Athens reminded me of China: lots of people and not enough infrastructure to support the influx. As a tourist, you often live in your own pre-curated bubble of UNESCO sights, highly rated restaurants, and westernized clubs. When your association with a city is only temporary, it's easy to ignore the harsh realities of severe economic recession, unemployment, and lack of government services that most local citizens face.
I had the unique opportunity to stay with an Airbnb host who shared both the touristy and local side of Athens with me. Through long walks in the city center, he shared what it was like to live in economic recession and how he navigated the challenges he faced. I appreciated having someone to show me around the places I read about on Tripadvisor and also the local spots like where everyone goes at night to drink beer and cool off.