Saturday, September 4, 2004

Rough Beginnings

Our trip was almost in jeopardy before it even began.
First, Eric left behind his all-important insulin in the car after we were dropped off at the airport. For 20 minutes, we were in a state of complete panic (think the Bill Paxon character in the movie Aliens - "We're dogfood, Man! Game over! We're dead meat man!") while we tried to track down Albert and family in whose car the life-giving medication was left. Luckily, our nephew Nicholas saved the day - he found the insulin, alerted his parents, and they quickly returned to the airport with it (side note: Albert and Jannette REALLY need to get a cell phone).

So we finally get to check-in and the airline agent tells us there is a problem - the name on Jazmine's passport is her maiden name (Latorre_, but the ticket is in her married name (Jazmine L. Rizzo). "This will not do." - yeah lady, thanks a lot. Now what do we have to do to get on that plane which leaves in less than an hour?
After about 20 minutes, most of which I believe was a thinly veiled attempt to get us to break down and admit some kind of international conspiracy to confuse beaurocratic workers, she comes back and tells us it is taken care of. OK, then she asks Jazmine again what her full name is, with a strange look. Jazmine tries to explain, again, how the passport was issued before she was married, but the agent just interrupts and says, "Listen, this is what I'm telling you - this [pointing to the passport with Latorre on it] is your name. Yes?" We finally get the hint - we nod and she changes the ticket to be in the name of Jazmine Latorre. So for the next 2 weeks, Eric is traveling with some woman who is not named Jazmine Rizzo.

So, our trip was in danger of cancellation or at least serious postponement - but we were rescued by a 9-year-old who is strangely fascinated with Eric's insulin injections, and a complete stranger who has decided that womens' lib lives on and married women should keep their maiden names. Thanks to both of them!

So now we're here in Athens, and things have been great since those early problems. We explored the Ancient Greek Agora, explored some ruins, and had a lovely souvlaki dinner at an outdoor cafe. Hotel Attalos is very pleasant and I (Eric) have so far managed to keep Jazmine from spending hoards of money at the copius knick-knack shops that proliferate most of central Athens! Woohoo for me - one day down, 14 to go...

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