Just take 5 minutes time, relax, put your headphones on and listen to my second Portuguese story as a prelude to my upcoming podcast Dreamy Cappuccino.
IF YOU PREFER TO READ IT, HERE IT IS:
‘I don’t like sitting on my own in an empty restaurant, but today I am lucky. There’s plenty of people around, sitting on the veranda with the view on the stunning yellow-red cliffs. The sun is mostly out. It’s one of the few places, that’s still open here in November. I order a salad with tuna. It’s immense and the green leaves are buried underneath a huge pile of tuna. Yes, definitely a tuna salad. To be precise tuna with salad, not salad with tuna.
Anyway, there’s a man, I have the feeling he’s a local, sitting at the table next to me. After my food has arrived, he smiles and exclaims: ‘Bon Appetito’.
From now on I am under observation, so it seems.
I pour the olive oil, vinegar on my tuna with salad and season it with pepper and salt. With every heaped fork I carefully lead to my mouth, I am hoping I am not making a complete fool out of myself. Am I auditioning for something?
Before I can answer my own question, the smiling, local man already sits in the chair very next to me and introduces himself as Fernando. He speaks a little English otherwise there wouldn’t be any conversation since I still haven’t learned Portuguese. Shame on me! Once more I make a mental note to myself:
‘Next year, I’m gonna learn Portuguese. For sure. You can’t just come here for all these years Anja and not make an effort to learn the language. Really.’
Fernando has beautiful brown eyes, a weathered face, some missing front teeth and a kind of blond, longish hair. I guess he’s maybe nearing 50. He tells me he’s a fisherman, being from Carrapateira. Apart from spending a year in England Fernando always has stayed where he was born. The English were too grumpy for his taste and big cities are not his thing. The fish, the sea, surfing, that’s enough.
Each time he wants to emphasise something, Fernando enthusiastically touches my shoulder, swinging my hole body sideways. I feel like a ship on a rough sea. There’s on openness about him I feel drawn to. A kind of innocence that’s endearing. It feels like this man is not hiding anything. Fernando’s got a dog and a cat, living with him. I wonder how many eligible women he meets in his village, which is bombarded with surfer folks in summer and kind of deserted in winter.
Of course he can hit on single, tourist women like me…
Both of us get distracted by the machine gun noises a boy is making at a table close to us. He’s got a huge military helicopter on the table and in his mind he seems to be in war zone, while the father is ignoring the son completely, staring into his Smartphone.
Fernando and me, we shake our heads. How can they not notice they are sitting in this beautiful scenery? Why is the dad not spending any attention to his son? It’s sad really.
A huge gang of motor bikers is leaving. They’re all from Germany. Germans like it here.
Fernando tells me he’s in the moment. He doesn’t even plan one day ahead.
‘Not like you with doing all the writing and all the thinking.’ He saw me scribbling things down into my journal before. I smile. Yes, I believe that a simple life involving a lot of fishing and being outside in nature helps with being in the moment. He’s quite a character that Fernando.
Since I don’t want to get his hopes up too much, I decide to say goodbye and make a move. Who knows I’ll most probably bump into him again anyway.
I leave with the sun in my hair and a smile on my face.’
Portuguese story Snapshots is a prelude to my up and coming podcast Dreamy Cappuccino with stories, musings and memoirs. I hope you enjoyed this little taster. If you missed the first Portuguese Snapshot click here.