Chapter 1 Getting there.
On an atlas, Greece is to the right of Italy, (the boot).
The country of Greece is very far away. In order to get there you must cross the Atlantic Ocean. If you have enough money, it’s best to get a flight out of Logan airport. Leave 5 days for travel. Four days are needed to navigate through Logan airport itself and another for the actual flights. If you cannot afford airfare, another option is to work on a freighter ship headed oversees. Becoming a cabin boy on a Greek freighter can be an inexpensive and exciting way to get to Greece.
Chapter 2 History of Greece
Greece has a rather short and uninteresting history. Unlike the United States, Greek history is not as colorful. The Greeks never fought against savage American Indians. They didn’t fight against the stinking’ Japs, enjoy a Boston Tea Party, endure a Civil Rights Movement or even have a gold rush. In the past, the Greeks have made claims to artistic, philosophical and literary achievements but the fact that they don’t even have NASCAR races, bungee-cord jumping or hotdog eating contests leads this writer to surmise that these “great” intellectual leaps that they claim to have made are overstated.
The following is a brief recap of the mundane history of Greece.
Little is know about the country of Greece before the 1600’s. The only recorded evidence we have of early Greece was found in the city Patras in 1972. Professor Rodger Heever, while shopping in a second hand store, found a VHS tape entitled “ Ben Hur ”. This real life recording was filmed around the year 23 B.C. It chronicles the life of an Athenian slave, who carries a remarkable resemblance to actor Kirk Douglas.
In the late 1600’s, whaling ships stopped in Greece because of the multitude of sea lions that basked on the rocky shores. The whalers would slaughter the sea lions and render down their blubber, thereby making grease. This is how the country, Greece got it’s name. The local inhabitants at the time wore dresses called togas, which they obviously copied after watching John Belushi in the movie “Animal House”. A popular pastime for many of the young Greek men of the time would cover their bodies with sea lion grease and “ wrestle ” each other. Under the hot Grecian sun, these nude men would grapple and squirm with muscular opponents for hours. Many of these men ended up pregnant. Some of the visiting sailors took a shine to this outlandish lifestyle. In 1963 a small band of sailors mutinied against the cruel whaling captains and commondered 3 ships. Seeking to escape sexual persecution, the mutineers boarded the ships Phallic, Twink, and the Judy Garland and left Greece for better lands. A fierce storm separated the 3 ships scattering them over the sea. One ship landed on the island of Mykonos where it was painted pink, festooned with colorful lights and turned into an all night gay discotech. The other ships landed in the U.S. One ship landed in Provincetown, Mass and the other in San Francisco. This explains why there were no gay men in the U.S. before 1963. (In the 1950’s, J. Edgar Hoover did wear lipstick and ladies underpants, but it was proven later that he was not gay.)
In 1954, the game Dominoes (named after OUR pizza joints) were all the rage in Greece. In order to accommodate the large masses of dominoes players, the city of Athens constructed two great domino halls, the Acropolis and the Parthenon, now known as the the “Crop” and the “Party-thong”. The acoustical design of these buildings was so great that a farting Athenian could be heard 10 kilometers away. Although built just 60 years ago, both of these buildings lay in ruins today, a testament to the poor building skills of Greek masons.
Chapter 3 Economy.
Greece is a very poor country. The rocky soil provides little in the way of farming or mining. Most Greeks scrape a below-poverty level existence from the unhappy soil near their homes. The government of Greece does not supply food stamps, welfare checks, heating assistance, section 8 housing assistance, scholarships, or housing grants, to their lazy citizens as we do in the U.S.
As you travel though the countryside you will notice a lack of green vegetation. This is due to the fact that the locals have eaten the all trees, shrubs, and grassy plants to sustain themselves. It is their tradition though, to eat meat once a year, in early spring. Surrounded by unemployed Greek men, a young lamb is roasted outdoors (very few Greeks have gas or electricity indoors). These men chain smoke government-issued ciggarretts and consume large amounts of Ouzo, a liquor derived from diesel fuel, all the while yelling instructions to the appointed lamb baster. This is the origin of the word lambaste. The Greenpeace Organization has filed for an injunction to stop this annual event because they claim that small dogs, goats, monkeys, grandparents and in some outragous cases, kittens are substituted for the expensive lambs.
