Monday, November 4, 2013

Lessons I learned from my trip to Greece.

For Eid break this year, the Mister, a group of our friends, and I traveled to Skiathos, a teeny island in Greece. It was an amazing trip, and one filled with lots of life lessons along the way. So here, dear readers, is the list of the 4 things I learned on my trip to Greece.

1. Book early and book often. The Mister and I were spoiled with our payscale in Saudi. We lived very comfortably and were able to save a lot of money in our time there. Then we came to Kuwait and took about very large pay cut. As a result, we didn't have as much money to play with this past summer, which left us with very VERY little money to pay for our travel and lodging in Greece.


So we've learned to book all of our Eid travel stuff before we leave for the summer when our wallet is still gorged on our lump-sum summer paycheck and just scrape by for the few weeks we are back in the Land of Sand until Eid break.

2. The Doha airport is racist. Ok, that's not fair. Is the retinal scanning machines in the Doha airport that are racist. It was comical, really. We had a ridiculously long layover in Doha, Qatar because we waited so long to book our flights and all the good routes were full (see lesson #1). So we got ourselves a hotel room for the night. Americans have to get a visa upon landing and part of that process is to undergo a retinal scan. NO problem for me, our friend Charles, and our other friend Austin...but when it was time for the Mister to get scanned, the machine couldn't read his narrow eyes.

Austin and Tyler later in the trip. See? Those peepers just aren't very wide!

He has always been teased about the frequency with which he is mistaken for an Asian American. So even when he was opening his eyes as wide as he could get them, the machine still couldn't pick up a clean scan! It was hilarious! Eventually he just moved to a different visa station and it worked, but the whole ordeal took about 25 minutes and 4 immigration officers to complete!

I hope they get this issue sorted out before the world (including the Asian countries) shows up for the World Cup in 2022.

3. Don't believe everything tells you. Being who we are, we booked the cheapest hotel room we could for our 13 hour layover. The hotel wasn't far from the airport and it had a free airport shuttle, according to Great!

Not great. We finally get through Doha immigration and find a shuttle desk for just about every hotel imaginable except for the one we'd booked. In fact, no one had even heard of the hotel, and they definitely didn't have a shuttle.

So armed with a screen shot of a Google map and the address of the hotel, we set out to find a taxi that could take us there. That proved to be harder than you would expect.

Anybody? Nobody knows where I'm sleeping tonight?

At one point I was surrounded by ALL of the taxi drivers on duty arguing back and forth in their various languages as to where they thought the hotel could possibly be. Eventually one of them had the genius idea to CALL THE HOTEL AND ASK FOR DIRECTIONS!

4. A week is not nearly enough time to see Greece. Granted, a lot of this week was spent in transit, so we weren't able to make the most of our time, but even if we'd been able to squeeze as much as possible into our trip, it still wouldn't have been enough.

We just barely got to see the Acropolis, and we didn't see all sides of the hill. We didn't go into the Acropolis Museum, and countless other sites in Athens. Then there was Skiathos.

The town was so tiny and cute, the beaches were beautiful, the people were so nice! I could have spent a week on just that island and still needed more time for exploring.

All-in-all, Greece was great! We'll book our next Eid vacation (Oktoberfest 2014, y'all!!) nice and early so we can make sure to not repeat the same lessons next year.

Vicariously yours,

1 comment:

  1. I love that the airport is racist against asians...and blonde hair/blue eyed arian folks alike.