Portugal in the Box – #10

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

I was cycling in the sun, on a red path through beautiful mountains, alone. Suddenly the path stopped, and I stood in front of a canyon, with vertical, deep falling walls. I wanted to cycle back but the path had disappeared. In fact everything had disappeared, except the canyon. A man appeared down in the canyon. He looked quite young, but his hair was silver. He waved to me, and screamed that I should throw the bicycle down, he would catch it. I hesitated a while, but well I had no choice. I threw the bicycle down, he caught it, and he then told me that I should jump down myself, he would catch me too. I jumped – a long way falling down, quite scary but exciting too…- but landed on my own feet, without any problems and pain…

The man reached out to me with his hand and smiled at me. I noticed that his hair was made out of very shiny, silver paper threads.

You don´t know me“, he said“ But I know you well. I have been observing you for a long time and I have a big project for you. Come with me..“

And he started walking. I hesitated, thinking of Kevin, that he might not appreciate that.

The man turned back to me and said. „

Come, you won´t regret it, it is a big art project! “

Well, the wonder word was spoken! We walked through a marvellous landscape of caves, some made out of glass, some of white stones,, lakes with turquoise waters. Engraved on the walls of the caves a bull appeared, now and again. We then arrived at a kind of garage in the rock, where an immense glass vehicle was parked, protected by a cover. The man said:

It is very old, but it works. It is made out of hundreds of glass boxes inside, and each of them is a room for a different art. I have bought all this place, all these caves and lakes, and I want to make a big art city out of it. And you should be the president of Art City“

Suddenly a hundred year-old woman also with silver, long paper hair, appeared. She just came back from a golf game and was still wearing the golf bag on her shoulder. She was followed by many other women carrying golf bags, all laughing.

Yes, we are doing the formalities right now. I would like you to make the logo for Art City. It should have to do with the bull which is engraved everywhere on the cave walls, but the bull is too much a symbol of aggressivity… could you think of another animal?“

I didn´t doubt one second

Of course, the Unicorn!“

Wonderful!“, the old woman said, „And Kevin should create the hymn of Art City…“

I was thinking how happy he would be…

And I awoke! What a pity, this was really something from Wonderland!

Sunday 8th June 2008


So, if we wanted to stay here for relaxing, I know now that it was the wrong plan…

After having done some work at „home“ this morning, art and writing, we decided to walk to the centre. Armed with a little town plan we walk out of the campsite, downhill to the left because we cleverly thought, it always goes down to the sea… but well, after a while it was obvious that we were heading to the highway, and considered it not so clever to walk on the highway, above all considering the driving habits of the Portuguese (very fast!). So we went back to the reception and ask the English speaking guy, who welcomed us in such a friendly manner yesterday, how to walk to the centre. He looked at us, laughing:

You really want to walk?“

Yes we do!“

He explained to us briefly the way to follow, and how he did it made the town sound quite close. So we left the campsite again, to the right this time. We walked and walked and walked, and the more we walked, the more I had the impression to walk away from our aim. And it was hot, and I had a headache. And I must say, to my very deep shame tonight, that I started shouting at Kevin., It happens very seldom, but today I did it. I guesss unconsciously I made him responsible for wasting my precious time along that bloody street leading nowhere, that time that I needed so much to paint. And when one thinks that in fact it had been MY idea to walk and not to take the bus, then one understands the unfairness.

I am so sorry…

My Kevin is such a wondeful guy, caring all the time for me, doing everything, but really everything so that I am happy, and I have shouted at him for something for which I was responsible. I guess I can be happy that he still loves me tonight!

Well, after about 2 hours walk in the heat we finally reached the famous Ajuda, which had surely been worth the effort. A gigantic building, God (and surely Kevin too) knows what it’s for . Impressive, this is for sure. Very impressive too were the lovely and extensive buildings from the army, all painted in pastel pink… I have noticed anyway that they seem to love pink in Portugal, boats, monuments, houses… all in wonderful tender rosa…but the army buildings… how strange, isn´t it?

Later on we discovered the great monument to the conquistadores lead by some Half-English Prince holding a little ship in his hands. Great stuff, half sculpture, half monument. With all the important navigators sculpted on the walls and looking out to the sea. We took the lift up, and up, I was scared to death. The monument is higher than any cathedral, I think, and at the top there is a thin open air corridor, on which you can stand and have a great panorama view of Lisbon. In the expo on the second floor Kevin was proud to discover that the Prince who had the vision had some English blood. One says that French are chauvinists, but English are far more, at least Kevin is! For reasons of respect towards this great nation of visionaries, I won´t tell you though how Kevin strongly hit his head against a wall as he was trying to discover where the sea sounds came from…but it was very hilarious, believe me!

We then took the train to the centre – a free ride thanks to Kevin´s professionalism in such matters…-. Unfortunately by that point I was so exhausted, really so exhausted, that I could not enjoy the great town anymore. We spent so much time trying to find an internet work place, and we finally succeeded. We stayed there almost 2 hours. Next to my place was a gay guy, who spent these two hours, and I don´t know how many before and after, in men’s sites… it was incredible to see how he chatted with about 50 different men in that time. It was so fascinating that I could not help observing him with one eye! He even asked for our help sometimes as he could not understand what some Spanish guys were telling to him… at a certain time he must have found a great one, because he started using the webcam. He started smiling, laughing, showing how good his teeth were (he really took the camera in front of his teeth) amd making charm to the camera, it was really incredible to see that for me in a public place, But the best was yet to come: suddenly I saw him lifting his Tshirt, caressing his breast to the camera. For a long time. And again. Really, I could not believe it!

After a snack, we then tried to find a bus back home. Kevin was accosted many times on the main street:

Hashish, cocaine…“

It must be his long hair. I got quite angry somehow that these people could think that my Kevin was a drug addict, and twice I shouted at them:

We don´t like that!“

which made these people laugh, and even follow us.

Do you really believe I would look like I do at 50 if I were taking that stuff?“

Somehow Kevin seemed to appreciate that they thought him so young to believe he would buy drugs in the street… In fact they all were quite funny, Kevin and these drugs dealers, typical men somehow…

Kevin found the right bus to go back home,without a change, an act of heroism considering the way the bus plans are done and the quantity of bus routes.

I can tell you, I was extremely happy as we entered the motorhome. I had sworn that I would not go back there tomorrow, but well, I can´t do that to Kevin, and anyway I want to have a look at the art shops in Lisbon, if we can find some… and I might find some nice gift for Kevin to compensate my naughty behaviour today…


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