Monday, May 04, 2009

An Encounter with Fortuna

21 April 2009
Electra Palace Hotel, Thessaloniki, Greece
1842 Local time
0300 Malaysia time

What a beautiful place this is! And such nice people too!

I got lucky many times since I arrived, maybe I should buy a lottery!

You see, I accidentally locked my sim-card. When it prompted me for password, I keyed in my ATM card password (silly silly me) and so after the third futile attempt, it locked itself up. I called Yamtuan from the hotel (cringe thinking how much it would cost me!) and he said he would check with Maxis, but I would have to call him again for instructions – if he could get any.

I then went to a phone shop and asked them if they could unlock it. They said no, only Greek simcards. I needed to tell Yamtuan to retrieve the PUK number, so I bought a pre-paid public phone card. Cost me €4. Not cheap when you convert it into RM.

I went to a nearby public phone and found a prepaid card there. Still good, it has €3.75 value still. Good or what? Luck No. 1.

I tried calling Yamtuan but couldn’t get through. As I walked along the road looking for another public phone, I stumbled across a cybercafé, €2.50 per hour and so I YM-ed Yamtuan instead. Got the PUK number I wanted, managed to unblock my SIM and just trying my luck I went to the phone shop again. The prepaid card I bought was packaged nicely. I have removed the packaging, torn it to get at the card. Damaged packaging but value of my card was still full. So I was really just pushing my luck a bit when I asked the shop whether I could return the card. At first they said no, not with the package removed, how to re-sell right? But after discussing among themselves and me saying that I really have no need for the card anymore, they refunded me my €4! Arent they such nice people? Luck No.2.

Went for dinner at Ouzeri Tavern (spelt in their language as OYZEPI). It is a nice cosy very Greekish restaurant situated right by the sea. I had grilled don’t-know-what fish with boiled potatoes and zucchini. Absolute yum. When I asked for the bill, it came with a plate of dessert – on the house, the waiter said. I don’t know what it was, but it was nutty and sweet. Best of all, it was free. Luck No.3.

Ketika Duduk Tegak
Ketika Duduk Bersandar

Came back to the hotel, had a long leisurely bath. It was when I wanted to remove my lenses did I realise that I have left my contact lens solution in Gatwick. I went down to the reception and they gave me a map and direction on how to get to a nearby pharmacy. I found it after about 10 minutes of walking. Found the solution I needed but instead of charging me, they said I could have it for free as today happened to be the day they were giving out free samples. Luck No.4.

I love this place.

24 April 2009

When I check out from the hotel, in settling the bills there was nothing whatsoever on the call I made to Malaysia. I asked them to check, they said they couldn’t trace in the system. And so they couldn’t charge me the phone bill. Free. Luck No.5

Greece is kind to me!


Blogger Roti Kacang Merah said...

ni betul Lady Luck has been smiling a lil bit too kindly on you...! bestnya kalau berjalan macam ni...Alhamdulillah!

8:42 PM  
Blogger shidah said...

they thought a kiddo travelling alone :) but really they're bunch of nice people, got many of them in my office here.....

11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

syukur...lucky lad..but 'ujian ' always come after a series of luck..

2:55 AM  
Blogger drbubbles said...

Sampai Malaysia kena kuarantin suspect swine flu.Bad Luck No.1...hehehehe

4:31 AM  
Blogger tajudin said...


12:44 AM  
Blogger dith said...


The day you sms me, I was in Beijing. my son forwardd the msg, couldnt reply . Sorry. But you were in Istanbul then?

But this Greece trip sound nice...lucky you...traveled alone?

Take care, Ood

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wah bestnya dapat gi Greece!! kalau sempat singgah athens and pergi minum2 kopi kat kedai2 tepi jalan Plaka. syiook abis.

8:05 PM  

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