Time Warp

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Goodbye Rethymno
While I have noticed that time moves far more quickly in Europe than at home (perhaps owing to the greater rotational speed given its relative distance to the equator), what I have experienced since Sunday is nothing short of Einsteinian. Yes, Sunday, aka Halloween everywhere except here. Time warp related? I don’t know. It did seem, however, to drag on longer than your average slow Sunday. My first clue, though I didn’t know it at the time. Monday, I headed back to Hania, thinking I’d take the last highspeed off the island to Athens, and collect my iPod to boot.

Hania again (again)
I caught the bus Monday, noticing that the wrong time was on the ticket, but having no problems on the bus whatsoever, and I was back in Hania. Nikos was meeting me later that day, so I walked around Hania one last time, noticing that the stores were closing at 3:30. I thought that Niko had said 2:30 was when they closed, but maybe not. I had, incidentally, left my bag at the KTEL (bus station) so I wouldn't have to haul it around with me. Niko met me while I was having lunch, then we took off for another cafe up on the hill overlooking Hania. We went on his bike, and man was it cold. But the cafe was worth it, a very nice view and as it was by now nearing the end of the day, a great view of the sunset before we took off, though not without a couple really delicious desserts. A little alliteration never hurt anyone.

Nikos orders dessert
We traded his bike in for the car, stopped at his place for a bit (I thought of my mom or Aunt Joeanne in their house - I counted some 40 flies on the ceiling). His mom Raided them, however, and they soon started breakdancing on the floor, one by one. Then we pointed the car in the direction of the KTEL and grabbed my bags. They closed at 8:30, and the clock was ticking. Not to mention my ferry left at 9:00. We got there a little after 8:00 and there was a massive lineup because the attendant was unloading a bus. I discovered I had thrown out my papers saying that it was MY bag in there, falling apart, on shelf 14. This made me very nervous as I remembered the whole debit card debacle at Eurobank, and I was very tempted to hop the counter and get my bag while the guy was gone, especially since I was waiting in line for 15 mins and they seemed to go all too slowly and quickly at once. If I went at closing time to try to get my bag without papers, it would be too easy for them to tell me to come back tomorrow when someone else could deal with it.

Sunset on Hania
However, I resisted the temptation as I stood there nervously for far too long, though it did play on my nerves quite a bit. Finally the guy arrived at 8:20 and couldn't care less that I'd lost my ticket. Whew. Back in the car, we drove to the port at Souda, arriving at about 8:35, with 25 minutes to spare. I didn't have a cabin, just a deck seat, so I'd wanted to arrive a little earlier to get a good one (maybe missing a neighbouring armrest or with lots of floor space or something), but at least I was getting to the ferry with my bags. That said, for a day after the long weekend when all the cabins were sold and the ferry itself was supposed to be near full, there weren't that many people boarded when I got on. So I got a decent seat, though I should say for future reference that if you're travelling deck class, Minoan Lines are the way to go, not Anek lines, even if they're 5 Euro less. The Pullman seats, contrary to their name, require no pulling whatsoever to recline or sit up, making any attempts to sleep difficult as it shifted anytime I did.

No highspeed for me
I got a Mythos from the bar to help my cause and pulled out my book, The Cretan Runner, a first-person retelling of Crete's famed resistance to the Germans in World War 2, a very good story. I was hoping that, since I'd arrived with only 25 minutes to spare, we'd soon be under way and there's still be many seats available. 9:00 came, and then 9:10, 9:12, seats filling more and more, 9:20, and so on, until 10:00, when the ferry finally left. "An hour late," I thought, "ahhhh, Greece." Maybe this meaned I would be getting in an hour later to Athens, at 6 AM instead of 5 AM. So there was a bit of good news even though the deck had filled up quite a bit in that extra hour.

A good read
I was unable to sleep for more than 10-15 minutes. My eyes did grow heavy, I did feel tired, but to no avail. At one point, when one of the guys sitting closest to me abandoned his chair for a spot on the floor (he had his sleeping bag which I had stupidly left behind thinking I'd have no need for it) I was desperate enough to try the same. I took off my 'jacket' crumpled it in a ball on the floor and tried to sleep, but it wasn't quite comfortable or clean enough for me to try longer than 10 minutes before I gave up on sleep altogether. So I cranked the iPod, read my book, and we pulled into Athens at 6 AM on the nose. Exactly one hour late. At least they got that part right.

I took the metro to Omonia and wandered down the street to Agious Constantinos, where the bus takes people so inclined to the Bus Terminal. I got there at about 6:30, where a man who, well, let's just say had trouble speaking, grunted at me, making hand motions like a "T" for timeout, "10 & 2" for driving, and "Horizontal scrub" for no, I assume, tried to tell me something. Perhaps the busses were on strike, perhaps he was not quite all there, I didn't know. There were plenty of others standing around too. I asked one man, who said the bus would come at 7. I'd been waiting for 15 minutes and that was a long time to continue to wait, but I tried. The next 15 minutes went very slowly, punctuated by people smarter than me getting into cabs and leaving me wondering what was really going on. 7:00 came and went, then 7:05, and finally 7:10 before I decided and managed to successfully hail a cab where I was joined by an old couple. For only 3 Euros, I was at the bus station.

