A monstrous day of travel brought me from the Sahara desert oasis town of Tozeur back to the Mediterranean’s capital of apathy and pissedoffedness: Athens, Greece. Or at least to the airport in Athens, which continues to defy logic by actually improving their (already nice) facilities. This free internet terminal is proof of advancement that even trickles down to backpackers. The most substantial new feature since my last visit is the wonderful train link between the airport and downtown, more efficiently whisking residents and masochists into the smoldering belly of the irate beast.
Could time and enhanced modernity and the learning curve of a million Olympic tourists have softened the deadl y razor’s edge of interpersonal Athenian communication into something more mellow, like maybe just a pummeling with a blunt object or a drive-by shooting? “Oh come ON! You’ve got to be kidding! Go over THERE!” barked the check-in agent at the airline counter marked ALL DESTINATIONS, where all those destinations do not seem to include mine and I’m summarily bounced to an unmarked counter hundreds of feet away that, clearly, I should have telepathically recognized. But, says the big overhead banner, “Athens Welcomes You.”