Saturday, May 17, 2008

Eu Faço Um Muito Bom: Porto Part 3

On our walk back to the hostel from the Atlantic Ocean...

Man. I really need to finish with Portugal and move on with life. It is holding up all the other blog entries I want to share, so here goes...last but not least, part three!

Considering we didn't get to bed until 5AM, we naturally slept in and took it easy on our last day in Porto. Our agenda was simple: beach and food. That was all we really cared about.

After a quick stop at a neighborhood bakery (only 70 centimos for a gigantic ham and cheese bread thing, what!), we took the city bus to the highly anticipated praia. A very jiggly ride that lasted only 20 minutes and then BEHOLD, the mighty Atlantic Ocean. It has definitely been a few years since I've seen that thing, and what do you know, it was beauteous! We walked along the shore and climbed out onto some rocky crags where I totally got doused by an enormous wave because I was too busy setting my iPod to Seu Jorge. Haha, typical. It was glorious though, even despite being in jeans, two long sleeve shirts, a scarf, and socks and shoes with the sun beating forcefully down (all the weather reports predicted torrential rain the entire weekend!). So sweaty, but glorious.

We dined at a classy cafe on the beachfront (see below pictures). I tried a typical Porto Portuguese dish called the Francesinha practically everyone had recommended to us. Literally translated to "Little French Girl," there was absolutely nothing "little" about it. Chorizo, a few types of ham, and steak in between two slices of bread that were smothered in cheese and then doused in a tomato-ey sauce. I unfortunately boasted to Jackie that I would eat it all, then did so, and consequently couldn't move for a good few hours. Man. There was far too much packed into that deceivingly compact entree...

The second significant part of our day (after the numerous requisite naps and hammock lounging sessions, of course) was a return to the Guarany Cafe for another show. We had heard something vague about world beats and Latin-tinged stuff and immediately decided we needed to get in on that action. As it turns out, a musical group straight from Cuba (!!!) was performing that night and we were lucky enough to be seated right in the front. Yesssss. Ohmygooooodness. I was freaking out. What a fantastic time.

The music was amazing, all salsa-y and such, but the beats were painfully contagious and catchy though. Half of me was basically in heaven and I could not for the life of me wipe the silly grin off my face. The other half of me nearly wanted to cry out of nostalgia for Sunday Hot Monkey Love Cafe salsa nights with the crew. Not that any of us were professionally spectacular (well, besides Neo, but what isn't he good at?), but we had ourselves some good times. Watching all the couples whirling and twirling and salsa stepping was both beautiful and such a tease. The lead singer kept looking over and chuckling at my hardly contained excitement, occasionally motioning me out onto the small corner of a dancing floor. No way, man. Aas much as I tout my non-Asianess, in this area, I am still very much so; awkward, stiff, and uncoordinated. Heh.

I remember one night at Yee Yi's house, it was one of the usual crazy, fun family reunions I so love. My mom and aunts tried to get Amanda and I to learn some dances, but I was too embarrassed to take it seriously. What a shame. I'm pretty sure I spent about 80% of my childhoos being embarrassed about...everything. I think perhaps tha may be why I have so little shame about many things these days (not dancing though clearly; my failed childhood experience in Reston, Virginia in that purple wedgie-perpetuating leotard scarred me for life). But I digress...

What a great night (in Porto) it was and an incredible way to end a perfect trip. Now I'm eighty hundred times more excited to take Portuguese next quarter, the classes for which I am already registered!, and well, long story long, I loved Portugal and am ecstatically looking forward to my return next month (this time to Lisboa). Eu mal posso esperar!

Day 3:
Oh baby.

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