I felt pretty good when I managed a conversation in Portuguese last night with my taxi driver upon arrival, especially after nothing but a couple of hours of sweaty sleep on a beanbag in front of a screen showing the World Cup in Porto airport.
He taught me the phrase for ‘hand of god’ in Portuguese, after mirroring the pessimism of football fans everywhere with his prediction that Brazil will crash out of the World Cup early, leaving the way for Argentina or perhaps Germany to triumph. Maradona is one of those people who attracts strong feelings universally, it seems.
The Copa do Mundo is the subject on everyone’s lips, with a man chatting about Germany’s 4-0 win over the Soceroos to my waitress this morning. I enjoyed a coffee that was like rocket fuel at that cafe, along with a pasty that was as delicious as its contents were mysterious to me.
I could certainly get used to living here. That rocket fuel propelled me round the Lagoa rodrigo de Freitas, a perfect lake for a run. Not least because I nearly fell over at the sight of a team of men running in the opposite direction so incredibly good-looking it was difficult to stay on the track. Having said that, a lot of the men here do resemble Ronaldo (not Cristiano).
Apologies for the earnest, pretentious nature of the last entry, btw. I think I was getting strung out on the drama of all these goodbyes. I don’t know if I’ll be able to survive living here full-time for a year or more, but I’d certainly like to. Someone gave me the good advice that even if that doesn’t happen you have to approach it as though you will stay forever. That makes sense.
Got lost on the way back from the lake though, I’ve got a long way to go yet.