We arrived in Athens on Wednesday afternoon after a 5 hour flight from Dubai to Istanbul, a sprint through the airport to catch our next flight with only a 30 minute window, and a short 1 hour flight to Athens. We found a nice minivan to take us to our apartment, which took almost 45 minutes. We were met by our AirBnB host, Spiros, and shown our cute little 2 bedroom apartment. There is an elevator in the building which we used to get our bags up to the 3rd floor, but it only fits a few bags at a time. We have been using the stairs every time we come and go because the elevator can’t hold more than 3 people at once.
We settled in on Wednesday afternoon as Ilise and I did our normal shopping routine. There was a really nice grocery store across the street that is very clean and the prices are amazingly low. Greece is a mess economically so in order for people to be able to afford anything the prices need to be low. I was able to spend some time with Spiro on Friday night and he told me all about his country, how he survives on under $10,000 a year in salary and how most people in the country don’t get paid. He told me that there is about 25% unemployment and another 20% who are employed but don’t get paid by their employer. Spiros’ wife worked for 2 1/2 years for a cosmetics company without pay, hoping that someday they would pay her. Today she no longer works and she doesn’t ever expect to see her back pay.
This provides a tremendous amount of perspective to our life in the US. The poverty line in the US is triple what Spiros makes and he does not complain and he works hard everyday to be his best self. We talked about life and the struggles his country has and I really enjoyed the conversation. We head to Santorini today after a very eventful touring day on Thursday which I already blogged about and an even more eventful day yesterday, where I was pick pocketed and lost my wallet. That is a story for a separate post.
To a life well lived!