After staying up most of the night in my Athens hotel, I am the first person to breakfast. I purchase all my tickets for the island of Karpathos and decide to take in some more Greek culture: a visit to the local gym.
The receptionist at the gym is pregnant and smoking a cigarette. I ask her if all the treadmills have their own ashtrays. She laughs and apologizes for smoking at the gym.
I go inside, the place reaks of second hand smoke.
Side note: when experts extoll the virtures of the Mediterranean diet, do they ever mention that it includes 2 packs of cigarettes a day?
The gym also doesn't supply towels. I have a nice workout and dry off using paper towels and the hair dryer. Very humbling.
I head down to the Athen's port of Piraeus for my ferry. I have booked a luxury class berth for 59 Euros (about $80). The only hitch: there are 4 beds in the room (two bunks.) I could be sleeping with 3 snoring guys in a tiny room. Then again, if the boat is relatively empty, I could have the entire room to myself.
On the boat, luxury class is referred to as "distinguished class." They've obviously go my number.
I go to my room. The beds are tiny. I have slept in bassinets bigger than this. Then a roomate shows up. (it turns out to be only the two of us.) He seems nice enough, drops his bag in the room, and we go our separate ways. The room also has small bathroom with handheld shower handle. How convenient, you can sit on the toilet and take a shower.
Four hours into ferry, first female encounter. There is a group of three women with backpacks. One is attractive. The other two I'm sure are very nice people. We're sitting on the back of the boat watching the sunset.
I go in to get dinner and one of the nice ones is ahead of me on the cafeteria line. She is speaking English to the Greek serving guy behind the counter. She is trying to find out what's in the different dishes. I make clever repartee. She laughs. We go our separate ways. I finish my meal and leave dining room to get a book to read. I come back. Her nice friend keeps turning around to look at me. (or so I imagine. She could have been practicing her spinal twists.)
The two nice ones get and leave. The attractive is alone at the table. I think to myself: what would my fearless friend Bob do in this situation? I grab my book and start walking towards the door and make sure to pass by her table. I ask where she is getting off.
"Sorry, I don't believe I know you," she says.
"Um, eh, um. You don't but I saw you guys around..."
We have the world's shortest conversation and slink off to my room. Thanks, Bob.
Note: Only thing I ever learned about trying to approach unkown women in a public place is to make sure it looks like you're on your way somewhere and talking to them on the way. You never, ever, want to walk up to them, chat, get blown off and have to walk back in direction from whence you came.