I have always loved writing, and now that I am retired I thought I would be able to find time to write, but it seems that I still manage to fill my days with activities. I have however found that while I travel, I enjoy writing about some of the interesting things we do. I hope you enjoy reading of our adventures as much as I like writing about them.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
“Number 24” is not an apartment in
a tourist resort, it is a regular apartment in a nice new building on
the edge of the old section of the town. Let me describe for you the neighborhood.
Looking out over the front balcony,
there is a train track, and beyond that old section of Olhao. You
would think that living beside the train track would be noisy, but in
fact you never hear it at all. The train runs through a man-made
concrete valley, and unless you are outside on the balcony or sitting
in the kitchen with the window open you can not even notice the
Bringing in a coffin
I noticed right away the people coming
and going from the building to the right of the apartment. They were
always dressed up, the men in suits and women in dresses, and they
all carried little briefcases, or what looked like day-timers. These
folk were coming and going all day, but I did not really know what it
was about. Finally one day a big silver blue van pulled up, and I
could hear a lot of animated conversation. Looking over the balcony,
I watched them open a big glass door on the back of the van, and
extract a coffin. Was this a funeral home? Questioning Suzanne about
this mystery, I was told it was a Jehovah Witness Temple, and there
must have been a funeral of one of the members. Fortunately, the
balcony out front is three stories up, and although providing me an
excellent spot to watch the population of Olhao go by, folk on the
ground would have to really crane their necks to notice me watching
them up there, so I have yet to have the knock on the door for the
religious conversion speech.
Across the railway track is the start
of the old part of Olhao. For about five or six blocks it is narrow
streets with single family houses. The houses are built of concrete,
and are all attached together for the entire length of the block.
From the street side these look very similar. There are a few with
brightly coloured tiled surfaces, but most are white or beige painted
concrete. Looking down at them from the apartment balcony, you see
them from the back and there are not two with the same design in the
entire block. They are all narrow and usually at least two stories,
often with elaborate roof top extensions. Some of the roofs are tiled
and some simply concrete, but most have a room on the roof of some
sort. Stairs go in all directions to various levels. Everyone has a
clothes line on the roof, and some have gardens. One house across
from me is decorated in shades of tan and brown, and another down the
way is brilliant white all the way down to the train tracks, where
another directly across is simply aged and mottled, unpainted
concrete, but every flat surface has a potted plant waiting for the
rain that I am told is not expected until November . . . . .
So you see . . . . . it is way more
interesting than being an apartment in a “resort”.