Going through hell to get to heaven
Trip Start Nov 29, 2005
79Trip End Nov 21, 2006
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On the way out, I wound up bumping into two English girls I had met in Koh Pha Ngan. It was odd because, while I've gotten used to the idea of running into people who are on similar routes, I figured I'd be permanently breaking off the route of most European backpackers once I left Bangkok. But sure enough, there were two girls on my same flight. It worked out because through them I met another English girl who I could pass the first couple hours of my 11-hour layover with. After she got on her flight, I was forced into sleeping on the floor of the airport because the "quiet lounge" with the recliners had construction going on nearby, so the whole quiet thing went out the window. At one point when I woke up from my wonderful ground slumber, I had bizarre run-in number two. When I woke around 6 I sat up still not quite right from the half-sleep I was getting and turned to see a blonde girl staring at me. I knew I recognized the face, but I was still half-asleep and wasn't processing things at normal speeds. When she said my name, I knew exactly who it was, but a solid amount of time, anywhere between 10 and 30 seconds passed before I could get my head around the fact that Kate and Helen, my two English friends from Phnom Penh were sitting next to me in an airport in Dubai.
Eleven hours after touching down in the UAE I was back on a plane, destined for Athens. No sleep would come on that flight either as the guy in front of me decided he would recline the whole way, so bye-bye leg room. The guy was one of those Mediterraneans who are of the theory when it comes to chest hair, "If you've got it, flaunt it." He was even one of those that takes the extra step of burying a gold medallion somewhere in the forest. Once in Athens, I had to deal with the blustery 13 degree weather, a shock to the system, since I was a) in shorts and a t-shirt, and b) haven't been in weather anywhere near 13 degrees in at least three or four months. I know, cue the violins, but it was still not what I was hoping for. It was then only a matter of waiting eight hours for my overnight ferry (again, sleeping on the floor, this time in a boat with the AC cranked so high it felt as if they were trying to simulate Arctic Circle conditions) to Ios, in the Cyclades, an island group in Greece. This will be my base, hopefully, for the next three months as I'll "work" over the summer to keep my money in neutral while living in paradise. I'm in a bungalow with good people and cheap rooms and three pools. And the ocean is literally across the street. You can cut off the violins now.