25 September 2009

Day 124

38 Kilometers.
I hadn't washed my clothes until late the night before. They were still damp in the morning and I had to walk for a while as a human clothes line before I started running. The run to Lamia was hilly. I felt very tired, like my legs wanted to stop moving so much.
In Lamia I bought some chocolate milk, a bottle of fruit juice and a large bottle of water at the first real supermarket I ran by. I drank the first two before leaving the parking lot. A stray dog also started following me, but it eventually left. Lamia is full of stray dogs. Greece doesn't seem to have a very good spay and neuter program.
The day was all in all pretty uneventful. I walked up the hill to the old castle that was closed when I got there, and spent a lot of time in various cafes, bars, and food establishments eating and drinking. Not only was I rather hungry, but I figured that if I bought a little something I could make conversation with the person working at the place more easily. None of those conversations seemed to work out, and at 9:30 I decided to change my strategy. My new strategy was to have no strategy at all, and to spend several hours sitting down and not talking to anybody, until it got too late for anyone to be around.
This wasn't quite what I was planning, but it is what happened. I saw a theater that was playing "Inglourious Basterds." It had been well over 124 days since I had seen a movie in the theater, and I have been wanting to do so since Paris. I miss summer blockbusters. Greece is the only country I have been in since Belgium that doesn't dub over movies (they use subtitles), so I figured I would take the opportunity to watch a good movie. An amazing movie.
The only problem with the movie (that I thought about before going in, but decided to risk) is that there are many parts that are spoken in French, German, and Italian. If I were watching the movie in America, I would see subtitles for these parts. Instead, the subtitles were always in Greek and I had to work hard understand what I was hearing. I think, in parts, that it was good that I had to do this.
Tarantino is a genius. My stomach was churning and I felt that "oh man, something bad is going to happen" dizzy feeling on many occasions. Then I realized that I was feeling dizzy because the camera was spinning around the actors. I think only great artists have this ability, to use a completely different sort of sense or experience to "fool" you into feeling another. Like a chef who changes taste through appearance or a composer who can to sculpt with sound. If you are vacation planning, and choosing between going to Lamia or watching "Inglourious Basterds," I would choose the latter. I guess I kind of did.
There was a 15 minute intermission/bathroom break in the middle of the film. Strange. I sat there anxiously, looking around at everyone like "You are ok with this?!"
I got out of the movie around 12:47 with nowhere to sleep and the imagery of a swastika being carved into a forehead carved into my memory. Time to start approaching strangers in the night, right?
Well, that's what I did, and after a few false leads I met some students (about my age) who took me around to see if any of the public buildings were open. None of them were. At the end of our search, they said "you understand it is strange to take you in to sleep in our house, yes?" Yes, it was strange, so said goodbye to them and went to grab a quick snack and then over to a 24 hour Internet point. I used a little bit of Internet, and asked if I could sleep either the empty upstairs or downstairs for a couple hours. After much pestering by friends, the young guy who was in charge of the place let me sleep on the sofa upstairs until 7 am, when I guess it would be a risk that the boss would come in. I went upstairs and set my alarm, it kindly informed me that I had 3 hours and 57 minutes until it would go off again.


  1. I love that movie;) sounds like all in all, it was an ok day for you....

    continued safe travels my friend;)

  2. Wow. I would say you are still luckingo ut every night, but some of these nights sound like really hard work...

  3. I think it's so cool that you were forced to watch that movie without subtitles, since you have just run through German, French, and Italian speaking countries so hopefully it was a bit clearer than it would have been before your trip.

  4. Ryan, sounded a little worn out. Take care and make sure you rest up, before running off again...thinking of you.

  5. Ryan,Sorry you didn't get much sleep. Hope tomorrow will be a better day and find a warm place to sleep. Lots of love from Ft Campbell:))

  6. I had the same problem watching that film in France. Of course I could understand the spoken English, and when they spoke German I had to struggle to read the French subtitles. Then the worst was when they spoke French, because I had no subtitles and had to concentrate really hard to understand.

  7. First of all, Greece does NOT have any spay and neuter program of any sort... And, when you get to Athens, you will witness it...

  8. There is a theater near here (in Germany) that will play the movies normally (in English), but they still have the intermission. It's annoying.

  9. Hello Ryan, my name is Thodoris. Do you remember me?
    You meet us -the students- in the park at Lamia. :) I am glad hearing that finally found
    a place to sleep that night! Keep up the running.
    And also... keep smiling! :)