I found myself in need of a notary today, and after successfully navigating to the address provided by the embassy, I circled the triangular block a few times before concluding I was going to have to get creative about parking. I sidled in next to a black sedan facing a row of dumpsters. I edged as cloooose as I could to the bin, with just an inch or two to spare at my front bumper. Sure, my rear end was hanging out about a foot into the road, but after taking the stroller out, getting Violet situated, and observing traffic, I concluded it was acceptable by Greek standards. The street was narrow, but there was just enough room for cars to squeak by.
Thankfully my errand took about five minutes.
After leaving the KEP (incidentally, in what looked like a house with a teeny tiny sign on a fence post. Because…Greece.) I got to the car, got the baby in her seat, then turned around to see a bus — a freakin’ CITY bus — lumbering down this narrow street and straight at my car. The driver saw me, opened his window, and presumably told me to move my car…somehow. This was after he completely blocked me in. I tried my standard “I only speak English” spiel, but apparently he only knew Greek. After talking at me a bit, I guess he decided to go for it, because the next thing I know he’s just inching the bus further down the street, and I’m seeing the space between my rear bumper and the side of the bus shrink and shrink and shrink. There was no way he was gonna make it. Then he stopped and yelled back at me. I could see traffic piling up behind him. Crap.
Quickly I folded up the stroller and set it out of harm’s way. I had about two inches in front of the dumpster…that would have to do. I inched forward…forward…forward. I could see the bin start to bend. I’m realizing now why they are made out of plastic. Just as the dumpster hit its elastic limit, the bus squeaked by and about 20 cars came barreling down behind it. Once traffic cleared, I got the heck out of there.
Funny enough, I did notice that the driver didn’t seem too agitated, and no one in that long line of cars was honking. I guess this was business as usual in Athens. No sense getting your panties in a bunch. I wonder if there’s a Greek euphemism that equates to the same thing?