In Erika's Dreams

Yesterday I woke up with the euphoric realization that we are leaving for vacation in exactly one week (it’s funny how much easier it is to get out of bed when you know that you only have a few more days of “the grind” to endure).

But then I went online (big mistake) and my euphoria quickly gave way to dread as I scanned the headlines: “Athens Bank Blaze Kills 3 as Greeks Protest Cuts” and “General Strike Paralyzes Greece”. 

Oh wait it gets better…

“Today’s deaths happened at a bank in downtown Athens, where protesters hurled homemade gasoline bombs at police in riot gear, who responded by firing tear gas and stun grenades.”

Yep, this is where I’m going to relax and recharge my batteries…sounds nice doesn’t it?

Naturally, everyone has been asking me if I’m worried/scared/still planning to go, etc. Ironically (and I’m not sure why this is, maybe just sheer desperation to get away for a while?), I’m not really phased by it. Maybe it’s because I spend so much mental energy trying to manage the risk and unforeseen problems in my own life that I just don’t have the energy to worry about Greece’s meltdown right now. Or maybe it’s because it’s so unbelievable that I’m choosing not to believe it’s as bad as they say. After having to cancel an awesome tour of the U.K. last year at this time, and then foregoing our annual winter vacation to the Caribbean, the fact that my long-awaited trip to Greece is faced with such pandemonium makes me…well, laugh (not b*tchy, “ignorant American” laughter, just the “this figures…wtf?” kind).

Despite the homemade gasoline bombs and stun grenades (what are stun grenades anyway?), here is the silver lining of my tear gas-scented cloud:

  1. Being an ’80s baby, I missed out on the Vietnam-era protests and riots, so this will be my first. Or, at the very least, I’ll get to see a very “real”, uncensored side of a new place.
  2. Enough Ouzo ‘n Diet (the Greek equivalent of Captain ‘n Diet) and all will be well again.
  3. We’re only spending a few days in Athens and then heading off to Delphi, Mt. Olympus, Crete and Santorini (where there are no gasoline bombs and stun grenades, at least not whipping through the air…or so I hear), so some relaxation and recharging may still be possible.
  4. The value of the euro has dipped below $1.29 for the first time in over a year, which means I’ll be able to buy a lot of cool local “stuff”.
  5. And finally, the best part of all? I’ll come home with some interesting stories to write. After all, they key to a great story is in the conflict, right?

Anyone have any similar vacation debacles they’d like to share?

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Showing 5 comments
  • Suzanne
    Reply

    Head to the islands!

    • Erika Liodice
      Reply

      Good advice, Suzanne. I think I will 🙂

  • Melissa Marsh
    Reply

    Oh boy. I hope things calm down by the time you leave.

    My last trip to England started off great, but ended terribly. I got food poisoning at my London hotel and was a miserable mess (and all alone – I went on the trip by myself and had no one to take care of me!). I find this ironic considering the time prior when I went to England (in college) I threw up right near Stonehenge. I have to ask myself now: is upchucking going to be my fate every time I’m in England?

    • Erika Liodice
      Reply

      Man, Melissa, it sounds like England does not agree with you at all! Being sick while abroad is THE WORST. I got food poisoning in Spain during the heat wave of 2003. It was not pretty. But I lost about 10 pounds, so it was kind of worth it 🙂

  • Stefanie
    Reply

    What does it mean if I am going on vacation in a month and haven’t booked anything yet? My husband has a 6 week sabbatical and we FINALLY decided where to go (Hawaii, home for 10 days, then Disneyland) but that decision alone took forever…now we have to nail down airlines and hotels and tickets etc. With two young kids, the only time my husband and I have time to really talk about it is after they go to bed…and, by then, my brain is fried. Hoping things won’t be booked up by the time we get our act together!

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