Portuguese SAGAS – How much can they talk, the priests I mean?

  1. June 2018

How much can they talk?

Yesterday I left my home early in the morning and I had a plan.

Driving, it was not raining, and my plan changed. The beauty of having your own car is this. I can go out in the morning and end up somewhere and experience something really amazing and surprising.

When I left it was not raining. The sun was even shining but as always I was prepared for the worst and my umbrella in my rucksack.

I also took with me my tablet. I love to sit down somewhere and just write. Writing whatever comes to mind is often the miracle.

I ended up in Coimbra and parked my car far away from the centre. Walking is good and just parking your car not too close is a fine exercise without being an exercise.

Leaving my car and heading up the road I realised my phone was not in my pocket. Back to the car, still sunshine, and my friend was there waiting to be picked up. He went into my pocket; my rucksack on my back and off we went.

I noticed some mushrooms resting close to the broken tree. They are so beautiful and I just had to share with you.

I looked over the river and there was my favourite city bathed in sunshine and a soft breeze kissing the roof tops.

Crossing Santa Clara bridge and on the river the young athletes rowing their kayaks. Everything peaceful and not stress anywhere.

The hotel Astoria even smiling and the square was crowded with tourists, some from Spain others from China and Japan and even few Scandinavians and English. Everyone busy taking photos and some of them waiting for the guide. Just an ordinary Saturday tourist day.

What was different this Saturday was all the tables all around with homemade things. The Portuguese make a lot of goods at home and go during the weekends to places where tourists or just ordinary people gather and sell their goods. There was wine, cheese, jewellery, table cloths, books, paintings and you just imagine something and it would be there. These are just ordinary Portuguese people and this is their market place, or so to speak.

I like to stop and talk to the people. They are nice and interesting to see what they have been making during the week and even are making while selling. They think I am a foreigner and it always comes as a surprise that the tall woman in more Portuguese than anything else and at least not English.

Yesterday I spoke to a lady who made these amazingly beautiful jewellery of stone. Oh, so beautiful. I told her I would come back after an hour or more and buy something from her. I had found a gift for a friend which I have been thinking about sending something but have not found anything I liked. There, with this wonderful artist, was the peace. She looked at me and I could see her disbelieve. The truth is that when my countrymen don´t want to buy they use this “I will be back” and never return.

I continued down the road and now I was heading to the church and my plan totally forgotten.

When I am in the tourist road I always visit the church. It is beautiful and peaceful. It makes me pause and think.

Into the church I went and guess what, it was packet, there was a wedding.

Not quite a surprise to see there was a weeding because outside there had been a tiny white car with flowers and a white carpet leading into the church.

The priest was talking and he obviously enjoyed listening to himself talking. The priests sometimes do this. They go on and on and on and on, about almost nothing. He spoke a lot about the heart and the love and the family and the heart again and more about the love. He was having a blast.

The bride and groom just sat there, the guests became a bit restless and moved around, at least those who sat at the back where I had put myself. I was the intruder and did not want to be noticed, at least not too much.

I have never experienced a weeding that long. After the rings had been put on the correct hand and the family picture taken I thought it was over. Oh no, there was singing, and more talking and more singing. Eventually the bride began kissing and hugging the guests and suddenly the groom was lost! I could not see him. Where did he go? Well, he was not fat, and there were lot of people quite wide, so no wonder he got lost in all the embracing and hugging and kissing.

After more than 2 hours I decided to leave and tiptoed outside.

The rain had arrived.

A lot of rain poured down and the umbrella was wonderful and protective.

I noticed a couple standing outside a shop opposite the church. Definitely tourists, they are everywhere. The couple did not have an umbrella. They stood there, she in her sandals and he in proper shoes. Eventually they moved under the restaurant umbrella, totally wet but they waited.

A group of people from the university was going to perform inside the church but could not get in. The weeding was continuing and they, the group, decided to perform outside the church door. It was raining but they sang. In the evening, they told me, there would be a concert at 9 and if I wanted I was invited. I thanked them but of course then I would be in bed at my home, but they were nice. They always are and during this time of the year they are everywhere trying to collect some money for their celebration in June. I gave them some euros and they left.

Eventually the newly wed appeared. They came outside and got rice and flowers and balloons and everything thrown at them. The ladies, the guests, got completely soaking wet, it was raining like hell, but they just took of their high heels and stood in their bare feet letting the rain wash the toes.

I went back, back to the jewellery woman and bought the bracelet for my friend. The husband was there now. He smelled of alcohol and tried to sell me more. He explained to me that it was a must for a beautiful lady like me to have many bracelets and earrings. I tried to explain to him that I had already too many but he was persistent. Eventually the wife, the artist, told him that I had been with her few hours before and had already decided what to buy. He gave me discount!

Now it was long past lunch and I had not eaten anything since breakfast. There was no doubt in my mind that I would faint on my way back to the car, maybe I would faint on Santa Clara bridge and someone would through me into the river. That could not happen so I went into a new small restaurant which sold ice cream but luckily also some food. I told them I was hungry. What could they recommend? They had no idea. I got a sandwich with something and a bottle of water. At least it was some food and I was in that moment desperate just to get something, anything would be fine.

I ate my lunch and guess what. The wet tourists came into the restaurant and bought ice cream with mango. They were still wet but ice cream was what they wanted. The tourists are strange, don´t you think?

After eating my sandwich and drinking the water I left and headed back to my car. It was still there waiting for me and how good it felt to get into it from the horrible rain. I was totally soaking wet from head to toe. Home was my dream and my wonderful car who does always what I ask him to do took me home.

I think the umbrella is still in the car. I have not been out today.

The bloody neighbour downstairs came home at 3 30 last night, banging and shouting during the rest of the night.

Most of the day he has been playing loud music but he went out 2 hours ago. I was hoping he would stay forever at the hospital but that was hope in wain. He is back.

Tomorrow is a Monday and a new week. What the week will have in store for me is a secret.

Although I know that I will not be writing about the disgusting government in Iceland and how they treat the poor, the elderly, the handicapped and those who don´t belong to the elite.

I have decided no more writing; it is hopeless anyway, about Iceland.

Giving up is not in my character but I had to choose; either to continue this hopeless struggle or save my heart and live maybe few more wonderful years.

I chose my live and to enjoy what is left of it.

To my foreign friends I want to say this: I have been neglecting you but now there will be change. You will be my priority.

Hulda Björnsdóttir

Author: hulda9

I am Icelandic but live in Portugal. When I was young I had a dream. I wanted to travel around the world. I wanted to experience different cultures. My dream came true and I went to London. When going through the Chinese display in the British Museum I began to cry. I cried and experienced this longing and sadness. At that moment I knew I had to go to China. Arriving there for the first time I felt finally at home, a feeling I never had in Iceland. In Iceland I was an outsider. My mother passed away and I decided to move. My destination was China. I lived there for a while but had to sell my house and move because permanent residence was not granted to me. I moved to Portugal and that was 6 and a half years ago. In China I taught English and dance. In Portugal I am a retired resident. Now I am 72 years old. I love to write and want to share with you some of my experience in those 2 countries and also just my simple thoughts. Portugal is my final destination on this earth. Even though I have many years behind me, my mind is clear. I enjoy the life and make the most of every day. I love to sing, to study and most of all I love to be alive. I hope you will enjoy reading my thoughts that I share with you.

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