To say that my travels have been anything but interesting would be blasphemy. From my mini tour around Brussels to the couple on RyanAir to my bus ride from Thessaloniki, I’ve been fortunate to make it through. So, by the travel gods [not] watching over me, my trip from Arta to Thessaloniki would be no exception.
As Anke, George, and Lambros walked me to the train station, I asked George if he would mind asking if I had the right roundtrip ticket. When we got to the ticket booth, the man immediately looked confused and shook his head. It was not right. That was the Thessaloniki to Arta ticket. Where was the Arta to Thessaloniki ticket? Ohhhhh, I think I threw away the wrong one. Shoooooot. For the record, I’m normally quite smart. But, this was a moment where my attention to detail and maybe my knowledge of Greek bus tickets really failed me.
Thank goodness George was there by my side, though. George has a head full of gray-ish,blond-ish, curly hair, a permanent smile on his face and just the calmest, most friendly demeanor you could ever ask for. Almost nothing bothers him. He’s so optimistic and positive and understanding. He’s embodies the sort of niceness you hope to portray.
George talked to the man in Greek, insisting that I did buy a roundtrip ticket, and reassured me in English that everything will work out. My memory, at the time, was a bit cloudy because I could have swore I was given the wrong ticket back. After more thought, I think I can safely admit that I was at fault; I definitely threw away the wrong ticket. Coincidentally, this would mark the beginning on my trip where I don’t buy roundtrip tickets, nor do I throw away any transportation tickets or receipts.
George explained to the ticket man that my bus driver from Thessaloniki was hitting on me and probably gave me the wrong ticket back by mistake. The ticket guy wasn’t budging. Am I going to have to pay another 35 dollars for a bus ticket? This is so freaking stupid. I’m so stupid. I’m really not sure what George was telling the ticket man but at some point George asked me for the bus driver’s name..to help my story because the ticket guy was not impressed right now. Crap. Did I save his name? I know he made me save his number. Did I save it though? I don’t think I deleted it.. I looked in my recently called list. No saved bus driver names. Would I really just not save it when I was right in front of him? Am I that mean? Seriously, he was hovering over me. Surely I saved it. God, that’s really mean if I just didn’t save it. I mean, I was never going to use it…but still…I started scrolling through my contact list. After about a minute, and at the T’s, I found it. Teo. Teo saves the day! How handy it was to get hit on after all.
The guy in the ticket booth walked over to another guy [whom George later said was the chairman of the bus station? that exists??], made a couple phone calls, wrote something on my ticket, and said to wait at the 3rd platform. Hot diggity! [For the record, I don’t say that phrase, but it just seems really appropriate here, right?] I was on my way to Thessaloniki again!