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Automated Booking Sites and Ambushed in Psyhico

Another strike against automated booking systems. The other day I thought I would go to Lesvos and visit my mother and brother. I went first to the Aegean Air website and found a decent itinerary and then went to the Olympic site and found an even better one for less. There was availability and I went all the way through the process right up to the point where you give your credit card number and make the booking. Since I was only thinking about going I left the booking incomplete. But had I done the booking I never would have gotten to Lesvos because what the atomated booking site did not tell me was that both Olympic and Aegean were on strike and I would not have discovered this until I got to the airport. Only I never would have gotten to the airport because the buses and the metro were on strike too. Had I on the other hand called a travel agency they would have told me on the phone that the airlines were on strike and then when I would have asked them to book a ferry ticket they would have told me that the ferries were on stike too. So either way I would not have gone anywhere but at least with the travel agency I would not be on the phone with my credit card company trying to cancel the charges for a flight that didn't exist or being put on hold by the airlines with all the other people who booked a flight that didn't exist.

Last night we were ambushed in Psyhico. We had gone to Xoxlidaki with George from Fantasy Travel and after we ate took a little walk around the neighborhood to show George the big houses and walled-in gardens that is more of a collection of mini fortresses than an actual neighborhood. As we walked down our street a private security jeep went by and George said "At least you know you are safe in Psyhico because of all the security". Just as he said those fateful words a small motorbike came out of nowhere. I said watchout and pulled Andrea out of the way and it looked like the bike grazed George and just kept on going. George yelled "My bag!" and we started running after the bike. George had his big motorbike parked in front of our house and jumped on and raced after him. I had to run upstairs to get my car keys and followed. I asked the security guy at one of the embassies which way the motorbikes went and he pointed towards Athens. I started to go in that direction but once I got to Leoforos Kifissias I realized that finding a guy on a piece of shit motorbike was like looking for a needle in a haystack. I saw George come down a sidestreet and it was obvious that he had lost the guy. In the bag was a lot of cash, credit cards, identification, keys and his cell phone. I told him that most likely the guy would just keep the cash and toss the other stuff. The only way he could get caught is if he tried to use the credit cards or went to the office or George's home so as long as he only kept the cash he had gotten away with it.

But I started thinking about the crime, obsessing really, while I was laying in bed unable to sleep. I realized it had to be a set-up. There is no way that the guy on the motorbike just happened to see us go by while he just happened to be sitting in the dark and then with perfect timing grabbed George's bag as he drove by. Then I thought about the private security jeep that had passed us and I remembered it had stopped in front of an abandoned apartment building with its headlights on us, illuminating us in the darkness before starting up again. He drove past us which caused George to say the thing about the safety of the neighborhood and then the motobike came out of nowhere. We were walking down the middle of the street with George on the right, holding his bag in his right hand. The guy on the motobike hit us at an intersection, the only spot he would have had room to go around us on the right. Obviously(in my opinion), the guy in the security jeep cased us out because he could see us with his headlights, told the guy on the bike that the person on the right was holding a bag in his right hand, and then drove off. There is no other reason for a private security jeep to stop in front of an abandoned apartment building because there is nothing in an abandoned building to secure. And who are these guys who get jobs as private security in Greece? They are not ex-US Rangers trained in martial arts and sophisticated weaponry. Well maybe some are, but mostly they are just guys who need jobs and driving around Psyhico in a 'patrol car' all night does not require a college degree and maybe not even an identity check. It would be just as easy for a criminal to get a job as a private security guard as it would for your grandfather to get a job as a bagger in the local supermarket. Maybe not the companies that hire the big tough guys who know how to shoot and disarm bad guys, but some company that provides warm bodies to drive around in a jeep as a deterence may not be too particular about who they hire.

Anyway maybe it wasn't the security guy who was part of the plan and I am imagining the whole thing but if you are walking down the street in some ritzy neighborhood like Psyhico and a security vehicle passes you and you hear the sound of a motorbike, clutch your valuables to your chest and turn your back to the street and the motorbike should whizz safely past you. But if you are really smart you won't walk around with a bag full of money and credit cards in a ritzy or non-ritzy neighborhood in Greece or any country.

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