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…
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:
- 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.
- Enough Ouzo ‘n Diet (the Greek equivalent of Captain ‘n Diet) and all will be well again.
- 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.
- 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”.
- 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?