Riding on a Bulldozer
While resting from our exhaustion we saw a bulldozer far behind us coming towards us. We waved at the driver to stop and he stopped right beside us. We signified to him to give us a ride and he lowered the bulldozer’s shovel and asked us to climb into it. When we had climbed and sat in the shovel he drove the machine until he reached his work site about 3 miles away. Although it was only a short journey but we were thankful to him because we had a good rest and had an experience of riding in a shovel of a bulldozer.
Then we started walking on the road again stopping oncoming vehicles other than public transportation. After sometime a car stopped and the driver told us that he could give a ride for one person only. I discussed it with my friend and he told me that I could go first. At first I was reluctant to leave him behind because of his condition but after thinking that we have to separate one day as we have different destinations so I decided to go first with the hope to catch up with the other three friends in Athens.
Separating and Travelling Alone to Athens
After saying good bye to my friend I sadly left him, sat beside the driver and left. I showed my travelling map to him and told him that I was on my way to Athens en route to Italy and France with the final destination England. He seemed to understand my explanation and he murmured Athens as his destination even though he could not speak English. To break the silence as we could not communicate much he tuned on his radio. While we enjoyed the music from the radio I spent my time looking at the sceneries outside. I felt really glad I got a lift straight to Athens which was about 300km from there. This meant I would save a lot of time and difficulty on the way.
He said he would stop at Larisa for some rest and lunch. Larisa was almost half way to Athens. We arrived there at about 1.00p.m had our lunch and some rest on the bench in the restaurant’s garden outside. At 2.00 p.m we resumed our journey to Athens.
The sceneries along the road were quite interesting. At first I saw miles and miles of bushes and grassland with sheep grazing in thousands. Then I saw orchards of numerous fruits mostly peaches grapefruits, lemons and pears. Further south as we approached towards Athens we passed vast land of vineyards, water melons and vegetable plots. The sceneries really fascinated me without realising that we had travelled almost two hours covering a distance of about 200km.We arrived at Piraeus a small see side town about 10km from Athens. We stopped there and the kind man told me that was his destination. He shook my hand and I thanked him very much for his help. Then he drove away.
Almost Molested For a Third Time
It was about 4.00 p.m and I was really tired and felt sleepy after that long journey. So I walked around the town without any specific place to go until I came to a park. I sat down on one of vacant benches and closed my eyes trying to sleep. Then suddenly someone held my shoulder and woke me up. He was a middle-aged man, quite short but heavily built. He started talking in Greek which I did not understand a word of what he was saying. He then put his palm on his face, closed his eyes and bent his head at the same time saying hotel.
Then only I understood, what he was trying to tell me was to sleep in a hotel. When I signified to him that I had no money he took out his wallet and showed me his money to pay for it. I nod my agreement to accept his offer thinking that he was really sincere to help me. So he took me to a budget hotel down the street. He spoke to the gentleman at the counter and paid him. The gentleman asked for my passport, perused it, took us to the first floor and showed us the room. He said something to the old man and he went down to his counter.
I put down my bag and haversack on the floor near the bed and sat down on the bed while the old man sat on the chair near the sink. Then suddenly he unzipped his trousers and pulled out his organ the size of a baton, put it in the sink and washed it. I thought he wanted to urinate and asked him to go to the toilet. But he kept holding it in there. So I got panicked and grabbed my bags, rushed to the door and ran down the stairs to the counter to ask for my passport. He tried to stop me but he dared not ran out after me as his organ was sticking out. I took my passport and ran out of the hotel into the street as fast as I could until I was out of breath. Luckily there were crowds of people on the streets that I could disappear myself among them from the old man. So I escaped for the third time from such horrid incident.
I decided to go straight to Athens in order to keep away from the old man and started looking for the station. As the town was not that big so I did not take much time to find the station. I bought the ticket and straight away went to the platform to wait for the train.
When the train arrived I immediately boarded one of the coaches and relaxed myself on one of the vacant seats. When the train moved then only I felt really safe. The train took about half an hour to reach Athens even though the journey was only a short distance because it stopped at many stations on the way.
We arrived there at about 6.30p.m. Since it was still daylight so I took the opportunity to walk around while looking for the railway station to spend the night there as I had no other alternative. The LRT station closed at mid-night and so I could not sleep there whereas the railway station usually open all day and night crowded with people all the time. By asking people on the streets I managed to locate the station quite easily after about half an hour’s walk. I reached it at about 7.00 p.m and went to the toilet to ease and wash myself before looking for a seat to rest.
At about 8.20 p.m after I had sufficient rest and my stomach was already rumbling I went to the canteen to have some meals for the night. After the meals I started to think about the next day’s plan. But as I was really exhausted from the day’s long journey and the frightening incidents of escaping from the sickle wielding farmer and the dirty old man at the hotel I felt asleep.
I woke up the next morning at about 6.00a.m by the roaring sounds of trains arriving and departing without stopping. I got up, washed and eased myself before going to the canteen for breakfast. After the breakfast then only I started thinking of my plan for the day.
Stranded In The City Of Athens
Actually I was at a land’s end. In front of me were the Aegean and the Mediteranean Seas which separated Greece with Italy. I had to go Italy in order to proceed my journey to France and then cross the English channel to England. But I did not have the money to pay for my passage so I was stranded in this historical Greek city.
I could not get help from the people here as I did not know the language and customs. There was no Malayan Embassy yet in Athens for me to seek help. The only possibility I could think of was to try to get help from the British Embassy as the British were my country and I wanted to go to my mother country. So with that high hope I started walking in search of the Embassy. After about an hour’s walk I arrived at the Embassy. I talked to the security guard and I was allowed to go inside with a pass. I met one of the staffs there and explained to him my intention. But to my shock and disappointment I was told that they had been requested by the Malayan Government to help sending back to Malaya if any Malayan came to them for help. So I was really disappointed and left the Embassy with frustration I had almost reached my destination with only two, Italy and Fran, to cross over and it would be ridiculous for me to turn back.
So I walked back along the roads towards the sea with my mind blank and blurred of what to do next. When I reached the seaside I stopped to rests bending on the promenade wall looking at the sea with its traffic of boats and yatches hoping for the owners to give me a free ride across to Italy. While imagining of the impossible a man patted my shoulder and held my sling bag. He said something in Greek which I did not understand. Then he took out three pieces of 10 Dracma notes from his pocket and pointed to my bag. Then I knew he wanted to buy the bag. As I needed the money very much for my meal at least I accepted his offer. I emptied my bag and packed all my clothes into my haversack. Then I could move around more easily without the bag and could think better with some money in my pocket but that was insufficient for the ferry fare to Italy.
I decided to walk slowly towards the harbour enjoying the views of the surroundings and hoping to meet someone at the harbour to pay for my passage across to Italy which would he more likely possible there. I reached the harbour and I was really amazed with the beauty of its surrounding and the heavy traffics of all kinds of vessels cruising in and out of the harbour.
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