Secondary Thoughts on Surfing/Initial Thoughts on Portuguese Salmon

Two surf lessons in one day and I feel great, though tomorrow morning will be the real test of strength and versatility.

In the morning I got mildly frustrated with myself that I wasn’t able to stand up without using my knee, but then I thought I should let go. I saw the Dutch mother naked for a third time. The Dutch father bought me a coffee and gave me his business card. I’m great at networking. Portuguese coffee is stronger and more bitter than Italian coffee, just like the Portuguese and Italians. Both of those descriptions are probably incorrect.

The Dutch father, a presently very chill and friendly man, told me about how he had two burnouts in his previous job as the owner of a bespoke furniture business.

“I would just worry about money and work. It wasn’t good for my family. I was very fat. I just ate, drank and worked. I spent €40,000 a year on food and drink for the business, which is ridiculous. Money isn’t everything. The more money you have, the more you spend. It doesn’t mean anything. People with less money have a good time. And now, I have a nice house, can take holidays when I like, do things that I like, am much healthier, and am getting to know my family a lot better. I am a better husband and father, and that’s what matters. So no, I’m not good at surfing, but it is all good. And one day I may finally learn.”

Lunch with the surf instructor. I couldn’t decide between squid, salmon or sardines. The waiter said salmon so I went for salmon. The surf instructor had the squid. He had to Google the translation for squid even though it was right there on the menu. I love it when people add unnecessary steps to their day. The salmon was fresh and meaty. The squid was fresh and with bite. I went to the dark side of carbs with bread and potato. The Portuguese know how to do their seafood. I impressed yet another person with the quantity that I can eat.

Meaty fine fish

Meaty fine fish

The streets were alive with the smell of seafood

The streets were alive with the smell of seafood

The Portuguese sure do love Super Bock. €6 for 10 bottles is too good value, darnit. Also €6 for a bottle of wine in a restaurant is straight madness.

“If you don’t stand without using your knee, they will change the code to the hostel and you will have to sleep outside.”

Nothing like threats to make me improve my technique. The afternoon class was two rather than eight, and my improvement was marked. That was some magic salmon alright.

There is no feeling quite like gliding on a wave, even if it is a wee wave by the shore. I can see how people get addicted to this. I laughed and flailed my arms with glee/I hugged my instructor in the sea/all in all: yay me! Good for the soul and good for the abs.

My instructor the following day reminded me of a Northern Irish girl that I lived with in the first year of uni, though not Northern Irish. I didn’t know that girl very well so maybe my comparison is wrong. The waves beat me down on day three. The sea is a commanding mistress. I love it when I’m put in my place.


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