Road to nowhere

It is always like a long run or marathon when I am flying. It takes a lot of time to get there where you want to go. To be on time at the airport like 2 hours just for waiting, the overpriced bottled water or a sandwich, always people pressing at the gate afraid of the possibility that the seat is not there, the uncomfortable seats, and trying to hold the farting. So the trip to Athens was not quite to my liking.

A passenger who didn’t show up, but send the luggage ahead and was checked in. So the luggage had to be found in the cargo space and once found flight had to fit in the already busy schedule. So for the time being, the journey went nowhere. And everybody knows, waiting always takes a long time.

Almost an hour later we left. To 17:45 from Almere left to 03:15 local time I finally end up in my room. Public transfer at this time to Athens Centre will also not regular so I took a Beat taxi. At that time I was exhausted and had no energy left.

The same day at 12:15 after un uneasy sleep on my way to camp again. I’m not one to continuously have my phone in my hand. Specially when I am travelling. My cellphone disappears in my backpack unless I need some navigation, then it stays in my pocket. But the route to camp is imprinted in my mind, so in the bag it wend. I still felt a bit groggy but who cares. It was fairly quiet, not too much traffic. Later I understood why.

When I was in the Netherlands during Easter weekend I read some WhatsApp messages about squats being cleared of refugees in the center of Athens. After a few days of staying at Syntagma square, a large group of refugees left for camp Eleonas. I took the crowds and the bustle at the camp into account.

Upon arrival I was stopped by the security, with the message that it is not as wise to get into the camp. There was police up and about, and riot in the camp. However, he let me go into the camp. He told me to be especially careful. At the Office, it was quiet and the door was closed. Sitting, waiting and gulping at the tube of my camel bag, I took my phone and read the incoming messages. It turns out that the working day has been cancelled. Because of an unsafe environment. So that was my cue to do the 5.5 km journey home.

Thinking about it, I could have noticed that there is definitely something going on. It was a bit too quiet at the Office. Usually I’m the first one to arrive at the camp. And when so, there are always a few residents waiting to welcome the volunteers. And that was not so today.

Once back in Greece after my Easter holyday, I ended up in the silent week. Which sounded initially strange to me because I already had one the week before. However, the Orthodox Church has a slightly different calendar than the Catholic and Protestant Church and as a result I had again an Easter weekend coming up. Easter is for the Orthodox just like the Catholics and Protestants the most important day in the Christian faith. And many Greeks have taken this week off. So in Athens it will also literally be a silent week with less traffic.

The peace in camp Eleonas is returned. This would be my last working week, because I would work the coming month at a different project. But Nicolas, with whom I would go work on renovation of a vacant building and roof gardens, do not have enough work for me. Therefore I have extended my work on the camp with 2 more weeks. A few residents were pleased to hear that. Especially the men from the men’s discussion group. They find that they need an older person. And it turns out that I am the oldest.

From the moment I arrived in Athens, I have been looking for a next stay. As of June 16, I have no appartment so I need to find something else. Finding a new place to stay via feels like applying for a job. I have also very specific requirements so its a bit harder to find a place. I do not wave around with a list of skills. The only 2 things I offer is being a Jack of all trades and experiences accordingly to my age.

I agreed a few times with hosts to live and work at some places but also as many times being cancelled. Various reasons and even once because of the departure of the host to another country. Also once after an accord, 2 days later it was cancelled, because of “better” candidates. Pfff, it seems to lead nowhere.

I even considered to be working at “carob mill” on Crete. Being a tourist guide and preparing lunch when there are events.

But today it seems I’m finally set. I going to get acquainted with nature! I truly hope to end up there. I have an agreement with Costas and going to meet him next week. A good opportunity to look around, and exchange ideas about what can be done to earn my living. Also he will introduce me to the basics of permaculture. So this most likely lead to somewhere!