Sunday, September 7, 2008

The internet is crap here, so it is very difficult to get anything through, but her we go...

I am waiting @ a cafe' by the bus in North Crete. It is beautiful here. I am on the waterfront that looks like some postcard you would get from someone you want to hate.

This seems like a nice town. Not too tiny, but far from being huge. It looks like an ancient venisian fortress to the East of me. It runs along the shoreline; the lookout towers and large stone walls stretch into this modern time from somewhere in antiquity.

It was funny, I got here @ 2:12 pm and I see the bus schedule sign for transport leaving to Plakas (from what I can make out) and it says the next bus leaves at 2:15pm... uh, oh... So I am rushing to get to the ticket window so I can hopefully catch the bus. Well...things don't move too fast here in Crete. People tend to chat and linger which is exactly what happens. So when I finally get to the ticket window the time is 2:17pm. Now although people here aren't in a hurry, the transports do run on time, so needless to say my bus was leaving my American butt at the station.

Anyway, I am at the ticket window and I say "ticket to plakas" the best I can to the attendant who gets a strange, mildly disgusted yet overall bored look on his face and proceeds to get a woman who speaks English to talk to me. She starts in by mildly scolding me that I should pay closer attention because my bus already left (no really!!). (Side note) I have learned that over here although the people are generally friendly and nice they tend to have a somewhat gruff exterior and being able to hold your own, being polite yet very firm works in your favor. (anyway continuing the story) So I proceed to tell her with a stern look in my eye that my bus just arrived and I have not yet purchased my ticket for Plakas. She looked at me for a moment (possibly determining my resolve to get to my final distination, or more likely trying to decypher what I was trying to say). She then nods politely, says a few things in Greek to the ticket attendant and I get my ticket. The next bus arriving at 4:30pm which is ok because it will give me while to eat.

What I have determined so far that most people are generally nice even if they appear to be gruff on the outside. It's alright for you to smile and be friendly, but if your smile is too big and are too friendly it seems to be counter productive. I don't know if they then think you are being fake, untrustworthy, weak, "touched," or whatever, but it doesn't seem to get you too far. I have found that being reserved yet polite and friendly when needed seems to be the way to go.

Well, that's it for now.

~Craig

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