– Excuse me, Madam, I can no longer look after your bike. I have to go.
My eyes grew round as saucers and I felt my jaw dropping down over a shoe, which I did hold in my hand. It was end of a summer and I for last half an hour I was trying on shoes in a shoe shop on Anielewicz street in Warsaw. Buy-or-not-to-buy-I-actually-like-them-but-this-colour... (Let anyone try to convince me, but for a woman, even the color of faded T-shirt in the Atacama desert matters ..)
– But my bike is locked in front of the shop ...?
I started to be concerned .
– Go and see yourself, if it is locked.
Concern turned to a slight panic, I dropped the shoe, which color did not bother me any more and ran out of the store.
Here it is! Uffff. Standing. Yes it is standing, but NEXT to the metal railings of which was to be locked to. I locked it by stringing frame of the bicycle .. with frame. So simply hang the lock on a my bike, nothing more. "Brilliant"!!!
I thanked the old man bending the bows as genuine Japanese and almost-almost'd kissed his hand. What a great man! However, this street.. Anielewicza, I do not like this place. A hundred meters further on the corner there is a bicycle shop and it was a few years that I had my bike stolen there. I left it at the door because I somehow did not dare get it inside and there was nothing to attach it to. I went in to buy a cyclists magazine only, I stood 3 meters further and glancing every now and then at the door. But at some point when I did it my bike was not there any more. When I ran out I saw only flashing ot the back light and boy, who was moving away at the speed of light . I did not catch him. I do not wich anyone to feel like this, when you know, that you lost your two-wheeled companion. Since then I always enter with a bicycle to every bike shop, and if they do not let me in I will, but I will never return. Although this has not happened yet. (And the sellman at the shop at Anielewicz street, just said nothing. )
– What are you doing, to leave your bike like this - unbelieveable!!! I've seen it – you did not lock it !
This time the action takes place in Greece Anno Domini 2015. It was the first time I have seen big supermarket here, since I entered the country. Filled with excitement, that I finally can buy something cheaper, because prices generally kill me here, and perhaps also with thoughtlessness and disbelief, that someone would move the heavy bike (besides me of course) I left it outside the shop even without blocking the rear wheel, what I usually do and I went to visit shop shelves.
Before me there stood a truck driver.
– Please never ever do it again! One moment, would be enough and bike disappears!
Helped by an appropriate gesture.
– Yep, yes, you are right, of course…
He was already a little more mollified.
– Where are you from?
– From Poland
– And you came from Poland on a bike?
– Well yes
– And where now you go?
– To Athens for Christmas
– Brave girl. The more you should take care, of your bike so nobody steals it. In Greece there are unfortunately thieves. Always lock bicycle outside the store, everywhere, do not leave it like now. And take care of yourself. Well. Good luck! And Merry Christmas!
Waved to me when leaving.
Entering Greece I felt a bit relieved. I like this country. I like this language and people. I do not know whether this aging syndrome, but from time to time also I want a country more somehow organized. So not exactly positioned as "ordnung-must-zein" Germany, but such, where I know more or less what to expect.
OK - MORE OR LESS know what to expect. Such prices I did not expect - they went crazy here! It's by far the greatest disadvantage of traveling here. I think even in Japan or Korea I did not stand in front of shelves in a supermarket for so long wondering what I can afford. It was only when supermarkets started to appear, which as a rule do not visit as I want to support local shops – Here, unfortunately, I had omit the rule. There the prices are still bearable.
Again I cross the border in the evening and in a hurry, to find a place to sleep before sunset. and as if it was ordred I find a closed campground - the beach and a few closed caravans, pitched my tent between them. It is warm for as for December , I light the fire and cook the dinner , lentils soup. Somehow I do not have to worry about a bonfire on the beach, that someone can see me, that something, that should not let myself be seen. I feel safe even when I see, a car turning form the main road. The car stops a little further. Two men come out but then disappear for an hour or two - maybe there's a boat over there, I do not know. I trust my intuition, which tells me, it can stay, because after a while the men come back, the car moves away while I sleep calmly. The day says goodbye with a stunning sunset and the next one starts witth a stunning sunrise.
What, What constantly impresses me is the fact, that although sometimes it is cold, the sun is shining and the sky is blue. And well – It is good to ressure the hearts of the Greeks. The country is undergoing bad time, and people looks at a penny or another cent from both sides before leave it in the store. There is no job, Earnings shrank sometimes even half. This constant topic of conversation. Money. Saving. Money. No money. Life here is too expensive.
