Friday, 27 February 2009

Feeling my age...

This year I'm hitting the big 40, but I keep forgetting my age.
I'm still feel like I'm in my 20s.
But now reality has set in I have to remember that somewhere in Athens I have an 18-year-old son.

It is quite scary to think that a lot of my current friends are only a few years older than my son. As someone "kindly" reminded me, I could already be a grandmother.
So, I have to remember I'm no longer a 21-year old enjoying the carefree life as a runner in Athens. But that I'm a 39-year old professional.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009


Woke up really early today, on my day off as per usual and it made me think! Yes, I do sometimes use my little grey cells.

But how come when I can have sleep-in I wake up early?

And, when I'm looking for something I cannot find it and when I not its rigth in front of me?

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Back in England

Arrived back in England yesterday, so today it was back normal whatever that is!
I do however think my trip "home" was good for my soul.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Finally started my blog

Having spend a hour or so creating my new blog, I have decided that all my facebook friends deserve to see it.

I was never a good writer nor did I ever keep a diary, but as this blog is dedicated to a young man in Greece, I feel it is my duty to ensure I at least attempt to keep writing, so if I take to long to write something new, please give me a nudge.

Actually, I need to thank two people from back in the days for even sitting here in Vathias Square in Athens writing this. Sam, if I had not found you website I would probably only have talked about going back and finding my boy and Claus, just for making me jealous of your wandering life, you are doing what I wished I would have done and both for taking part in making my whom I am today. I am having an Amstel for both of you

Day 2 of my trip

Woke up this morning for my first full day back here in Athens, have a basic breakfast at my hotel. Cricky, Mana at Joy's did spoil us back in the days with scrabbled eggs, fresh bread and damson jam. Actually, I think even the scary Mana at Iokastis did do fresh fried eggs.

After being a total tourist for the day, I even saw the changing of the guard for the first time, but didn't do the Acropolis. Have done that too many times before. But managed to find a place where they sell slovakies (gyro pitas) and Amstel beer.

I wandered down Michael Volda towards Aphrodite and found to my shock and horror it has been closed for refurbishment for the next two months, that is my typical luck.

However, decide to wander down to Diethnes and is pleasantly surprised to find that something has not changed. Diethnes still have the same owner Christos, although the hostel is now 3-star hotel, he gave me the guided tour and showed me the new roof bar. In my day, Lino, Scoogie and me would enjoy Pink Floyd and few joints there.

The way Diethnes has been renovated I would have not problems recommending it to any Athens travelers, I wish I stayed there now. Considering it was the first place I stayed when I got to Athens 18 years ago when it was not that good.

Christos also told me that Aphrodite and Zorbas apparently have the same owners as back in the days, to bad neither of them was around to chat to my it was nice to speak to someone who remembers some of my old friends.

On my way back to my hotel, I walked passed what I think might have been the Paradise Bar, if it is the same it is still a slightly dodgy bar.

Back in Athens after 18 years

After spending years wanting to go back to Athens, I final bit the bullet and booked my trip.

Arrived this morning to the my "hometown" and its new airport to discover that the metro from the airport to Central Athens was closed for refurbishment. Having met some Kiwi's no the airport at least have some company on my way to Larrisa Station (you from back in the days will recall our fun there).

However, our train takes us to Ago Lision, which I cannot remember at all, when we finally arrive at Larissa Station or as it is now called Athina get out and do not recognized a thing.

Finally, I find myself on Lission and start walking toward Platiea Vathias where I'm staying. Soon, spot Mikael Vola Street and finally have know where I am.

After checking into my hotel Aristotles, not to bad for being a 2-star, I wander Arharnon Street toward my old "home" at Ferron Street, and find to my shock and horror that Joy's Hotel is still there but is now an apartment block.

Then decide to wander up to where Iokastis used to be, that appears to have been converted to a bank.

At least there is still a patisserie at Platiea Viktoria and a sandwich shop by the underground station. I end up, after craving solovakies for years, in a place which promises me that they have done slovakies since 1969, thinking it must be proper slolvakies. But no, no pita bread, no tzatiski but they tasted good and the place served Amstel Beer.

Decide to check out Hotel Zorba's and find despite google, that they are apparently no longer a backpacker hostel, if they are my current hotel is more backpacker friendly.

Even, Athens Connection which thanks to Claus I know is no longer a hostel has changed beyond recognition.

On a plus note my hotel serves Amstel beer (cans at 2 euro's a pop) and a local shop does the 500ml glass bottles at 88 cents.

Tomorrow, is another day, I am checking out Monestraki and will check out Aphrodite and Diethnes hopefully they are more recognizable. Hopefully, I can also upload some photo's which I cannot do from my hotel.

The reason for the blog!!

20 years ago I was a lost soul from Norway whom one day decided to get an inter rail ticket and make my way back to Greece where I had spend an enjoyable week the year before.

After sitting on the train from Munich for what seemed years (in fact only about 48 hours) and wondering where the heck I should stay in Athens when I arrive, I was accosted by about 15 "runners" when my train passed the aptly named station Onioi just outside Athens. They all was telling my about their fantastic hostels in Athens and in my haste I decided to place all the pamphlets in my bag and stay at the one which came out first.

I ended up with a place called Diethens Hotel, which at the time was a total dive. I did remember the two guys from the another hostel Joy's and decided the next day to check in there.

After a week I ventured out to Crete to the job I had been promised, which turned out to be hot air. I returned to Athens and to Joy's begging them for a job, at the time they did not have any jobs and got me a job around the corner at Iokastis Guest House. After a few week the folks at Joy's realized where my heart was and welcomed me "home" to the place which was for 18 months my true home and my "real" family: Mana, Manolis, Takis, Wilma and Nicos, and not for getting our merry band of staff from Sweden, England, Australia and other far flung places.

Being the lost soul which I was, I was finally accepted for being me and nothing else, I was not longer the geek with glasses, whom spoke differently and finally felt safe, I felt comfortable around people and did not feel that I had to watch my "back" as I was used to in Norway.

Throughout my 18 months in Greece I was finally home!!! These 18 months were what really defined me and the person I am today. I do not regret any of the things I did back then!

Now 20 years later I am back in Greece for a totally different reason, before I left Greece I gave birth to a boy (who is now 18) but due to my circumstances back in Norway I felt deserved parents like my Greek Mana, so I gave him up for adoption in Greece. I have now found details of my boy, and this is the reason I decided to start this blog.

I have decided that I will allow him to decide if he wants to find me, rather than me turning up in his life saying I am his mum. Comparing my real mum and Mana, I know that I would preferred that Mana was my real mum rather than my so called Norwegian mother, so why should I inflict that choice on a 18 year old boy who might not even know he was adopted. But this blog is dedicated to him, and should we never meet I hope he realizes the what I did was out of love for him and no other reason.

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