Lazy Letter: Mister President
Luís took us out last night. He stopped by at our studios’ earlier during the day, and I asked him how we could meet up with the locals, or where to hang out, or what’s more to do in this small town. He offered to take us out to the neighboring town in the evening. He lives there; he’s recently moved there. Not completely though, he’s still moving. His apartment doesn’t have the electricity for some strange reason, and so I’m thinking that’s the reason why the process of moving is slower than usual. I don’t really know him, so I’m only thinking.
He picked us up at nine. He was on-time. He pulled over by the gate, and honk the horn twice to let us know that he’s there. RJ was taking the front seat, and I sat behind Luís. I asked him where we were going, and he said he didn’t really know. I found it exciting.
We got to the town, it wasn’t that far away, only about ten kilometers away. The road was wobbly, I couldn’t keep my eyes off the oak trees on the side of the road. A part of me wanted to draw them all, even though I knew that it’d be impossible. It was a small town, I have to say, I don’t think there were much to do there. We passed by an old factory building. He said the building was used for art shows and exhibitions and such, but for now, it was empty. He said there used to be a cool bar in the corner of the building, which obviously weren’t working then. So he turned the wheel and we got to the downtown. It was rather small, and very quiet, almost empty. I found it nice, naive and simple. The buildings and the neat stone pavements looked very sincere. I read every sign and street names, and tried to see as much as I could, even though I know I was missing out a lot; it was my first time there. I always miss a lot, guess I have problems paying attention. We walked around, the bars were closed and the cafes weren’t working. It was Friday. We wondered if something was happening.
We reached a nice old building, and I asked Luís what the place was. He said that it was the city hall. It was a bit busy and crowded at the entrance; something was going on. He believed it was some kind of parliament meeting which made it even more curious, I mean it was a Friday night after all. Then, a few people walked out of the tall glass door–they were in suits. Luís said that the man in the middle was the president of the country, and that he had no idea what he was doing there. Perhaps he was there to support people who lost their family, house or lands in the recent forest fire. We got excited, it’s not every day that you could meet mister president in a small town in a corner of nowhere. Sasha and Anna pulled out their phones to save the moment, they were holding their phones still so I reckon they were recording a video. Mister president noticed us, paused for a second, and waved. I looked around to see if anyone else was around, or if the president was actually waving at us. Us, a bunch of foreigners shocked that Marcelo, the president of the country was waving at them. He probably waved just because we had cameras, I don’t know.
21.Oct.17 – Arganil, Portugal
P.S. I went out for a run this morning. Not a very long one, only four kilometers. I ran to the neighboring village on the back road. I’d walked along that path before, had picked up grapes and collected different kinds of leaves. It was a nice run, only a little bit cold; it’s cold early in the morning. Well, eight o’clock doesn’t really count as early, does it?! The plan was to run to the village, turn left and connect to the main road, and then run back to the school. You know that the school means the studio, yea?! Did I tell you that this place used to be a school until ten years ago, before they abandoned it for there were not enough children to attend this primary school?! Anyway, just as I reached the village, I realized I haven’t really run all that far. So, I decided to run back on the same path. I think it was about four kilometers in total.
I saw a man on the way go, he was working on his land. I said “ola” to him as I was listening to music. He probably said “ola” or “bom dia” or something like that. But I couldn’t hear him. I saw him again on the way back. This time I said “tchau”, and he answered something out loud. I pulled out one of the earphones out just so that I could hear him. And realized how stupid I was, really! I wouldn’t be able to understand him anyway even if I did hear him; we don’t speak the same language.