October 07, 2004 GMT
Fruit Envy

23rd Sept 04. Guarda.

How come the Portuguese get satsumas the size of melons and we get crappy, pathetic, shrivelled little affairs? And don't give me that "Mediterranean climate" drivel either - these babies are flown in from Uruguay.

AM - Dawdled in the square.
PM - Dawdled in the internet cafe.
In the evening, had a day off the booze and watched "Casablanca" on Turner Classic Movies. What a pile of crap! Not really - what a teeth-clenching, brow-tightening, leg-crossing piledriver of a film. The best bit - ahem - is when someone asks Humpty his nationality, and he replies "Drunkard", and the French police dude chips in with "That makes Rick a citizen of the world..."
Im going to be in Casablanca in about 5 weeks, and I *raises right hand* solemnly do swear on the fly-blown grave of Rod Hull and the hollow, foetid corpse of Emu to get drunk there as a mark of respect, because I wouldn't have anyway.

24th Sept 2004. Guarda.

Graaaaagh! I am so angry I could bite my own teeth off. I want to kick myself upside the head and punch my own brain out. Nnnngh! Mnnnff! Whack my eyes in *splut* and mash up my legs to a thick paste. I've spent the whole day - and I mean literally 9am to 5pm, with an hour for lunch, (ok - 2 hours - this is Iberia) in an internet cafe, trying to resize JPEGs so I can put some photos on this thing. And I can't.
Brrraaaaagggh! I simply must stab my own face in. I am a horse of hate. A giant reptile of dismay. A huge, wallowing sea-cow of gasping, weeping frustration. Never mind, eh? I'm outta here in the morning. Time to saddle up the old mare and hit the dusty trail, i.e. the IP2, to - who knows where? Not me anyway.

Motos are quite the thing in Guarda, unlike other bits of Portugal I've passed through. I keep seeing the same ones from my pavement bar vantage point. There's a GSX600, at least one V-Max, two Fireblades and an XR400. If it makes a throbby noise everyone looks. There's also a geezer - who I'm almost certain is disabled - on a trike, which he appears to have built himself out of a Boer War-era wheelbarrow and a tumble-drier. Imminent collapse and severe injury seem inevitable, yet he has gone to the trouble and expense of fitting a pair of shiny chrome ape-hangers. Respect is due.
Finally, one gentleman has taken it upon himself to create the most pointless of all vehicles: a 3-wheeled car made out of a scooter. To watch it tumble around the roundabout is to experience terror, sympathy, pity, respect and mirth simultaneously. I raise my glass.

They're showing Portuguese Pop Idol in the bar. You cannot begin to imagine how bad it is.

Posted by Simon Fitzpatrick at October 07, 2004 08:06 PM GMT
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