sun 25 dec 2011 19:57:39 hotel pestana porto
i hope i made his week
'boa noite, posso eu comer aqui?' i asked the guy at the little glass box café down on the quai, and the short answer was no, not for lack of will, but because they'd run out of food. so i had a pint, and smoked two sjekkies. my host lit an electric lamp at my little outdoor table and plugged in the nearest heater. a pint is 4 euros there, and i had 5 in coins in my pocket so i gave him that. music was provided by vh1 on a big plasma screen inside the glass.
wandering around a bit earlier tonight i met three alley cats in an alley (that's how i knew they were alley cats). it seems like the dogs run the quai and the cats do the back alleys. also i saw, riding up the cliff near the bridge, an incredible pile of diverse buildings stacked up on top of each other, somewhere between arcology and favela. just seeing that, and all the staircases and tunnels, made me glad i came to visit this town.
on my way back from the glass box, i paused at the corner where o cais is, but they were still fechado. on friday night a bartender there had led me to believe they'd be open tonight, but maybe they open late. it was only about 18.30.
just as i was standing there, i was approached by a fellow in mid sentence, i'm not sure how long and from how far he'd been addressing me before i noticed i was the hearer. he was clearly wanting something, but not able to speak english and i nao falo portugués. a one armed beggar was he. and if i'd had five euros in my pocket i would have given it to him. but i didn't, so i gave him fifty. he seemed impressed. it would have seemed unchristmassy to just say no, and that's how much i love christmas and/or squandering. oh well, you know i didn't have to spend any other money on christmas gifts this year. he was all like muito obrigado and bom tarda or something.
now the thing i'm trying to figure out is what to tell someone in portugués when they sneeze. the other night with the cabdriver i resorted to 'gezondheit', and that worked for him.
so anyway, it appears that my dinner tonight is gonna be a granola bar, two small boxes of pringles and a kit kat. thank you jesus!
seriously i like jesus. nothing against jesus.