7:35 AM, Thursday, June 25th, 2009:
Randomania peeps. Like, it seems almost like a cop-out to just keep doing "Randoms" entries but there sooooooooooooo many things to write. I just don't know any other way to do it. And what the hell else am I gonna do on this flight to Venice?
1) Random Flight Changers
My flight was changed to nearly 2 hours earlier with no email warning. Complete dumb luck that I got here what I thought was 3 hours early and instead barely made it on. If I had missed this flight 'cause of that shit I would've been seriously pissed. But like nearly everything on this trip, it's all sort of come together. However I don't have a place to stay in Venice yet, so here's hopin' I see open-arms when I check my email in a few hours.
2) The End of The Arm Trick
Got a chance to hang out with Anna (girl from the store a few entries back) on my last day and, well, this video speaks for itself.
So owned. So completely owned.
3) Her inner-Charlotte.
As fun as it is to try and talk with Anna (who speaks english very well, but not as colloquial as me), several of her mannerisms and cadence are exactly like my old manager, Charlotte. It's... unnerving to say the least. Not because things ended badly with Charlotte, just because it's so spot on. I'm realizing now that Charlotte's Armenian background is obviously very close to Greece. She wasn't born in the states and I don't believe english is her first language, but you'd never know as her accent is perfect. But what I previously thought of as her specific mannerisms/cadences is obviously an ethnic thing. It's hard to hide my reactions to the similarities sometimes. Every few sentences I feel like someone tweaked a vertabrae and I need to wince. Ok, wow, maybe it is 'cause things ended badly with Charlotte. LOL.
4) Effreh ree - fuck it.
Like I can say shit about Anna's english when I can't even say "Thank You" in Greek. Man, I don't know what it is, but my mind can't remember greek phrases at ALL. I have a hard time seeing the words in my mind so I can't recall them later. Like, I've asked 73 people how to say "Thank You" and every time I repeat it back to them, they speak louder, slower, and with bigger mouth movements: "EFF FREH EEE STOH". Of course they're rollin' Rs and tonguin' their own tonsils or some shit. I'm clueless as to how to repeat it. All I know how to say in greek is "I love you" (hahahaha, insert joke here - it was 'cause I was taught to say it to my great grandmother smartasses) and I even say that wrong. It's actually "S'agapo" and I always said it SAY-AGAPO. I got now, but... ugh. I'm just lost here. It's also because so much of Greek is accent. You say the accent wrong, and people are lost. The street I was staying on was "Skoufou" and if you don't say - <skoo-foo> fahgettaboutit. No one will have a clue what you're saying.
...yet, amazingly THEY'VE all been HELPFUL when I try to pronounce it - unlike SOME people in SOME fuggin' countries. Ribbit Ribbit Bastards.
5) The Greek Grands Got it.

So the food? Identical to what my Greek grandfather (and my grandmother before she passed) made. Shockingly identical. I mean, I guess I shouldn't be surprised - they ran restaurants their entire lives so they were clearly exceptional cooks. And even when they cooked at home, they STILL cooked like they were at the restaurant... but I now realize just how good I had it as a kid. Man I wish I could get home more.

6) The Cereal Language
When I was in Japan I quickly let go of trying to read the signs, 'cause obviously you can't really guess with Japanese symbols. However in Greek they mess with you. They tease you. You're like: "Alright, I've got this... It's a K, an O...uhm is that a horseshoe? And a triangle? What?" It's like some kid poured out some Lucky Charms on the table and just randomly put shit together. And you never stop thinking you're gonna figure out the next sign you see. 'Cause there's just enough familiarity to make you hope.
7) Does this skirt make me look feminine?
Some things are just... different.
So while I'm sitting outside of Anna's store this kid comes up with his family looking for a pair of sunglasses for him. He's got a girly feathered hairdo (which you can't really see from the picture) and, well, you can see how he's dressed. He puts on a pair and asks his mother and sister:
"Does this make me look feminine?"
I had to hold my guffaw on that one. No but your fucking pants do. HA. The father said:  "You have a pair of white sunglasses at home and you never wear them" so he put them down. Strangely english wasn't their native tongue - yet they spoke it with each other. Not sure what it was, but just... wow. I got quite a charge out of that.
But you know what was actually cool? The entire family, mother/father/sister were helping him out and interested in what he was buying. Like the sister seemed actually excited to help him pick out some sunglasses.
Come to think of it... maybe she just likes dressing him up like the sister she never had.
8) Dog Gangs of Athens
Man, if I'm reincarnated as a dog, I pray it's in this city. They're everywhere - and people just kind of accept it. And they have a friggin' BALL. They all roam around in packs, fuck with the leashed dogs - almost taunting... chase cats... it's awesome. The cat thing was so funny - 'cause it's like an African Safari but you expect them to start talking like Tom & Jerry cause they're so personable. They're just not like stray dogs in the states, this actually seems like fun. They clearly get fed - and most the time are just sleepin' in the middle of the sidewalk, etc. I guess it's lke their pets of the city - 'cause you see policeman playing with them at night, givin' 'em some scraps. It's as if no one would dare have them taken away... they look forward to seeing them. COOL.
9) Master Worriers
My grandfather has this popular Greek "Worry-bead" string-type thingee as well but he never pulled off these moves... which I CAN'T SHOW YOU 'cause I have so many videos and not enough space. What a total pain in the ass. First time that's ever been an issue. I'd put it in this entry's video somewhere but it's too cute to put some random guy playing with himself. Heh. I guess I'll give you a picture.

The men that maneuver these do this shit as effortlessly as possible. It's hard not to stare. Like they've been doin' it all their lives and it's an appendage. It's like the older generation's blackberry. Ha. Obsessively moving their hands while stuck in a place they can't get out of (line, subway, etc.). You see no one under 50 with 'em. Too bad. Cool tradition. Maybe I'll include the video in a later entry.

10) Save money. Buy Beer
Beer is cheaper, or the same price, as soda out here. Huh? I've drank more beer than I have in my life simply because I'm a cheap bastard. LMFAO. I'm kidding actually, it's just because I can't get over a beer being 2.50 and a soda being 3.00. Oh and of course, our American beers are the "import" so if you find those you're paying dearly for them. I drank Mythos and Amstel mostly. Heineken is the biggest beer in Athens however. Go figure.
11) Enter Despair
It's now 9:15 AM, I'm in Venice, and I have absolutely no place to go. No response from anyone on couchsurfing.com and it's kinda unnerving actually. I really thought something would pop-up - but the dude who was going to host me would never give me specifics. He was like: "Hello! Let us meet in the town square! I will see you soon!" To which I would reply - WHAT IS YOUR NUMBER? Your ADDRESS? DUDE. I assume he just knows very little english but you'd think contact information is universal. Alas it is not.
<10 minutes later>
Booked 5 nights at a youth hostel. Whew. This adventure just got a bit hairy. Isn't "Hostel" a horror movie? LOL. I'm certain this will make for good Journey fodder...
...like THAT's been lacking.