Hmmmmm Porto, Portugal, what a lovely place. The port is cheap, wine even cheaper and smiles are free and seriously it’s not how much money you have, it’s WHERE YOU LIVE that matters most in life. That is something I’m learning the more I travel, if you factor your quality of life considering everything, your bank account actually ranks quite low. That said, those of us from strong currencies are truly blessed if we have the guts to “go for it”.
Since our last update, a lifetime has happened, ok it was just like ~30 hours but it was a good one. I strolled over to the hostel of the Brazilian lady for the last time and did what we did best , whatever that is. We chilled out and just went for a long long walk drinking pints in outdoor court yards and of course “Q Tomas” home of the 2E half liter! I said good bye and began the departure from Madrid, somewhere that has quickly become a favorite of mine. Man, I eat 8 of those 1E croissants with ham and cheese yesterday, even bought a chunk of havarti cheese to bulk them up.
As time began to tick I headed to the train station. I got on a night train and showed the supervisor my 1st class ticket to see what he could do, turns out “no first class” on this train as it’s not that popular, not sure I believe him, whatever. If you were to show a video of that night, I’d of been in every position known to man trying to sleep. I’m sure I passed out a bit but it was falling asleep sweating and waking up freezing, it was weird. I asked the staff where “O Porrino” was and they said here, I rushed to put my kicks on when we were pulling out, GREAT. They don’t announce things and said you should know by the time, ehhhh really? Last I checked I was sleeping…
Was told to get off at the next station. The next station was a $!#$ing ghost town. It was tiny and all I saw were old abandoned cars, for the first time on the trip I had the feeling of “Get off here and that’s it for you, son”. So I didn’t. At this point I heard a voice in English say “Get off at Vigo”. It was a lady about my age who works as a tour guide. She told me if I missed my train, she could drive me as she was going near there and then I could catch a train from this town I forget. I said “Soitenly”.
Upon arriving at the station, turns out a train was leaving in 10 minutes and she wanted to know why “O Porrino” as it makes more sense to go to Vigo, who knows what why when where but stuff plays out the only way it should… On that train it was just myself and this uber old couple, they were very friendly. Hey, do I look Italian to you? In the last 48 hours, 3 different people have now asked if I was Italiano, hahaha… That said, despite despising the sun, I’m darker than this Portuguese girl I met in Madrid, she was like wtf!?
Anyways a few stops later this lady gets on and she is just totally un kept from cigarette stained teeth to having a pot belly that would make a trucker proud. Just a really sloppy senorita, she became quite enamored with yours truly and was asking me all these questions. I have shirt that says something London and she asked me if I was from London, I said “no, Canada” then told her the shirt was from China, she had NO CLUE what China was or is or whatever, everyone else did both Spanish and Portugese. Next thing you know she tells me she loves me, if she is beautiful and is asking for my mobile. The whole train is laughing hysterically as she is just talking total nonsense and when she said “Let’s go party” in Spanish and began motioning dancing, it was just a really weird sight… After I told her I had an “amiga” she kinda backed off.
I told some people where I was going and glad I did, I passed out on the train. If you’re going to pass out train styles in foreign countries, have your stuff behind you and if you have a jacket throw it over your pockets like a blanket Just saying…
Roll into Porto after an interesting ~12 hours and immediately had that sensation of “you’re on the right path”. I came across a shop bought some smokes and a coke and they were playing a sick song, I was in a good mood. I get to this random hostel after a short subway ride because the girl who led me to the last one mentioned this one. Turns out they have no rooms, great. The lady said “If you want… I can let you sleep on the couch in the living room for 2/3 the price of a room…”. That said, this is the first time I’ve ever had an idea of where I’m going and besides the people I mention lower, met no one. I think things work better when you just 200% wing it… That said, this place is nice and the owners even nicer.
Considering I’ve slept in hotels, holes in the ground, airports, train stations, chairs, floors, buses, trains and airplanes I was down. I’m all about being uncomfortable today and feeling at home tomorrow, if that makes sense. Turns out the bed is larger than normal beds and I have seen NO ONE in that room all day so I basically have this massive 20X30ft room in the back of this large establishment with 2 flat screen tv’s the works, sweet.
