The morning was no better, he’d started before I’d even woken. Wait for it! Last night he told me what time time I had to be out of the house in the morning. We’d leave together at 8.30am and go for coffee. Fine. I asked him to knock my door or just give me a call in the morning. I didn’t want to wake up late and keep him waiting. He wasn’t pleased and grumbled, ‘ok’.
As true as true can be, I was in a deep sleep.i was dreaming I was In a supermarket with an ex girlfriend and an ex wife. We were contemplating which toilet rolls offered the best value? Strange, but very true. I didn’t wake with a jump but that tosser, waited until he was right by my side and yelled ‘good morning’ in this fake overly deep voice and then flung open the curtains. It becomes so difficult not to say anything, like, ‘even your mom knows you’re a wanker’. You can’t though, you just got to let it eat away at you.
We get to the coffee shop and there must be seating for thirty people outside. The seats were all empty. Some were under a large parasol opposite the window and others against the window. I leaned my bike against the wall next to the window which was directly next to a table and chair. He told me it wasn’t a good idea to leave my bike there, it was dangerous if anybody wanted to sit on the chair next to my bike. Rightly so, but this just was just another one of his smart arse comments, his face told his thoughts of his comments. He loved the sound of his own voice. I told him, out of thirty empty chairs why would anybody choose to sit next to my bike? ‘OK’ he said.
There was another occasion of his ‘wankerishness’ that followed. Whilst waiting in the queue to order our coffee, I asked him if he saw his children regularly? We’d already discussed our kids at length (his English and his phraseology was perfect) so he knew, I knew, they were adults and I was using a turn of phrase. ‘Yes but they are not children’ he squirmed and nodded, and said no more. I asked him how he would prefer me to address them? Would you like me to say, ‘do you see your adults regularly’? I nodded, raised my eyebrows and gave him a rye smile. He knew completely where I was coming from and again, said no more.
How people can be so different. When he left a guy came up to me and started chatting. He had a Yamaha Tenere, essentially a touring bike but capable of off roading too.
This guy had more than 1800 routes saved on his computer. That’s dedication, or maybe an obsession. A great one nonetheless.
I didn’t set off from the cafe until nearly twelve and by the time I’d spent in a bicycle shop, it was nearly 12.30pm. I had a result. A pair of mountain bike trousers that zipped off above the knee to make a pair of shorts. These are common, but in the UK and Spain, I’ve only seen them at around £80 or more. These were my size and looked really cool. The price tag said 40€ with fifty percent discount. 20€ and I got a brand new pair of cool pants. Overjoyed!
It was a steady ride, on the National road, which is a secondary main road but with little traffic. Generally they run in line with a motorway. It’s the same in Spain. I had a bit of off roading that I thoroughly enjoyed. It gave me a small amount of time with nature.
I arrived at the hostel in good time. The guy on the desk, I couldn’t make out where he was from, his skin was too dark to be Portuguese. Before checking in and giving him my passport, I thought it wise to check out my room first and the strength of the wifi. All was in good order. Back at the desk he took my passport. Gee whizz he was taking down every bit of detail and taking ages, he was 74, he told me later on. I was getting a bit fed up of the hanging around. Gently and with humour I said, ‘I’m not from Kazakstan you know, I’m not a terrorist either’. He laughed and told me he was Indian but had lived most of his life in Mozambique. Nice guy, I liked him.
He was staying with family in Portugal because he could get benefits from India or Mozambique. Bizarrely, he then told me that money had no relevance to him. I told that if he didn’t have any, he’d soon change his mind. Then I said, ‘if money is no concern of yours, it means nothing to you, then I’ll have a discount’. He wasn’t having any of it. I asked if there was an Asian lady living in the house that cooked curry every night? He said ‘yes’. I must have asked him ten times if I could have some? No chance, I’d got no chance.
Later on I went to the supermarket and stacked up with a mixture of fruit ‘n’ shit. That should have read ‘nuts’ but I wanted something sweet instead. I had a bottle of yoghurt drink also. That was supposed to be saved until the morning, to have with my cereal. I thought I’d have a small amount. Fatal, not a chance now of saving it. I had the lot. My stomach was bloated and doing kart wheels. I’ didn’t sleep too well because of it. Thankfully though I felt good in the morning.