Funny you mention Athens. I was there in the Navy in 1981 and an election was upcoming with lots of attention to the KKE party which is the Greek communists. I was on the commuter train heading out to the Acropolis with my friends and we had to stand and use the handstraps. We were talking quietly and suddenly one of my buddies got an alarmed look on his face which was followed mere seconds later by my feeling something hit me in the rear end. I turned around and an older Greek man was glaring at me and muttering something as he sat back down. My buddy says 'that guy just kicked you in the ass.' Obviously I didn't do anything about it since that would not have gone my way no matter what, and I didn't relish seeing a Greek jail. I suspected the old man was not too fond of Americans and wanted to make his point using me. The lesson here is you do need to 'turn the other cheek' if confronted in a foreign country. If you aren't from there, it'll likely be your fault, whatever 'it' is. Nothing wrong with a tactful retreat and swallowing some of your dignity.