The main industries in Greece are production of Feta cheese, olive oil and Smog. In year 2006, 120,000 kilos of Feta cheese and 4 million gallons of olive oil were exported. 340,000 kilos of smog were produced but none exported.
Greece is a member of the European union and uses the Euro for currency. The current exchange rate is 89 American dollars for every Euro.
Chapter 4 Things to do.
Paidi kakos races.
Held every Sunday afternoon in most neighborhoods. Clad only in black mourning dress, Greek grandmothers chase after misbehaving grandsons. The grandmothers must be able to fabricate a switch from a nearby shrub, chase after the boy and whip his backside while he attempts escape. The first boy to cry wins the competition.
Reenact the Battle of Crete.
Dress up like a Turk and travel to the island of Crete. Make your way to the Greek side of the island and holler obscenities at the Greek inhabitants. Avoid being hit by stones by the angry residents and then spend your night dancing away at Crete’s only disco club, Ineeda-life.
Annual Stone Soup Festival.
Held the last weekend in July. Cooks compete for the best traditional stone soup. Hand picked rocks from the Greek countryside are boiled for hours producing a delicious mineral-enriched broth to which sheep entrails are added producing a in-expensive yet mouth-puckering authentic Greek soup.
Armenian Pickpocket Competition.
This event is held all year long where Armenian artisans pickpocket their way into the Armenian Pickpocket Competition held in Athens during the month of August. Participation is encouraged, especially by confused tourists with their socks pulled up to their knees.
Hydra Donkey races.
Held on the beautiful island of Hydra, watch the famous Charging Donkeys of Hydra compete for tourist’s luggage by racing through the harbor district. Urged on by the whips of their masters these powerful beasts kick and hop their way towards tourist-laden boats arriving at port. This event is held 4 times a day.
Spetses Goat races.
Local goat herders chase their goats through the downtown streets, while seducing them with amorous poetry verses. The first herder to fornicate with his quarry wins the coveted Spetses Best Testes award.
Mykonos Cliff Diving Exhibition.
Be amazed as scantily clad Greek swimmers dive from high cliffs into the arms of waiting teammates. The competitors must catch and then give their teammates a traditional olive oil sponge bath while balancing a plate of Calamari on their heads.
Burn George Bush in Effigy.
Held at different times. Keep a low profile here as local Greeks blame and burn George Bush for all the worlds ills.
Ionian Sponge Diving Extravaganza.
Watch as traditional sponge divers compete for a spot on the Olympic Sponge Diving Team. Visit the Sponge Museum or enjoy local culinary treats like Eggplant and sponge stew or Fried sponge cakes drizzled with honey
Athenian Cat Races.
Held during the hot summer months, angry gardeners chase feral cats through the streets of Athens threatening every one of their nine lives.
*Where to eat.
Only eat at at recognized American Restaurant chains like McDonalds, Burger King or KFC.
Do not try foods that you are unfamiliar with.
*Tips on travel.
Do not mingle with the Greek people. They are a strange and probably hostile people. They understand English but pretend that they don’t. When they talking amongst themselves in their native language, they are probably talking about you and how they are going to cheat you or rob you. They should not be trusted.
Speak only in English. Do not bother to learn even a few words of Greek. Since you’re the one spending money there, they should learn our language.
Do not venture far from your hotel. Resist the urge to explore. Any exploring should be done in the safety of a guided tour bus only. DO NOT venture out on your own.
Do not drink the local water. It may contain parasites.
When out of your hotel room, hide all your valuables in a pair of shoes in the closet.
If you are in need of medical attention, do not go to a hospital. These doctors are trained in third world country schools and use outdated equipment and dirty tools.