OK, so today did not go as planned … at all. Not that I had a plan to begin with, but I did have a basic structure in place that seemed reliable. April seems my month to show what the FrogDiva is truly made of, and time to put up one big fight. Cryptic, I know, and I promise to tell you the story once all the pieces fall into place, but for now, suffice it to say that the complicated and dark side of real estate shennanigans in Portugal has reared it’s ugly head. March was far too easy it seems, so the Universe has decided to spice things up a bit and test my fortitude once again, just to make sure I am not slacking on the light side of life and all. But what the hell, I did sign up for adventure when I moved here after all.
Let’s start with my favourite part of the day, my Uber ride to work. I thought yesterday’s driver was going to be hard to beat, until I met my driver today. Mamma Mia! Here I go again… so I got into the car and wondered why the driver looked at me intensely and waited for me to buckle up. Oh boy, the man put the pedal to the metal and floored it. He drove through the narrow alleys as if we were being pursued by a platoon on a bad batch of streroids. I’ve had fast drivers before but this one was a whole different calibre, in so many ways.
For starters, we had a hilarious time deciding what language to converse in. The man turned out to be an Italian who fled the mafia in Napoli as a child and grew up here. So my choice of languages was English, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian. We initially tried the usual Portuñol but when he found out I spoke Italian, we quickly switched over to what i now know to be as Maccaronico, or Portuguese and Italian jumbled up (no, not the macarena, that is a different country…). I was delighted to speak Italian again, and he was happy to test his English. Of course, in true Italian fashion, it was a loud and lively conversation, with a lot of hand waving. When agitated, of course the Italian side dominates, and it was hilarious to listen to some very colourful Italian after such a long time. In the end we both agreed that we were speaking a linguistic linguini, the way we were desecrating Maccaronico with English. But hey, it worked and we traded stories in rapid fire succesion,
The linguini wasn’t even the most interesting part. In my usual style, I coaxed the story out of the man, and I discovered the reason for his driving style… it had less to do with being Italian but everything to do with being a Navy Seal. In his mind he was still driving a tank through Iraqi desert, and not a little electric car through Lisbon! Dude, chill, there’s no one chasing us! Being an Uber driver is a necessary evil with two children of college age, and naturally, Dad is freaking out. The man is ranked as a Major, a career soldier, and looks as if he belongs on the silver screen rather than fatigues. We parted ways properly, meaning speaking unadulterated Italian and I thought to myself, gee, it’s going to be a hell of a day isn’t it?