Portugal in the Box #9

“… 1920

A small sunny village in Spain, at the bottom of a snow covered hill. A convoy of about 20 big white vintage cars, all the same, is entering the village. They stop at the village square where a transporter in waiting. A member of the Guardia Civil is standing there with his girlfriend, waiting for them. The people leave the cars and their spokesman announces that they are coming from the farthest reaches of Russia. They are starting to put coverlets and maps of Spain in the transporter, but the Guardia Civil takes them all out and says to them, that only one coverlet and two maps are allowed per person. I start counting. In fact Kevin is the Guardia Civil, and I am his girlfriend. They then climb into the transporter and drive away. Kevin and me hug and kiss in the middle of the square and Kevin says:

„Peace is over… It was much nicer before these Russians invaded our little place…“

But our kiss is interrupted by many girls coming out of the cafe in the square. They have been thrown out by the Vice-President of the USA who has decided to only stay with one of them. And in fact, I see him drawing the curtains of the cafe and preparing the bed there. In the meantime the Russians have reappeared, skiing on a ski piste that circles the village. Amongst them Werner, an old friend, a good skier. I have the feeling that he is skiing much too fast, and above all he is skiing backwards. Suddenly I get a call that he is dead, although I continue to see him skiing backwards around the village. But then he appears sliding along the ski cables, up in the sky, skiing on them. And then I see him falling,. I run to that place, and find him lying in the snow. He is in a very bad state, and before he dies, he becomes Daniela, a young girl I knew 20 years ago. She is very ill and I call an ambulance. In the meanwhile my drawing class has just started and I have 5 old English ladies attending it. One of them tells me that she only wants to learn how to teach drawing. And the other ones just want to drink tea, so I leave the room. Outside I hear that Daniela was taken by scientists for research purposes, as one had discovered that she was a Martian… I heard her calling for me, louder and louder…

As her scream became unbearable, I woke up… phew! …”

Saturday 7th June 2008

Moita – Montijo – Bridge Vasco de Gama – Lisboa

Well, we had an awful night in this lovely place by the water on the outskirts of Moita, and we finally found sleep about 3 in the morning, although the air was still filled with unclassifiable noises. I don´t know if the dream above was inspired by the terror we were submitted to … it started with something which sounded like thunder, just much longer and louder. It could not be fireworks either as we could not spot any in the night sky. We simply don’t know. As it stopped eventually, after a long time, we heard people shouting, then loud music, and finally rowdies started invading our parking, skidding their cars around our motorhome with incredible speed, shouting at each other, vandalising. I was scared to death, really, this time for true! They finally drove away after half an hour of terror, but then other cars came, and bikes, and pedestrians, it really did not stop until 3 in the morning. Much later a rowdie came back and woke me up, my heart was speeding at 180 beats per minute, this is for sure. I really thought I would die at that moment…

So again I got up quite exhausted, after that terror-ridden night. I went to draw the lovely boats though and noticed that they had put Portuguese flags everywhere, especially on the boat masts. I thought it might be national day, but later on, Kevin understood that it was „just“ football… Well, I say „just“, but somebody said:

„Football is not a matter of life and death, it is much more important than that!“

In Portugal, no doubt, this is true! And this might explain too what went on that night.

My drawing didn´t work fine, I could not get one boat right, and not even aesthetically deformed, I was simply rubbish at it today! I went back to the motorhome quite frustrated, although I exactly know that there are days like that, it is quite normal, above all when one is exhausted. But there is a long life of artistic frustration between this knowledge and the appropriate humility, for each artist I believe…

Kevin tried everything to cheer me up again, a hard job today, and finally the snake game:

„Bite bite bite…

made me feel a little bit better. I even tried some watercolour boats then, without any drawing, but the result was not great either and I finally gave up.

We drove to the next town, Montijo, to have lunch, parked by the waters again, had a nice walk, and then up to Lisbon, over the Vasco de Gama Bridge.

My God, what a bridge! About 12 or 15 kilometers I would say! I was totally fascinated as we drove upon it, wondering how men could build such a thing! I had seen it, 10 years ago, as it had be inaugurated for the world expo, but I had not driven upon it… what an experience! My total admiration and respect goes to the architects and workers of this wonder of technique and ingenuity!

Kevin drove like a master through Lisbon and found without one mistake the campsite we had spotted on the map. A great idea, this campsite, in a wood in the middle of the capital of Portugal! I have already noticed that Portuguese are very good at such things, parking places are generally everywhere and for free. And nobody cares when we park our monster using 4 of the places. This, for me, speaks of generosity. And this is wonderful!

The campsite is great, we have booked 3 nights, we just want to relax and visit Lisbon without rushing, and enjoying all the advantages of civilisation, like water and shower and electricity a gogo!

We are just a little bit deceived by the internet service here, we were told they had it at the reception, and they have it indeed, but no wireless, so we can´t use our laptops, and the use of the USB keys is blocked. I had prepared many things to post, I can´t now. I was just confronted wiht 60 mails, could not really read them all, but noticed that a heavy discussion had happened on my blog about my bullfight paintings, some very disrespectful words from some French people hating bullfights. I simply hate that. And for a moment I was tempted to abandon blogging for ever…

But now the dinner is served, Spag Bol tonight, cooked by Kevin, the very best cook in the world: miam miam!

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3 Responses to “Portugal in the Box #9”

  1. versionscelestes Says:

    Hey Miki!

    You are really having a great time over there!

    Et j´aime tous ces textes! Ca me rappelle certains passages des romans de Hemingay.

    A bientot!

    Versions C.

  2. helenl Says:

    Hang in there, Miki. Enjoy the good and let the rest go. And remember how many people you’ve met blogging. Why I can’t imagine not knowing you. Love, Helen

  3. Joël Says:

    Miki ! ne te laisse pas aller à la tristesse de lire certains comms sur la corrida : tu sais comme moi la virulence de certains débats ! continue à régaler ceux qui apprécient ta peinture et tes billets…


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