“It is impossible to live just with the sun”, this is the opinion of one of the encountered on the way people, when I admire a prevailing aura. It is true, You cannot . You need something to pay the bills, you jsut have to live . But no one seems to deny, that with the sun the life is better, and difficulties are beared better. The sun warms the soul, fortifies the mind, breathes optimism. I love Poland for many things, Polish countryside is beautiful, but in the country for half a year the sky is just grey and life loses color. That's why I decided to run away to the Sun .. nawet mi się to udaje 🙂
Coast Ionian Sea off season, empty scenic roads in the Christmas wrapping , green-blue clear water, depopulated towns, closed pubs and shops. The road finally having a good degree of inclination. Houses adorned with hundreds of twinkling lights, colorful Christmas tree full of colorful ornaments and red coats of Santa Claus. Merrily, colorfully, festively. Empty, sometimes just sleeping on the stairs cat or a dog raise its head with the hope, that he wil lbe given something to eat. Dozens of beaches - tiny and rocky, and large and sandy and hundreds of closed hotels suggest, it must be busy here in the summer . I do not miss this buzz, somehow. Everywhere orange groves, mandarine, olives… Orchards stretch to the horizon. And all that I could see was just another orange tree.. They are harvesting now, I picked the fruit fro under the trees, and if not I am being given. Lemons are not good yet.
I feel excited to see, an open campiste. OPEN! I do not need a grass there, to sleep, but the thought of a hot shower is tempting. I unhook the next points for and against: Hot water – yes. Wifi - yes. Time - yes. Price - 5 EURO (on the price list 12). All the "pros" – Decidiosn made - I stay. No one but the owners are there, and nice old albanse lady, in a white handkerchief as Albanian women often wear . In the morning I decide to stay a second night – wash my clothes, write a new blog entry, browse internet, and such. But I have a feeling, that there is a problem that, I made washing 3 T-shirts. and, that I charge my equipment. But only when I plug in my water heater to make morening tea the albanian lady, which is not as nice as at the beginning and tells me to swich it off, because it is expensive.
Well yes, Basically yes, kind of understand, but I only use the infrastructure of the campsite.
Crisis. There is no money. We all save.
The sun does not leave this part of Europe, but huge winds come back periodically. One day I wait until noon in the tent, wondering how to dismantle it by myslef in the wind, so that the wind would not blow it out. Finally, it occurs to me a stupid idea, to take a picture. Wind blows strong, camera falls and .. that's it. Finished. No more photos, some substitutes from the phone only.
Artificial things are just things, that break, they are just things, but sometimes it hurts more. More of a broekn ebook reader, a dead sleeping mat, I need to pump now every two hours at night because I am lying on the bare ground. I can not find the holes and it is losing air constantly. I love to take pictures and although I dream of a real camera this one was also doing well for a long time.
I cannot continue without equipment.
On the day beofre Christmas at my friend Iwona, my fellow schoolmate, who warmly invited me for Christmas I cook dumplings as promised . Harvey, their ubiquitous dog, as usual, pushed into the kitchen and is walking here and there, sits, which puts ears curved tip express the outstanding interest in the contents of bowls. Generally, this black beast is always interested in food and ran over to the slightest rustle the wrapper, and in the meantime grabs slippers and scarves. There is no way, Harvey will not get -nothing! Iwona family also do not get the dumplings on the eve of the Christmas Eve dinner. We eat on Christmas Eve, I am a terrorist, yes, but this is the rule! I am really grateful to my colleague, because I have not had real Christmas for several years now, especially in the Polish group.
Native ranks supplies friend Marzena, we travelled together by bikes in the Baltic states many years ago, then she the disappeared from sight, and then it turned out, she has settled down in Greece. There are also Polish church here in Athens and can listen to traditional Polish carols, Although the best ones of course, sound the Podhale region in the mountains.
After Christmas I move to Marzena and her cat Charlie. I am grateful for this opportunity and announce to all and sundry, that not only gods live in Greece, but also goddesses. From Poland.
No a teraz.. I embrace reality. I mean, I try to. I write a lot. Laze. Walks – on the nearby rocks is a beautiful view of Athens and coastal area. Unfortunately, things have broken in a place, where it is difficult to find a job, and in principle it is quite impossible. Health also a little out of order too.
Pireus, the biggest port in Greece is just a few miles from where I live, I can buy a ticket and take the ferry to Turkey or elsewhere.
Please forgive me, yet I will not fulfill this request now. My own wish, as I find it difficult to live off the bike, and probably also others' wish, because "if you're not on the road you do not exist" - isn't it?. At the moment I do not buy the ticket.
Meanwhile, I stay for a while with Charlie.
It is hard work – after all!
As usual ..swietnie August read ….
Thanks. I was a little waiting for the tide inspiration..
Good luck under the Greek sun!
Thanks! I had to go to the Peloponnese equivalent to modern but just.. ON.
Once I stole your beloved bike before the store, Now you have a beautiful and faithful Koge. Today, you have destroyed the camera, Kundla i Mate, Tomorrow you'll have a new. Well, somehow nothing else comes to mind, to cheer you up. I at least so I cheer the loss of favorite things. Take care !!!
Thanks Ed, you're right. Sometimes I have to complain about..
I do not know Eve, if you rest more in Europe, or already popłynęłaś to Asia, but heartily embrace you wherever you are. I was thrilled when I read,with you spent Christmas Eve in a Polish family and dumplings on stole.Odpoczywaj without remorse. The bike does not hare…
Haha, bike is not the hare, is that, but it was hard to tell yourself, that in UK, Cyprus nei coming weeks will be so used as I like. I benefited from the proposal friends, that these creatures a cat and pomieszkać during her departure, So I'm in the Athens area tudzież.