Portugal: Day Five (quinto dia)
I woke up around 10:30am and took Romeo to the gas station and back to relieve himself. I started to get ready for the gym, but John said he didn’t really want to go and had not made plans with Ken&Bobby (which becomes basically one word at this point in the trip) to meet up. I decide to run with Romeo later (who has yet to eat, but we’ll get to that) and head off to take the second hot shower in our apartment, and the first since John has replaced the propane tank. As soon as I get out of the shower, Carla knocked on our door and said she had time to help with my brows.
At this time, I strongly believe I look like this:
John thinks I’m overreacting. But child please, #thatneverhappens
I quickly got dressed and met Carla downstairs in her salon. She plucks them for 2.50€. Turns out, after growing up in Povoacao, she completed her senior year of high school in Dartmouth, MA. She returned to the Azores for beauty school but married an American from Rhode Island. She came upstairs with me after she finished my brows and showed me how to use the washer and dryer which I attempted to use the night before. The washer seemed pretty simple, but the dryer had a removable compartment that was full of water. I wasn’t sure what, if anything, I was supposed to do with that (empty it? Refill it with clean water?) so I left it alone. While our clothes came out extremely hot, they came out totally wet. As if they had been steam cleaned, or just steamed. Since a majority of our laundry was sweaty soccer socks, all our clothes came out smelling that way (joy). I hung the laundry up on our three clothes lines outside, the kitchen chairs, and the railing, however, it is so humid here they will take a while to dry. Carla showed me how to empty that removable container, which is supposed to suck the water out as it dries (but doesn’t… I’m not sure how it collects all that water but the clothes stay wet? But they do).
She also told me that Wednesday is her day off from the salon and she usually drives to Ponta Delgado to get supplies. She’s not going this week, since she just returned from vacation, but next week when she goes she will bring me with her. I told her about my blow-dryer woes and how Serenela told me I had to go to China to get a new one. I thought she was kidding, but Carla explained to me that she meant a store owned by Chinese people (there are at least two of these places). Carla told me I could also get a blow dryer at the electronic store below the square. After John and I hit up Pic-Nic for a galao, we stopped back at our apartment, grabbed Romeo, and hit the supermercado and DAP (the electronic shop). Since you can count on there always to be an English speaker where you are going, and we don’t have data service without wifi, I had to get my translation straight before we left the apartment.
I have been writing out our shopping list in Portuguese to help me. Unfortunately, the only things I can talk about with locals are fruits and kitchen cleaning products.
Things were looking up:
- Hot Water✔️
- Less-hairy eyebrows ✔
- Blow dryer ✔
Since it wasn’t really a nice day out, we hung out inside for a while after that. John watched a million coaching videos on YouTube because he is running practices until they figure out what to do about not having a head coach. I read Help for the Haunted by John Searles, which is our book club book right now, but I’m probably the only one reading it. Reading isn’t really a requirement for our book club, but a thirst for wine and a tolerance for my lack of cheese-eating are. #bookclubdivas #bitchandwhine
Romeo and I went for a four mile run. I took Romeo with me because he is my number one running buddy (since Jackie moved to chi-town and all my regulars are back in the ‘ham) but also to try and kick this stupid hunger strike he has been on. I figured, after we burnt all those calories, he would be forced to fill himself back up. A four mile run in Povoacao either consists of (a) killing yourself up and down the lombas, (b) running on the ONE treadmill at the gym, or (c) running in circles. I chose door (c) and headed for the gas station. Gas station to beach, foot bridge to car bridge, around the gymnasium, and then up one rua to the guys’ apartment and back down alongside the river to the gas station is one lap, and we did three. Everytime we passed the guys’ apartment, Romeo cut me off and tried to run up their steps to evade the rest of our run. By the third lap by the high school I was really wishing I had translated “you can pet him” or “he doesn’t bite” before we took off. Oh well, something to learn. Voce pode toca-lo. You can touch him.
Shortly after our run (which so far only got Romeo to drink and pant) John got picked for practice and I hit Pic-Nic to work on my then-unpublished blog. While I was there one of the villagers, Rui, who knows John, sat down and tried to talk to me. However, his English is as non-existant as my Portuguese, so I had to eventually end our conversation with “Must go cook so Johnny can eat” which he seemed to understand; he laughed and said “ciao, goodbye.”
I wanted to take a break from #riceandbeans, especially after last nights’ overly-spicy variety didn’t sit too well with Johnny. We had picked up some hamburg and tomate polpo (tran. tomato pulp) which I thought was tomato juice, John told me was tomato sauce, but was actually tomato paste. Luckily I had an onion which I added to the paste, and after throwing in the browned beef and just a sprinkle of the piri piri spices from the night before, it turned out pretty well. We threw some of the hamburg on Romeo’s so-far-untouched dog food and even gave him spaghetti, too. Romeo, aside from being our little baby, actually is a little &*(#^ing baby. He has been on hunger-strike since we arrived, refusing to eat anything other than our table food. And even some of that he won’t eat: he eats the rice off the beans, but not the beans. #sweetbabyromeo #wereinportugalnow