When I got my ticket for Tripoli, I was told that there was one leaving in three minutes. I looked at my watch. 7:30. Sure. I grabbed the ticket and ran to the bus, but looking at my ticket as I ran, I noticed it said 6:30. Hmm. I didn't have time to go back and tell the ticket agent she'd made a mistake, so I hoped the ticket collector wouldn't say anything. They didn't. I made the bus and I even had time to run to the WC quickly. As you may have guessed, however, my suspicions had long been raised about all this time tomfoolery, and I started to wonder if, maybe, there had been a time change. Living in Saskatchewan, you see, I've never experienced one. How would I know?

My fears were allayed only slightly when the clock on the bus matched my watch. My cell phone, which I thought was supposed to sync with the system automatically, also matched my watch. Still, something funny was going on. I managed about an hour of sleep, finally, on the bus. The road to Tripoli is quite different in the fall/winter, greener. More pretty than I remembered. Maybe that's just because my eyes were fuzzy. We finally did arrive in Tripoli, where we passed an outdoor clock on one of those farmacy green crosses proclaiming the time to be an hour earlier than and of my various time pieces indicated (had I checked my iPod, I would've got the correct time). I got a taxi and asked him what time it was, and sure enough, I had experienced the time warp. Which, if one looks back on this story now, is quite obvious and certainly didn't make the trip to Tripoli very easy.

I thought my time warp story ended there, but it didn't. As it is now Saturday (where did the week go?) I realize that I have only 10 days left in Greece before I board a plane to Belfast. If this isn't a time warp, I don't know what is. As for the rest of the week, it's been more of the usual Tripoli stuff. I did manage a few hours of sleep on Tuesday before the other Dean came and then Dean, Kelly, Sophia, and I went out for coffee. We also ran some more errands the next day and I've been looking for a tailor or outfitter to repair my backpack which would be really handy before I depart for Belfast. I'll probably spend a few days in the horio, since I haven't really seen much of Uncle Ted, Aunt Marina, Maria, Kosta, or any of their kids. I've also been continuing my Greek studies here to pass some time during the days when everyone is working. I imagine my next update will probably come to you right before I leave Greece. The Toronto cousins leave this Monday, too, so I'm sure we'll be seeing plenty of them and/or hitting the town this weekend. Now, I'm off to fight the warp. Wish me luck.

<Sunset on Hania Photos>


Anonymous said...

hey dean your coming home soon hip hip hooray! Larissa finaly hooked my computer up and my msn so i can talk to hope and them well catch ya later i promise i will send u a longer letter tomorrow mariah

Anonymous said...

hey,dean i got your birthday present and it is so awesome! I couldn't keep my mind off of who would of sent me a parcel.and oh my goshthe slippers i just can't take em off!
say, who ever said you can say i am growing up so fast and nicole thought it was a 16 year old writing on nicoles website? will you be at creta longt enough for me to send you a letter ? if you are email me back at mariah @ katsiris.com and tell me your address and if you will be there long enough for me to send you a letter.


Ryan said...

Hey Dean, Im looking forward to having you get back to toon town. I enjoy the way you write your posts, they take you in and make you feel as though you were there. You ever think of writing a book?

Anyway, just wanted to quickly post a line here and say hello and tell you to get home safe.


Dean said...

Hello Mariah! I was expecting you guys to call, I was going to tell you not to open your present until your birthday, but that's okay, I'm glad you like them! I didn't think they'd fit, don't tell me your feet are that big already?!

I'm in Tripoli again (not in Creta anymore) and going to the horio today and tomorrow, your letter probably wouldn't get here in time, but that's okay, emails (get Larissa to give you my email) are great.

I'll hopefully talk to you soon, though.

Dean said...

Hey Ryan, yeah, I'm looking forward to getting back too, we'll definitely have to get out for a coffee/nice Canadian beer when I get back. Stumbled on your site the other day and added a link from mine, nice work. The photogallery looks nice even if it's acting up at the moment.

I've thought of writing a book or something many times, but I don't think my writing is really that interesting nor do I have a clue what it would be about. If I had an idea that I thought was good, I'd probably give it a go - this blog is proof that my reservations about my writing aren't enough to stop me from doing it anyway. :)

Anyway, I'm glad that you came by. See you soon.

the_dutch said...

dude... you have to be an autobiographical writer, like Kerouac...

I'm envious of your writ

I should update mine

Dean said...

You should indeed update yours, but sounds like you've been busy. I just looked at your profile again, and apparently you're back in Saskatoon? :)

Still waiting for those photos, and I think that there's much to be said for being succinct, which I tend not to be, but thanks nonetheless.