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Lagos Christmas Special

When I look back, I notice that I passed Christmas Eve in many places and in variety of situations. Being sick in bed in Paris, at the food stall in Kuala Lumpur, on the flight from Mexico City to Toronto, in the stormy night of Strasbourg...... like this at least I remember. It means that Christmas is the travel season for me.

In the year, I passed Christmas in Lagos, southwestern edge of Portugal. I had got into Portugal from Santiago de Compostela of Spain. I kept going down to the south end of the country because the weather was terrible. I liked sunshine. The place where I had a fine weather finally was the Lagos.

Lagos was a scenic town. There was white sandy beach. You could see dynamic scenery of endless cliffs just out side of the town. But in winter the town seemed to be toned down. There was nothing special for passing Christmas in Lagos.

The youth hostel which I stayed was closed during Christmas holidays. So all the guests of YH sheared the apartment of neighborhood. Actually, the guests were not so many, just 5, 6 persons. So the apartment had adequate space for them. However "sudden ethnic movement" made original residents so nervous. The original residents were the Portuguese, the Angola who had escaped from the civil war and was looking for the job in Portugal, and the strange German woman who fell in love with the English man who lived in the town. She was invited for dinner every night and read poems for him over the dinner table.

We tourists who were in very disadvantaged position at the apartment had to leave the sweet home for the town of Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, all stores were closed on Christmas, restaurants, bars, night clubs.....all closed the doors. We were almost giving up. But at last, we found the bar which was opened. And it looked so booming. Inside the bar was full of guests, from children to elders, who didn't have any place to go but there on the holy night.

I sat on a counter stool. Couple bartenders with Santa Claus hats handled the bar. They seemed a little bit clumsy as a bartender. So I asked to them. They were also tourists from Sweden. The owner let them for running the bar as "Christmas special". The real owner was ....... on the counter and drinking. The real gave a little advise to the Christmas special sometimes. But, what a bold decision it was for leaving everything to tourists!

The bartenders easily responded to the orders for beer. But they were in a panic for the order of cocktail from my friend. The Christmas special asked for help to the real. Then the real escaped with excuse "I haven't made it for long time. So I forgot how to make it. Sorry."

A heavy argument, like what should be mixed or which % of dry vermouth needed, were taken between guests on the counter. Then something was shaken in the shaker. Finally the cocktail nobody knew whether it's right or not was served.

Dec. 2005

Today's piece
"Cliff of Lagos" Lagos, Portugal 1997

fumikatz osada photographie