Tuesday, September 11: After my musical night in Athens, and before going on my two-day tour to Delphi and Meteora, I had the following text message exchange with Bill from Banana Moon. (I wrote about this in a musical night in athens)
Before I left my hotel for this evening’s tour, I sent Bill Michalopoulos a text message, using the number he gave me: “Nice to meet you today, Bill… Cathy the american “
When I return to the Acropolis View Hotel after 11 p.m., I find this response on my phone: “MEE TOO COME TOMORROW”
I return the message at 11:24 p.m. “I am going on tour for 2 days to Delphi and Meteora, then on Wednesday to Argolis but will be back in Athens wed night and thursday morning….”
He replies at midnight: “I LIKE TO SEE U IF U WANT”
I don’t reply until the morning, because when he sends this message, I am fast asleep.
The following morning, on Monday, September 10, I respond to Bill’s message: “That would be lovely. I’ll be free either tuesday or wednesday evening after 8 or thursday morning. I must leave my hotel by 2 pm to go to the airport… 😦
I don’t hear from him again until 3:52 a.m. on Tuesday morning, September 11. Here’s the message I get: “TELL ME YOYR HOTEL I LL COME TODAY TO SEE U AFTER 8. KISSES”
Hmmm. I don’t like to tell him where my hotel is, and of course I now question his intentions. Does he think he will come to my hotel room??
But I know myself. I’m always wary of men and I’m usually able to handle these situations. So I respond on Tuesday morning: “I’m staying at the Acropolis View Hotel. Text me when you are coming… 🙂 ”
At this point, I figure that I will meet him in the lobby and invite him down the street to my favorite little rooftop restaurant for a glass of wine and a snack. Because I have eaten alone so many nights in Greece, I think it might be nice to have some male company for a change.
I don’t get a return message from him until nearly 3 p.m. Suddenly the plans have changed: “9 O CLOCK I WILL COME”
Now, I’m getting irritated because it took him so long to respond and now he wants to change the plan. I don’t feel like waiting until 9:00 to go out for something to eat. I decide then that I will go eat earlier by myself. Then I will meet him in the lobby and have him walk with me the two blocks for a glass of wine.
So, keeping it light, I respond, “Ok i will see you then!”
Around 6 p.m., I get this message from him: “I HAVE SUNDENDLY MEET POINT 4 joB u can 11;”
Ok, now this sounds really fishy. Not to mention incoherent. I don’t even understand this message. His garbled English is certainly not impressive, although as an ESL teacher, I do understand the miscommunication that can happen when someone is not a native English speaker. If he is saying he wants to meet me at 11:00, then I am going to back out of this “date.”
At 6:40 p.m., I write back: “Hi Bill, i’m sorry i cannot meet at 11 because i have to get up early tomorrow for another tour and i am tired now…”
A few minutes later, he writes: “MAY I COME 8.30 IN HOTEL;”
Now totally confused and irritated, I write: “Tonight or tomorrow?”
He responds: “TONIGHT;”
I write: “I don’t understand. I thought you had to work tonight…????”
Twenty minutes later I get this message: “10 OCLOCK NOT 8!”
Where did 10:00 come from? I write back: “Well if u want to meet me here at 8:30 and we can walk down the block for a drink before you go to work…”
He writes: “O.K!”
At this point I am thinking this is a total waste of time. For one, communication is difficult because his English is not good. Then there is all this confusion about the meeting time. I decide to go down the lobby at around 8:30 to wait for him, so I can steer him right out the door to the Acropolis Restaurant. I wait 10 minutes. It doesn’t take long for me to get really annoyed by someone’s lack of punctuality. I tell the girl at the hotel desk that if someone comes looking for me, I will be on the terrace of the Acropolis Restaurant. She can send him my way.
Meanwhile I walk to the restaurant and order a glass of wine, which I slowly sip, enjoying the sounds of chatter on the street below. At this point, I’m still stupidly thinking he might show up. I order a dinner of stuffed cabbage rolls that are heavenly, and then have another glass of wine. I hear not one word from Bill. He has definitely stood me up! I am irritated at first, but then I shrug it off. He obviously is shady anyway, as are most men I meet these days. Why on earth I would expect anything different, I don’t know.
At around 10:00, I leave the Acropolis Restaurant and walk the two blocks down to my hotel. There, walking toward me from my hotel is the weirdest looking person I have ever seen. It is Bill, in his ponytail, wearing a black puffy motorcycle vest with a white shirt underneath; both are unbuttoned down to the middle of his chest. His chest is bare and around his neck hangs a thick silver necklace. He has on white shoes, of the non-tennis shoe variety.
I say, “What are you doing here?”
He says he just got here and he’s sorry he’s so late, but now he has to go to meet someone about some work. At 10:00 at night! He says, “Please, can we meet tomorrow?”
Usually I will give someone one chance and that’s it. If they stand me up, I will never speak to them again. But here he is, late but present. Hesitantly, I agree to give him another chance tomorrow. He says goodbye, hops on his motorcycle, and rides off into the night.
The next day I go on a tour to Argolis and I don’t give him a thought all morning. But as the day wears on and the time approaches for me to return to Athens, I decide I don’t feel like bothering. I’d rather enjoy my last night in Athens alone, without anyone trying to make demands on me. Without having to WAIT for anyone.
At around 3:00, I send him this message: “Hi Bill, I’m so sorry I cannot meet you tonight. I am not feeling well and I’m really tired…”
I never see or hear from him again.