Slightly fogged by a touch of man-flu my week has drifted past – I’ve battled through this hideous affliction and managed to extract myself from my duvet and thrust bravely into the social domain a few times. Dinner on wednesday was a luxurious affair – a circular table in one of the best restaurants on the west coast of Portugal – brimmimg with seabass, wreckfish, sirloin steak and wild boar with chestnuts. Tastes were shared, wine was poured and banter and laughter ensued.
After dinner the party split as my godson’s bedtime was breached. The remainders settled into a bar next to the harbour to nurse aÂ brandy or two and attempt some grown up conversation. At some point attention was drawn toward the shop across the street with the sign ‘Crepes e Gofres’ – fairly obvious what the crepes were but the gofres? Nobody’s Portuguese had encountered that before so we decided that we would all have a gofre no matter what it was…
As soon as we marched through the door it became apparent by the huge photographs of ice cream covered waffles what was in store. Fantastic. Undeterred by his rusty accent during his many years absent from Portugal Huwj blundered straight into ordering his dessert whilst the rest of us perused the menu. I remember looking up and seeing the waitress ask him ‘are you sure?’ and wandering to the kitchen looking slightly bemused. When she returned with a large mug of milky coffee I figured there’d been a slight misunderstanding but then she scooped a large ball of lemon sorbet from a bowl and deposited it into the top of the coffee and plonked it right in front of his nose…
If you ever have the urge to try frozen dessert items in your coffee then I suggest that lemon sorbet is not the right place to start. Of course we all tried it in between pissing ourselves laughing. A taste sensation it was. Pleasant in any way it was not.
The splendid array of waffles and ice cream (especially the magnificently named ‘Gofrissimo’) that were successfully ordered were fantastic. I love learning new words…
I didn’t surf today. *sniff*
…but some things just don’t need to be said…
I didn’t surf today. My mind was on other things…
…the shepherd’s in the bar drinking a large vinho tinto and talking about his goats. Again.
Which I’m sure he’s delighted about.
Sure was purdy though. The sunset view was from my old balcony in Cha. More at Flickr.
I didn’t surf today.
The Portuguese aren’t like the English – if you ask an Englishman how they are very rarely will you get more than a ‘fine thanks and you?’
If you ask a Portuguesa how things are going – be prepared for an onslaught of news ranging from recent and current ailments, problems with the goats and why you shouldn’t eat/wear/sit on/touch or put your finger in any number of random items…
Bloggings a bit like that – I feel that most people don’t really want to hear about the bruise on my left buttock or the fact that when I turn my head to the right my eye twitches. ‘I had a shit day at the office dear’ and ‘no I couldn’t get an erection’ are definitely off the menu (I actually had an OK day at the orifice and as for the erection – well it’s been so long it may as well have dropped off – apart from the obvious inconvenience urinating without one I might not even notice).
Anyway the point being deciding the fine line between depressing drudgery and wry humour is obviously an art form that many people are grappling with in blogland (and in general conversation) so if you don’t have anything interesting to say or you can’t think of a scintillating way of delivering it then the most English course of action is to smile benignly and just shut up.
I don’t need to be told twice.
I didn’t surf today.
One thing I like to do when not throwing myself down the front of big wet things is to ride my very loverly 650 Dakar over big mountainy things (although lately it’s been off the road with no time to sort it out). So I’ve been to a fair few bike meets in my life and know a number of life long bikers.
I went to the bike show at Gois yesterday. A beautiful ancient town in the centre of Portugal that once a year gets inundated with tens of thousands of bikers. They set up a vast campsite and turn the town centre into a large festival area – with markets, cafes, bars and a live stage. What are the chances of any country town council in the UK allowing such a thing to happen in their town centre….?
Well the reason is the inherent difference between UK bikers and Portuguese bikers…..
First up – personal hygiene. Your average bikers beard has half a fried chicken and the remnants of 23 years of hard drinking nestled within its bushy outline. Portuguese bikers are clean shaven – and if there is any facial hair it’s well groomed and beautifully conditioned. As for clothes – well the average Portuguese biker could comfortably appear in a Daz commercial with whites whiter than white can be – leather waistcoats that look like they’ve just been ironed, bandanas to match and jeans that you could play snooker on. Very strange….
Then of course there is the behaviour – biting heads off chickens, vomiting into your own helmet and passing out in skips is just not on the agenda over here. I didn’t see a single wet T-shirt competition and the drag racing on the town bridge has been scrubbed off the diary.
So all in all a pretty tame affair. Which in many ways is obviously an extremely good thing but there’s something exciting about running into bunch of bikers knowing that there may be just a little bit of trouble along the way….
I didn’t surf today. I did make a start on my bike though…