Went for a stroll, took lots of photos, Porto is cheaper than Spain thus far. For 1.40E I picked up a breaded chicken breast in a bun. Later I came across a wine shop, I found 375ml 10% wine for 0.40E. You can drink on the street so I enjoyed a few smokes and half the bottle on a park bench while giving random nods to homeless guys and old timers a like. Half way through I decided smokes were killing me so I gave them to this homeless lady and the wine to this homeless dude, they were stoked.
Rolled back to the hostel, checked the internet, realized it was time to eat something quality so I went on a search for vegetables as they have a large kitchen here, yeah never did that. Somehow I ended up at Cathedral du Porto this massive church from like 11,000Ad or something. If you go, don’t pay the 3E the coolest part is the entrance, also why would you EVER give a church money? They have been operating tax free forever and own tens of thousands of churches around the world, aka some of the sickest real estate in the world. Isn’t the Vatican made of gold? You see the old living quarters etc… SINFULLY DECADENT! They used to / still do collect from the poor and make themselves richer in the “guise” of saving your soul. My question is, where does all this money go!?!?!? I paid to go up the clock tower, it was closed off, weak.
Back to the story, continue checking out this town… The people are really pleasant and I’m looking forward to more of the same tomorrow. I’m glad I hit this place up and I vowed not to buy more smokes so like half way through the day I was kinda dying for one, approach this group of women and one is more than happy to hook a brother up. Also mention “Largas or Largos” or whatever, she said that is just some tourist trap, she said the most beautiful part of the south where all the local people go is Portomai or something of that nature, I have it written down. Note to self, NEVER give your pack away again, every time you do, you just end up getting another. Also ran into this market and bought some fruit. Also saw these ducks in a cage, one of them like talked to me or something weird, we connected. I was going to buy him and release him then realized someone else would pick him up, he’d get hit by a car and basically that’s it.
Feels good to be back on the road and I do believe some of my favorite parts of traveling is actually traveling, riding the bus, the train, plane, unicycle, whatever. Showing up in some place with no one knowing your coming or caring and figuring out what to do with your life. I know for a fact in another trip I’ll be exploring Portugal and Spain in more detail, quickly becoming one of my favorite areas in the world. I just bought a big helping of lasagna and a 330ml coke for 3.40E hahaha. In Amsterdam I was paying ~2.50 for just the coke. Bueno!!!
Side note, my Spanish is getting pretty good. Good enough that I could live here and when I asked for things I speak as boldly as I can to see if they take the bait and believe I’m a Spanish speaker, they reply and after a bit I have to say “Un Poco”. My vocabulary has exploded and I’m thrilled about it. I can now speak enough Spanish to survive, not thrive but I can speak it. Enjoy these photos, I enjoyed taking them.
Asia like changed my chemistry, anytime it’s under 20 degrees I need to wear a jacket or I’m freezing, what’s up with that!? Also Sonar in Barcelona is in full effect, part of me wishes I was there, the rest is thrilled not to be.
I do not like this update, then again I don’t like most of them. For some reason I walk around with a blank mind or trains of thought I’d love to share but then I get here and just pump out mediocre media which I’m NOT COOL with. It’s getting late, I need to bounce or I’ll miss dinner, again.
Have a sick weekend,
P.S: Just ran into some Canadians from Quebec, turns out there’s a music festival here, sounds worthy. Also, lots of old buildings in downtown for sale, I’d love to one day buy one and leave it derelict but retrofit the interior. Nothing like posing like a popper and seeing how people treat you, good people treat everyone the same, shallow, fake, social climbers treat those they feel are beneath them with no respect… The place below once belonged to the richest merchant in all of Madrid, he played that game well. Below is his place, below that is one I found today, I like it.
P.P.S: You think I’m #$#!$ kidding when I say go do something uncomfortable? Small people have big problems, BIG PEOPLE have small problems. It’s the weekend, if you’re anywhere and see someone you’d like in your life, go say hello and see what happens, if not you, WHO!? Also, do things while you can, times flies SO FAST you may just blink and be this guy, holding up traffic. It took him ~5-6 minutes to cross that street, seriously.
P.P.P.S: I know it’s Friday aka the dead zone but you think I care if anyone reads this? One day I’ll read this, as a bed time story to “Roberto Junior”. Kids love picture books, then again we’re all just big kids, if we allow ourselves to be.