Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Blessed be He who revives the dead

Or at least He who makes The Spouse loan his computer to the poor afflicted blogger whose computer suffers from an unmountable boot disk. (New computer coming from the States April 11.)

So, where was I? Oh, yes, my last day in Athens. (Notice how nicely I am going back in time and not discussing the election results. 63.8% voter turnout is not a mandate for anything but apathy.)

In the morning I had a meeting at the Elpis Hospital, where our experiment will be conducted (in Greece they don't use Institutional Review Boards; instead, you do your experiment under the auspices of a hospital.) My local guide and I took the metro there and back, since it's just at the outskirts of the city. Ever had a meeting where some of the participants did not speak the same language at all? The chief cardiologist, who was crucial to the discussions, spoke no English, and my Greek is limited to "hello" and "yes," which may be crowd-pleasing, but is extremely inefficient. Since the other participants had limited English, it all took much longer than it should have, but by early afternoon I was back in Athens proper and waiting for my next meeting, scheduled for 8:30 pm.

So what does a knitter do with time on her hands? She looks for a yarn store. Undaunted by the fact that the concierge did not know what "yarn" was and only bought a clue when I showed him my sock in progress, I set out to find a yarn store on my own, in a strange city where I did not speak the language.

First I tried Omonia Square
then headed down toward Syntagma Square and the Parliament building

(oh, look, it's Jaywalker again!)

(Of course Broadripple is never left behind.)

I finally found the yarn store by stumbling upon the fabric stores, and following the street until the fiber type morphed:
Dimitrios J. Sakalak & Son Ltd.
30 Kolokotroni St.

Lots of European yarns, primarily German. Not a must-see store (nothing local, nothing unusual) but a nice, pleasant place if you're in town and looking for a fix. Credit cards not accepted.

Another not-unusual but none-the-less welcome sight was Starbucks. I'm as little a fan of globalization as anyone else, but after a long day of listening to people around you talk a language you don't understand, and seeing around you a language you can't read, it's nice to settle down to a coffee of the day you can actually speak well enough to order and to hear English, in varying accents, all around. That is, if you can get to the Starbucks, if you survive crossing the street.

Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you--traffic runs backwards (well, correctly if you're British) on Aiogou Street. If you're trying to be like the Greeks and so are jaywalking, this is very important information to have.

At 9:30 I met with the last of my doctors, who took me to the airport. We only got lost twice, but that was OK. My flight was to leave at 1:20 am, and by midnight the check-in counter was still closed. You know things are bad when all the Israelis are in line, ready and waiting…

Next up: Purim!

1 comment:

Ina said...

Looks like Jaywalker and Broadripple are having fabby adventures!