talked and she told us she would meet us the same day at the Dizzy rock but she didn’t really keep her promise. I was later told she has become quite introverted so that might be the reason. I didn’t see her since then either.

Later that day my sister made us Dinner with George and everybody got to cook a dish. I cooked mushrooms of course but my sister and George refused to eat because they were fasting and I used butter…meh.
After that we headed to Dizzy with Baggio where I ended up meeting a few friends by chance. Initially we sat there and enjoyed the music (and my sister had the owner once more hit on her) but later on I made them visit the 8Ball where it was playing the “Whatever music” (Disco-pop-greek-rock etc) and Thrash-Death Metal on the top floor. As expected Baggio decided to hang out upstairs while me and my Sister were dancing like crazy downstairs. I did see a few friends there as well and even kissed a girl that I always wanted (she decided not to pursue it further though :( ) and later on almost did something with another girl when a guy told her something and forced her to leave (I think he must have been her ride home that got disappointed when he saw her dancing with me and forced her to leave. It couldn’t have been her boyfriend because I saw him before trying to “seduce” her and getting rejected)
Quite a good night all-in-all.

On Friday as well, I decided to visit one of my old haunts, the gaming shop KAISSA. Needless to say I was severely dissapointed when two of my once-gaming-friends, could not stop playing the Warlord CCG for 5 minutes to see what I’m up to after almost 1 year. I expected as such of course but hope always dies last. They told me to arrange with my other friends from the group but I didn’t think they would show up in any case.

On Saturday I did meet up with two of those friends and we visited on of the classic Taverns we ate at, Η ωραία Ελλάς where we reminisced the old days and mostly talked about comics and gaming. The guys have stayed mostly the same although Panoramix’s (Kwstas) UHS (Up-Hair-Syndrom) has evolved.

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After a short coffee (beer) break with Baggio, we went to Ladadika again to visit the rest of the places. We were initially planning to visit Harley but when we found out that A. It had moved and B. The new place has a entrance fee of 15 euros for a live of two bands, we decided to get a rain check. We went to the Cult instead where I flirted with the Waitress and Baggio started getting drunk. I was also lucky that night because by pure luck I bumped into Fotini, Xristina the old KNE group and even my old girlfriend, Angelique (who promised she’d try to see me in the next days and didn’t follow through…meh)

Sunday was more lazy since Baggio left in the morning and I woke up at 2pm. I went to eat (very salty fish) with my sister and her boyfriend and we sat there until late in the evening. I also took a nice pic that I’m modified as my new wallpaper.

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After that, I met with yet more of my friends, Iro who henceforth will be known as Beero and Fotini where later on we went to meet Panos and his girlfriend and the Ekkentron and drink lots of beers.

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On Monday after unsuccessfully trying to visit Kosta (Elt) i ended up going to the offices of Fokas where I visited all the people. Things were identical as I expected but I was pleasantly surprised to see that most people in the offices remembered me (or at least seemed) fondly. However seeing my old workplace made me glad I’m not working there any more.

I returned to Salonika center and after grabbing a coffee with my sister (where I made fun of her choice to fast in the Christian fashion) and her boyfriend (where we started a nuclear discussion about Christianity) once more, I managed to meet my sisters old Boyfriend and current friend of mine, Manolis and his brother where we talked about encounter in IT and bad bosses.

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and later on I met with a friend I was not counting on seeing, Chrysa.

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yes, shy person. Since we both were quite truthful, I decided to tell her that I’m always fancied her, only to be told that I don’t click for her. (I didn’t think to go “click” at that point) It doesn’t really matter since we’ll remain friends but it’s good to get it off my chest. We later met with Mersa with whom I continued my night at a place she had a exhibition of her work. Later in the night, after much talk about her newest relationship, a friend of hers turned up and there was an immediate spark. Nothing serious happened but it did make the night better. Problem is that I forgot her name :)

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Tuesday went by much more rapidly since I had a few people I hadn’t seen yet. After a brief encounter with my sister’s boyfriend who wanted to talk to me about marriage (!), I went to see my -always busy- godfather. He only had time to say a few brief words to me and buy me a shirt I didn’t really need

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After that I went straight (Σούμπητος) to see a two friends I missed, Elena and Eirini (with the later of whom I almost had something solid).

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I stayed with them until my tongue got hair from talking (at that point my voice had started getting hoary from saying the same stories again and again) and after admiring the waitress of the cafeteria for a while, I met with a girlfriend-for-a-week I had a while back. It seems she never fully recovered from me (a-tssss) and we ended up hagning out together for a few hours where I continued to give her training on french-kissing (no, seriously).

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After that, I visited my sister house once more and stayed until it was time to catch the train to Athens where i would meet my Aunt and cousins before heading back to Frankfurt.
Here’s my sister knitting if you don’t believe me ;)

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The trip to Athens was uneventful if you ignore the fact that I almost lost my train stop. My uncle picked my up and took me to the house to see the family and eat with them. I stayed with them most of the day talking about communism and to my surprise Epicurus where they even gave me a very good book on him. I went for a coffee with my cousins and then returned to the house to see Borat (I didn’t really like it)

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After a hasty phonecall with [tag]Baggio[/tag], I took a taxi and went over to his place to see him one last time and go to Jasmin together again. This time Virgilia would come but not Tasos.

Baggio FTW

Unfortunately We got caught in the rain and had a short stupid encounter with a drunken dude that got in the same cab with us and raised a fuss. We reached Jasmin alright however and proceeded to get stupid drunk, or at least Baggio and Virgilia did. I blame it on the staff who kept buying us beers once more! :) I don’t know if it’s my good looks or Intarnational style that made the bartender and waitress to like us so :)

In the end, I had to literally carry Virgilia to a cab after she puked her brains out for an hour or so in the toilet. For my troubles she puked on me as a parting gift. Fortunately it was mostly saliva since she had emptied he stomach at Jasmin’s toilets. After we got rid of her, Vaggelis started puking on himself…sigh. I took him home, put him to sleep and then slumbered for four hours until it was time to catch the plane.

Sleeping on the airport like a bum FTW!


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