Lost in Porto

December 20, 2008 § Leave a comment

I have been writing part of this from the red and white cushy lounges of Pestano Porto Hotel, munching on some expensive as hell sandwich and fries, and catching up on some world news on the wall-mounted plasma TV. It’s been two whole hours since I’ve been lost on the streets of Porto, and I thought that I damn well deserved some posh grub.

Let me provide a small flashback. Back in Lisbon internet access had been rather tricky and I thought I would be able to memorize the Googlemap image of the meeting location Pedro had sent to me within my 15 minute log-in at one of the Indian run internet cafes. I put full confidence into my amazing mental prowess and I happily set off to catch my bus at Sete Rios.

One of the worst things a traveler can do is to arrive in a new city at night, with no map and no fucking clue where you are. The tiny one in Lonely Planet didn’t really help. So with my mental prowess (which I was beginning to feel wasn’t so amazing anymore), I ended up walking, with my backpack, across the bridge, back again, down some alleys, up some streets, and ended up in some Portugese coffee shop with no idea where I was. I was tired and frustrated but somehow, found an old man who spoke French, and with bad French managed to get some directions.

So here I am, in a nice hotel, where I managed to convince the concierge to feel sorry for me (as I was feeling extremely sorry for myself) and let me use the hotel phone and wait in the hotel lobby. I was beginning to think Pedro did not exist but I waited. Finally, at around 1am, after much ado and effort, I was found. A bit worn around the edges, and a little grumpy, sure, but I still had my wit, humour, and a good head on my shoulders, and that after all, is the most important thing.

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