Inda ku minat.
This is a case of first impressions are always wrong.
We arrived at the airport thinking, wow! Athens is so modern. They had a fabulous airport, the immigration guy was nice, place had great facilities and everyone spoke great English.
I withdrew some Euros from my ATM in anticipation of the activities we will be doing.
There was a lovely modern Metro, and it would take us straight to our Airbnb in Thissio station.
We took that and boy, did we wish we hadn’t!
Between the last 2 stations- Monastiraki and Thissio, the Metro suddenly became very crowded.
When the Metro came, we went on, and as we went down, my travel mate Ariffin thought like someone took something from his pocket.
He realised his passport was missing.
I was scared but thought ok, maybe in his bag. Let’s check further once in the apartment.
Then we walked out and after walking a while Gdah realised her wallet was missing. Then my sister checked her bag and realised her pouch was missing, and to my horror, my wallet was also missing!
We all now realise that we have been pickpocketed.
Trying to keep calm, we carried on walking to find our Airbnb, but the area was glaringly very ghetto and we all felt very unsafe, with no money, and one of us with no passport, in this increasingly menacing city.
We arrived to our Airbnb and strategised our next move. We needed help from a local.
Thankfully we knew one- Tinos, an old friend of a friend! We gave him a call.
During the hour we all pulled every contact we had and tried to get as much info we could about out predicament.
I now have no money, no cards and I needed to contact our banks immediately to block our cards.
I also needed someone to wire me money so I can survive here.
Thankfully my sister’s cards were intact so we were able to send money to her accounts.
However, the passport was much much much more complicated than we expected.
Tinos brought us to the nearest police station where the police slammed the door in our faces because we were disturbing him and he refused to take our reports.
But after a while he was more cooperative and told us that there is a station specific for tourists.
We grabbed 2 cabs and there we went.
It was soooo hard to find, nestled (hidden) in shoplots.
Here the police are more cooperative and could speak English.
We all lodged reports. At this point, we also have gotten in touch with the nearest high commission in London.
For your info, since there is no Brunei mission in Greece, we needed to liaise with the mission in London.
We need to:
- Lodge a police report
- Forward that report to the office of the Brunei High Commission in London
- Send them our itinerary
- Write a letter explaining that we needed emergency papers for passage back to Brunei
Once done, we regrouped again and spoke about our Airbnb. I mentioned the area looked a bit dodgy and perhaps it’s better if we moved. Thankfully everyone felt the same way and we set out, with the help of Tinos to find an hotel, which is in a safer part of Athens, we settled with Astor Hotel near Syntagma Square.
By this time it was close to 9pm and we havent eaten since breakfast on the plane. Hunger was starting to kick in.
We quickly took our bags from the Airbnb but since I did not come with them, they forgot to pack my camera. Ok, so we decided to get it the next day. It was late, we were hungry, and we certainly need rest.
At that point we were so so so tired! Awake since 4am, and had no food!
Tinos brought us for dinner and it was wonderful!
We ate so much!
Felt so sleepy after dinner.
I thought that was such a long day! I was missing the views of beautiful Cappadocia, the lovely friendly Selçuk.
Athens had not been good to us but I was hopeful that we’d have a nice time there.
But it only got even more bizarre.
On our walk back, one one street, we bumped into about 30 men wearing black, in helmets and carrying baseball bats, ready to freaking kick some ass.
I was so freaking scared like who tf are these people????????
We walked as fast and we could back to the hotel and suddenly out of no where, a bunch of policemen in full riot suits ran towards where we saw the men in black.
How crazy is that????????!
We managed to arrive back in the hotel and the next day, on the news rupanya that was a real riot!!!!! Read about it here.
The worst thing about this story about Athens: it’s not even close to being over.
To be continued!
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