Traveling for long periods of time isn’t always fun or easy. I post pictures on FB of the overwhelmingly happy moments and incredible sights I’ve seen, but yesterday was not a FB day. I didn’t take a single photo that inspired me. I had a rough day yesterday after dropping off my aunt and uncle at the airport. My eyes brimmed with tears giving them hugs and as I drove away, the tears cascaded onto my cheeks. My Greek taxi driver patted me on the shoulder and said “mama? Papa?” I just nodded- it was easier than trying to explain and maintain composure. I was alone in paradise and crying. I immediately began to beat myself up for feeling this way- how pathetic. Pull it together, Sauer! You knew this was coming! This is what you wanted!
I checked into my budget accommodation in what I can only describe as a place that made a Super 8 motel in the States look like the Ritz. Thank god my room was ready because I collapsed I the bed (no blanket- only sheets) and cried myself to sleep. I woke up a few hours later and, determined to feel better, I decided to take a walk and find some lunch. After staying in some incredible accommodation, I assumed that Greek Hospitality would extend everywhere. Not a chance. The two women at the “reception” of my place looked as though they had been out partying all night and were taking long drags on skinny cigarettes as I tried, in vain, to ask them if they had a tourist map for me to mark where I was and point out some places of interest. Their response, “you can go find one at the store.” Awesome. I wandered down to the road, and walked down the dirty street littered with last nights party favors- empty bottles of beer, half eaten slices of pizza- and oh look- a dead rat. Awesome. I somehow made it down to the beach and immediately stepped into a patch of wet cement. My foot sank about 3 inches- I yelped and yanked my foot out, but my flip flop stayed behind along with my pride. I laughed (fortunately my sun tan covered up the bright red I likely flushed), grabbed my flip flop, and hobbled down to the beach to wash it off. Not a great start.
The beach was overcrowded with chairs bottle tops and takeaway wrappers and I had no clue where to walk to get to the Main Street. I walked into a shop to inquire about SIM cards and a map of the area and a Greek woman snapped “what! What you want! No! No we no have!” Strike two for Greek Hospitality in Laganas. After the morning I had, I put my head down, started to cry behind my sunglasses and wandered down the street. I eventually (somehow) found my way to the main drag and was blasted by the smell of stale beer, pee, and the sick-sweet smell likely of some red bull drink designed to keep the hordes of 18year olds amped up for the night. I immediately hated it. But. I am stubborn and if anyone could find a positive side to this disaster of a place, it was me. I was bound and determined to find a damn SIM card for my phone so I could get around independently since my introduction to this area was less than friendly. Fortunately I found two wonderful shop owners who helped me and were patient with this newbie to foreign (but simple) technology! I sat down for lunch at a spot near the sea and realized I needed to sort out a tour for the next day because I’d be damned if I was going to stay another day in this shithole.
I sent out an SOS message to my brother Kyle for a pep talk. I needed someone to tell me that my feelings were ok and it this was just temporary. Damn you time time difference. Guess I’d have to wait.
I picked up some things at the store and walked back to my place, past throngs of skinny and pasty white groups of boys and groups of bikini-clad girls being hustled into “the best club night ever tonight!!” I smiled to myself and remembered not long ago, that was me. It’s so strange- even though daily I don’t feel old- but when I’m around certain experiences i realized I’ve so outgrown them.
Back at my hotel (if you could call it that) I set up shop on my little terrace and decided to catch up on my blog… (yeah this one will likely come out before the others). I managed to book a tour to a neighboring island of Kefalonia tomorrow and return to nature a bit. Sea Kayaking was my first preference, but the trip I wanted was fully booked, of course.
I was able to chat with my brother and he made me feel better. Made me realize that this is my month to figure out me. To take care of me.
Well here we go.
Day 1, solo adventure in the books.