October 18, 2007

jail break

Yeah, Athens is insane. I don't even know where to begin. Perhaps I should mention the fact that i nearly got arrested on the Metro on our way from the airport to our hotel. We purchased our tickets and got on the train. For some reason you have to validate your ticket after purchasing it. Seems strange since it's a ticket to ride on the train and not valid for anything else. At any rate, when the police came around and asked for our tickets we presented what we had purchased and he asked for a valid ticket. We told him that was what the ticket person gave us. He very rudely explained that we needed to put our tickets into some slot to stamp them before getting on the Metro. Ok, sounds good, thanks for the helpful tip, right..wrong. He then asked for our passports and began to write down our information saying that we needed to pay a fine for breaking the law. I tried to explain that it was our first time in Athens and the "validating" portion of the ticket was not clear at all and it was simply a mistake on our part. He then proceed to demand we pay E60 per person. What the... We did not have the cash which was a good thing and explained we didn't have 12o Euros (that's a lot) on the Metro with us. So he got even more rude and demanded i sign the ticket. Again, what the... I explained to him (Heather is in tears at this point) that i would not sign the document since i could not understand what it said and did not want to sign away my right to protest the ticket if possible. This did not go so well. He got pretty upset to say the least. I asked where i could go to talk with someone and he was so mad that his partner had to step in and explain what i needed to do. He was a bit more kind. Good cop, bad cop ploy i suppose. At any rate, we have one month to pay the fine or we can't leave the country. I asked the lady at the complaint office if this would not allow us to fly home on the 19th. She said no, but if you don't pay the ticket or have it over turned by the company who operates the Metro that we would not be allowed back into the Country. Crazy. Sounds like i have a few things to clear up when we get home! Needless to say Athens has been not so fun. I almost got my camera taken away for trying to take a photo of the beer tap at the McDonald's (don't ask what we were doing in a McDonald's!). I thought it would be a funny photo, but i guess not. It might be a jail break by the time we do leave in the morning.

We spent all day at visiting the sites of Athens. My favorite was the Museum. I have some pretty amazing photos of really old stuff! We are staying in the very heart of Athens. It's quite overwhelming. All of the noise, people, smells, and police with machine guns! I want a photo, but i don't dare. Might end up with a bullet in my back! We found a pretty sweet candy/ice cream shop just a few blocks away and have visited twice already. Our plane flies out of Athens tomorrow around 1:30. I hope we're on it and not headed somewhere else...