From Lagos I cycled to Cape St. Vincent as a day trip . There was not much to see or to photograph, except for the lighthouse, so I took a few pictures of myself. No trees grow here and the landscape is barren. The Greeks called it The Land of Serpents. Presumably, they saw a snake here. Cycling back was a long, slow and uphill battle with a strong headwind. At the end of the day I was pretty worn out.
The promontory belongs to a Natural Park but apart from a big bird and some dogs, I didn’t see any animals, even though there were hardly any trees for them to hide.
In the town of Lagos, I stay in a hostel and there I meet a musician. He’s from Hungary and he’s been here for over two weeks. He finds it hard to leave. He travels with a hair dryer.
Later, I meet a magician. He’s from Austria. He’s clearly done a lot of thinking, but unfortunately he’s not very good at it. He believes in karma, aura and energies and for some obscure reason he has neither bank account nor insurance. He doesn’t seem to have a lot of money either. To get money he does card tricks.
He shows me a few card tricks, but I find them hard to follow.
You see this card?
Good. Now remember the card.
Then he starts to quickly move the cards from his one hand to his other hand and back, while he talks to me in a somewhat inchoherent way. Then he shows me the card again.
Was this the card?
Yes, I say.
He smiles triumphantly. What do you think?
It’s a good card trick, I say, but I’m lying.
On one of my walks in the town, I meet a wise man. He’s Czech, but he lives here.
People are not spiritual, he says, they consume stuff, they buy stuff, they drink, they smoke, they use drugs.
But you smoke, I say, noticing the little cigar between his fingers,
Yes, he says. Hashish, marihuana. A few days ago, on the beach, a black man gave me coke. I took it. I didn’t sleep for three days. Then my friend gave me a pill to help me get calm again. I took the pill. Then I went into town and had a few drinks. Next thing I know, I wake up in the hospital. He shows me a plastic label around his wrist.
A woman walks past us and smiles at him. You are out of the hospital, she says.
Yes, the wise man replies, and they exchange some words in Portuguese.
After she’s gone, he tells me she’s an Indian.
Sorry, she’s a what?
An Indian? I ask, quite suprised.
Yes, AN INDIAN, the wise man said in a louder voice. CAN’T YOU HEAR ME?
Yes, yes, I replied, it’s just that she doesn’t look very Indian.
They live in an Indian village, the wise man explains, they live in tipis. And she’s Indian, she has good eyes. She has seen this, and he points at the plastic label around his wrist. All Indians have good eyes.
I cannot deny that.