I was swaying on the trolley car in downtown Athens. It was a hot day and the locals were pressed in tightly about me as I stood in the aisle holding to the overhead grip. The trolley rolled merrily onward and I almost seemed to dance a Greek samba as my body adjusted to the stops and starts and the gentle undulations of the city avenues. A trickle of sweat ran down my arm but a breeze from the open windows whispered of Greek dalliances yet to experience. I felt a satisfying hum of happiness within my heart. After all, this was Athens. I loved it!
I saw ahead that the park I wanted to visit was the next stop. I prepared to exit waiting for the trolley to stop. There was a little jostling near the door as people moved here and there adjusting to the flow of passengers. I was bumped about a bit but I thought nothing of it until I saw the man in front of me drop something. It fell on my feet. I bent down and picked it up and to my horror realized it was my wallet. The man had a folded newspaper still in his grasp, the very paper that had held my wallet hostage. He looked at me somewhat bemused.
I put two and two together and shook my finger at him. I gave him a little bit of southern rhetoric, choice words that didn’t translate well into Greek, and then stormed out of the trolley, wallet firmly in my grasp.
I didn’t let it ruin my day or my opinion of the Greek people. It just made me realize that there are thugs everywhere. But c’mon. This is Athens! Land of dreams. Oh well. Let’s have an ouzo and laugh about it.
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