Sunday at the Athens airport

James had to leave town today — to Rome, the lucky duck — and rather than have him take a taxi as usual, I offered to drive him so the kids could give him goodbye hugs and see him off. He won’t be gone long, but he rarely leaves on a day or time that is convenient for us to drive him, so I thought it would be fun.

I forgot, though, that this is Greece.

The airport in Athens isn’t especially big, and in my experience it’s been pretty easy to navigate. The taxi usually pulls right up to the curb and drops you off at your airline, lickity split. But I guess there’s a separate lane for taxis, and cars dropping off passengers have to pull over to a median. Which would be fine except…this is Greece. Every five meters there’s a huge blue and red sign that clearly says, “NO PARKING,” and right next to it is an entire line of cars parked along the median. Some people had the presence of mind to put on their flashers before abandoning their cars, but most of them flagrantly ignored the signs and simple parked there. Next to the “no parking” lane were two other lanes, which now became one lane as cars dropping off passengers had to double park to let people out. The whole thing became a complicated logjam, and at some point I gave up on trying to find James’ airline and just let him out. No hugs, just a quick bye bye.

Because…Greece. Next time we’ll just hug our goodbyes at our front door when the cab pulls up.

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