I slept solidly. When I woke around 9.30am, everybody was still in bed with the exception of Patricia, she’d gone to work. There were two other house guests. A couple, he was Mexican and she was from Croatia, I think she said so anyway. They were backpacking, but where I don’t know. He was a really nice guy, we interacted well, although our conversation was limited because of the language barrier. She was fluent in English, we were polite to each other obviously, there wasn’t an immediate gel or an instant liking on either part. Strange really, it’s rare that happens. Maybe I scared here because of my piercings, I scare myself sometimes. Come to think of it, most of the times.
I got dressed and left the flat without coffee or breakfast. I was still full from the previous nights dinner and I could get a coffee once in Porto. I was lucky, the bus arrived within five minutes of me waiting. A student translated for me to the bus driver. I wouldn’t say he was miserable, he just didn’t smile. More thank likely his wife had given him some bad news. She’d either being having an affair with his best mate or his beloved pooch had died in the night. Of course, it dawned on me, the poor pooch had died. The former was of no concern to him.
Strange how reality can on occasions smack you one. Patricia and Leo lived in a lovely apartment. The area was good, nice coffee bars to choose from and a contemporary church. It had a good vibe. Around the corner from the apartment sat more than one deralik building. It was really unsightly. I was able to dismiss it, I didn’t live there. That can be the benefit of nativity. In fact, I saw it as a painting. For when it did get developed the painting would become a piece of history.
By contrast, when I hit the market in the centre of the city, this market stall caught my eye. The colours, you couldn’t miss them. In the next isle there were plenty of fish stalls. What is it about dead fish, they always look appealing and pleasant. Although not to vegans I may add.
I figured she must have worked there for years. I’d seen enough of the market. Back on the city streets having a stroll and a nose in shop windows, I was enjoying passing away the time of day. A guy came up to me and took out of his pocket a bag of weed, whilst repeating the word good. I carried on walking and said no thanks. It had only ever happened to me once before and that was in Antigua. I was thinking whilst walking up the cobbled hill with shops either side of me, should I do anything? Then, ahead of me in he distance I could see a policeman. I was contemplating telling him, I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t want to be a grass. Then I thought that these drugs are likely to filter down into the hands of kids. My mind was made up, I told the policeman. He laughed and kept patting me on the back. I understood his broken English and fluent Portuguese. He was saying they were undercover cops. No way I thought.
Prior to the pain of having a nose stud replaced with a ring (it had healed over), I had told this girl of the event with the drugs and the policeman. She confirmed my suspicion. The cop was in on it, he’d turn a blind for some cash in return. The bastard!
This girl was great, first she saved me 20e by forcing the ring through the blocked hole and then she said, being as you seem a nice guy, I’m not going to charge you for the jewellery. Another 3e saved. We chatted a bit more before we joined the tattooist himself. A friendly guy, but when the printer had broken, not enabling him to print off a trace of his next clients tattoo, he fell flat. I think the black dog came over him. That’s how Winston Churchill used to describe his bouts of depression. What he was saying that, in a flash, he would be depressed. No warning or a slow decline. Just immediate depression, the black dog.
My day was complete. I decided to walk the five miles back to the apartment, I’d over indulged the last few days on cake and my theory was, let’s walk it off. I passed a strange work of art on the way back. A telephone box with the rear painted in bold colours made up of two dimensional shapes.
And then a tiled church.