Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Costa da Caparica

Time seems timeless right now, or at least shifting. It’s been very warm the last few days (well, 15 degrees celcius IS balmy) and the snow has almost melted away. People are all coming out of their cabin fever and replacing their symptoms with spring fever, hence the army of joggers and the heightened frequency of short skirts. I’ve been feeling somewhat carefree, but mostly restless to get school over with and start work for the summer.

Lately my sleep patterns have been unpredictable at best, and irregular. I feel like I do here in this picture, brought back full circle, stopping to think, as I know that time is limited –at least as a category for certain moments. I woke up this evening after a nap –still trying to recover from this hell weekend, went upstairs to find a note from my parents, the soup cold, and no one home.

Howard left this Monday on another exchange. I had some soup and watched Sex and the City and thought of the glamorous lives of Samantha Jones, her constant need to monitor and spin PR blab, Charlotte, with her good intentions for Elizabeth Taylor, her show dog, who unwittingly gets gang-banged in the park on her ‘victory lap’, Carrie Bradshawe, her struggles with being a writer AND being able to nurture a comfortable relationship with ‘The Russian,’ who replaces but does not allow her to forget about Mr.Big and the lawyer, (I’m sure all you attentive fans know who I mean) who has such a doting, sweet boyfriend, Steve. I mentally distracted myself from the assignments, media kits, interviews, surveys, advertising scripts, organizational behaviour exams and awareness campaigns, and drank a chocolate milkshake, thinking of Howard and how he almost learned his lesson in Portugal.

Now that school is almost over, I have kind of a deontological attitude about it. What is done is done, but I should definitely follow my plan, and learn as much as I can, no matter what. I’m not enjoying it, but I want to make the best of it. I’ve had too many days in class where I’ve just been such a Johnny rotten with my Helen moods and snappy mouth, so lately I’ve been trying to be as pleasant as a grandma that smells of lavender and finds every day lovely. I’ve tried to talk to my classmates as much as possible and ask them about non-school stuff, in the hopes that if they relax, I’ll relax too. Without the pressure of too much more to go, it doesn’t seem so bad.

In this picture (above), Johnny had taken me to the beach in La Costa. She has a beach house there and she lead me to the roof to seduce me with the view. Although too cold to swim, we walked through the quaint, tourist town, getting a taste of the real fruit ice-cream sandwiches and looking for souvenirs. I found many figurines of saints. It seems the Portuguese are very proud of their Catholicism, and I found just what I was looking for: a bottle stopper with the famous Lisbon cock (as in rooster, you dirty minded fiends!). I had to protect Papoila, her dog, from the vagabond dogs and curious quadrupeds. I waited outside a shop for a little, unsure what to do in this new culture, when the friendly woman who owned the shop assured me that I could come inside and greeted Papoila with a petting. I came inside and ended up finding another pair of perfect brown ankle-hugging casual/dress shoes. They were so priceworthy that I thought perhaps I could also find some runners while I was at it. After trying a couple pairs on, including the ones without laces that Johnny alerted me about being absolutely hideous, we closed the deal with the original pair and walked on. We had to watch out for the glass on the cobblestone, so that Papoila wouldn’t cut her paws, but my feet were feeling koshy, in the padded footclothes. It was a weekday, so it wasn’t so busy, but I felt like a child again, like I was in a theme park where there was cotton candy and colourful images everywhere to appease me. Where nothing made sense but everything was so wonderful. That’s why I got such a kick out of the horsey ride.

When we got to the beach house, I went to the bathroom and turned on the light. Instantly, a radio blared. Apparently, this was Johnny’s father’s idea of burglar-proofing the place. It was beautifully decorated with shells and plastic, or rather, 'wooden' fruit. The family photos and leisure bookshelf made it seem cozy. It is the kind of place I could stay for a few months and forget the rest of the world. With some hunger in my tummy, we decided to take leave of La Costa and go on to our next adventure, after getting what I call “frango mehor.” (Johnny has told me over and over that this combination of words is meaningless and inane, but because I’m ignorant, don’t speak Portuguese and always mix it up with Spanish words, I liked describing the spicy chicken that we got as ‘frango mehor’ because to me, it translated something like ‘major chicken’ or extreme chicken or radical chicken, which it was. I had an endearing relationship with the chicken in Portugal, as I did with the fish, but I’m sure if someone came to Canada and started shouting “chicken bulbous” and laughing hysterically, I’d regard them as a freak. Oh well, the chicken just made me excited ok? (sorry vegans)) Johnny and I got in her magical car, and raced off to our next adventure, but where that was, you'll just have to wait and see.

2 Comments:

Blogger The Lioness said...

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10:43 PM  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

Um, I don't think you should be quite so judgemental there L. Just because you can afford to cut down entire trees to make fruit doesn't mean the rest of us are 'inane'. Plastic fruit is pervasive in Canada, and yes, it's quite tacky. It's kind of like fake flowers, but guess what I saw in Alfama: just that. Plastic carnations, hollycocks, the works. So there! Plastic wins! My eyes decieve but if it wasn't for plastic what would we package stuff with? I'm actually curious. They're starting to package food in all organic...food packages! For now, plastic wins though. I'm not sure what it wins but it does. Bring on round two.

10:54 PM  

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