Athens, Greece

(I’m going to veer from chronology and post the last thing I wrote first…mostly because it is the most coherent and least like a laundry list of places, meals, and people.)

9 pm, Monday.

I finally sucked it up and meandered over to Sofitel for a drink. Desperately needed a change of pace, although hotel bar is not exactly as hopping with young businessmen looking to buy a poor girl a drink as I would have hoped (so much for the networking opportunity), it’s nonetheless a much-appreciated calm and serenity and subdued lighting compared to the chaos and fluorescence of the terminal. Plus the courage-gathering pre-Sofitel salted caramel dark chocolate truffle didn’t hurt.

I am amused by the über-gourmet nut and UFO mixture and cheese-flavored palmière sticks provided as cocktail snacks (so used to pretzels, peanuts, and olives) and how the soda half of vodka soda is served alongside a glass of rocks half-full of my dear Absolut Citron (and my slice-o-lime) in a glass 250 mL Tuborg (by appointment of the Royal Danish Court) Club Soda bottle.

Definitely not in Kansas anymore. Not that I’ve ever been to Kansas, or if I have, it certainly wasn’t worth remembering. Oh, and did I mention the cloth coasters?

All this, plus eye candy consisting solely of a couple tables of lone American middle-aged men or groups of Greek middle-aged men, and one English or German speaking couple, ostensibly doing the same thing – only better dressed – as I.

So worth the €10 (maybe 20…haven’t gotten a second yet). Let’s just not convert that to dollars. In any case, would far rather play €10 for a drink than €5.5 for a coffee. Score: 1 Sofitel – Airport 1.

Actually Airport 2, since the food court salad bar was actually good. And €8.95 which, considering it was a salad bar, I could have what I wanted, prix fixe bowls, plus mark-up, was altogether reasonable and actually decent, especially considering – brilliant traveler than I am – I had bought a loaf of bread at a bakery in the morning so was well-supplied with excellent Greek carbohydrate to supplement my plate of veggies and cheese.

Still, can’t be the experience of 1) cocktailing at posh (airport) hotels in Europe and 2) sticking out like a sore thumb while doing so.

(Then, I realized I had just spent a week in Greece and hadn’t had any ouzo…so instead I got a dry gin martini with a twist.)

Final observation, as written: I’m also totally vibing with this Europe thing of having espresso machines within an arm’s length of liquor bottles. F*^&ing prohibition. Legalize pot and liberalize booze and the world would be a better place.


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