Disturbing the Peace

If I had to describe my day yesterday in one sentence it would be precisely this: Disturbance of the Peace – Vol I – III.

Vol. I – As I walked along the river on my usual way to the train station i stopped in my tracks when I spotted a beautiful grey heron, standing silently on a sandbank and staring out to what seemed like one of the boats. I haven’t seen an heron since I left Berlin in February, so it took me by surprise. Well hello there! I said softly, not even daring to move lest I spook him. Somehow all herons are male in my head, ever since I nicknamed the daily visitor in Berlin Gerald. Deciding that this particular traveler would be called Gerardo, I smiled and watched him for a few seconds longer, but he was already offended by my presence and flew away in a huff, but not before turning his head and sqwaking angrily at me. I laughed all the way to the train station – who else can claim that their day began with being cussed out by an antipatico heron?

Vol. II – It being Wednesday yesterday, I headed straight to the cafe after alighting from the train in Sete Rios and stood in line for my capuccino and croissant. Half the joy in being there is watching the crew of oversized elves scramble about serving coffee and pastries while muttering something or the other. I can’t say I have a favourite elf either, since they are all unique in their way, and have obviously been on the job probably since they could walk (which means at least 65 years). One of them in particular always makes me smile, simply because he doesn’t. I estimate thim to be somewhere in his late 70s, thin (how anyone can be so thin while working in bakery I will never understand), beady eyes, pointy ears and nose. All he is missing is the ubiquitous red elf cap and curled shoes and he would be perfect for the fairy tale.

Anyway, he spotted me immediately, pointed his crooked nose at me and asked what I wanted (it is his brother who just smiles and says The usual?). So I placed my order and remained standing in my spot, while he served the person in front and behind me their pingados. When my order was up, I just wanted to pay and find my table but Mr. Grumpy was already pottering around elsewhere. When I caught his eye again and waved my money he snapped “Sigam-me! Sigam-me!” (follow me), as if it was my fault I didn’t follow in his chaotic wake!

Taken by V. Kurdíková

Vol. III – My Wednesday breakfast buddy VK is usually at the cafe before me, but not yesterday. In fact, it was only while I stood in line that I saw her text messages “I will be a few minutes late. Got stopped by the police.” Then I remembered that she was bringing my plant loot to the office that morning. We are both moving to new homes and her big relocation was yesterday, which meant that all the plants she had bought for me the previous weeks for my own relocation next week had to be transferred out of her old home. Side note, there is already a small squadron of jars in the office with plant cuttings that are rooting. Well, it turns out that the big bag of plants got her into trouble, and she was flagged down by the police for her “illegal” stowaway passengers on her motorbike. There were too many of them and since this is not Asia, the policemen were not amused.

The Stowaways

So now I am harboring a bunch of criminals in the office windowsill, and brought a couple of them home to Vila Franca last night. These plants’ journey is far from over. They were purchased in Monsanto, spent a couple of weeks in Alcantara, moved to Campolide / Sete Rios, then to Vila Franca, and next week they will all be hauled over to Mafra. Who knows where they were originally raised!

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