I landed at the airport at one in the morning and was aware that the bus from the Athens coach station to Kalamata did not leave until 6.30 AM. And I remembered that the bus station was cold and among the grottiest places in town. And thus I settled in a comfortable arm chair in a coffee shop at the airport, got online and produced three articles and started to feel quite productive. But then share blogger Paul Scott started tweeting me.
Pretty soon he was blathering on about mosquitos in Greece and for some reason that goaded me into leaving the nice warm airport and heading out into the cold night. It is about 5 above zero right now. A quick taxi ride saw me at the coach station which was even more grotty than I remembered. All its shops and the ticket office were locked up and on some of the benches slept members of the homeless community. In a few places some rather dodgy looking men gathered. It was bloody cold. I pulled my hoodie tight over my head but it made little difference.
I guess I remembered it from last summer when - even at 4 AM - it was quite warm. I had forgotten how bloody cold this place was this time last year. Remind me in twelve months time that Athens bus station is fecking freezing and not a place to spend any part of the night.
After a while I moved to a set of chairs where a little old lady sat chatting to two men in their forties. The presence of the little old lady was reassuring. Pretty soon we were talking. A Cypriot who had lived in London for 53 years she spoke great English and was very keen to lert me know that she was a strong supporter of Brexit. We chatted away until just after 5 AM, 3 AM your time, when the ticket office finally opened.
Hooray. Warmth. I have now defrosted and, as a bonus, the bus station has finally moved into the 21st century and got wifi. Perfect.
At this rate I shall be in Kalamata trying to get into a hotel by 9.30 and up visiting the Greek Hovel this afternoon. But for now, I just want it on record that if I go down with pneumonia it is all the fault of Paul Scott.