My Week in Athens… May 17

  • by XpatAthens
  • Thursday, 05 February 2015
My Week in Athens… May 17

This week, our member Marina shares her experience in Athens - a nice reminder for all of us. Hope you enjoy...

I am a visitor in this great city, from Venezuela. This is a true story – it happened this very week.

I am staying with a friend in ‘Maroussi’ – and I decided to spend the day exploring the centre of Athens. I loved walking around the Acropolis and the flea market, having lunch in the Thissio, and visiting the many museums. My Greek skills extend so far as ‘kalimera’, but this wasn’t a problem at all!

I had a Google map which my friend printed for me, so I knew how to get home – or so I thought! I even borrowed my friend’s mobile phone, to be able to call in case of emergency.

On my way back home on the train, the phone somehow locked, so I wasn’t able to use it. Then I noticed the map I had was printed without street names. And I never bothered to write down my friend’s address or phone number – everything was in the phone!

So by the time I exited the train in Maroussi, I was really stuck. A woman noticed my obvious confusion with the map, and approached me, talking to me in Greek. I replied in English, then in Spanish – no luck. She gestured to me to follow her, waving her keys in front of me - and we got into her car. She drove me to her home nearby, and called her entire family out to try to help me – all in Greek. This was great! But it didn’t help, since we couldn’t recognize the actual street name…

So she took me back to the train station, where she asked another random stranger to help. This time, the young man managed to speak some English, but we still couldn't figure out the map! So he walked with me to a nearby internet café, and helped me speak to the shop-keeper. I managed to get online, and found my friend via Facebook!

There is a certain spirit in Greece, and even in Athens, that welcomes you and surprises you, and shows itself when you least expect it. I did love my week-long experience here, but more than the monuments and great food, it is this spirit that will remain in my memory. I hope you have a chance to experience this too!

Thanks Marina.

Until next week,


In this weekly space, keep up with ‘Jack’ as he navigates daily life in Athens… Anecdotes, stories, hits & misses, the good, the bad and, well, the rest…