Neither a good wind nor a good marriage ever comes from Spain
This is a Portguese proverb and there seemed to be some truth in it. The weather was overcast and somber.
I cycled to the hospital where I would have a consult.
Now, tell me what happenend, the doctor said.
I decided to do the short version, which goes along the lines of, well, you know, I cycled 4000 km and now my knee hurts.
He examined my leg.
This is your leg?
Does this hurt?
No, not really.
He looked at my leg to find out how he could make it hurt.
Yes, that hurt, I said when he had found out.
I thought you would explain the MRI scan to me.
The scan is very complex, he said. You have many problems.
Yes, the meniscus, the arthritis, the inflammation and the ligaments. He twisted my leg.
I remained silent.
Well, the ligaments seem to be okay, he said.
He looked at me. You’re a young man, he said.
I failed to understand.
I want you to try another medication. If that doesn’t work we have to do an arthroscopy.
How long will I have to take the medication for, I asked.
Two or three weeks,
Okay, two weeks, he said, when I tried to jump out of the window.
A little setback, I said to myself as I cycled back.
Trying to be positive. It could have been worse. People die.
And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in preventing you to achieve it.
I walked at the waterfront and picked up a pebble. What had Paulo Coelho said?
You don’t have to understand the desert: all you have to do is contemplate a simple grain of sand, and you will see in it all the marvels of creation.
I looked at the pebble. Paulo Coelho must have better eyes than I have.
I continue to meet an endless array of people in the hostel and have some intense conversations. Some even get very emotional when they leave and want to hug me.
I met a young French cyclist who was lovesick.
Let’s go to a bar, he said.
Okay, I said.
We ordered drinks and we talked.
He told me about the woman he loved and how she loved him. But they couldn’t be together. It was a sad story.
After his second glass of wine, he giggled.
I think I’m a bit drunk, he said.
It was time to get back to the hostel.
Later, I met an Australian. He started travelling because he couldn’t stay with his girlfriend anymore. She was an alcoholic.
After eating the food I had cooked, we sat on the balcony. We had finished our bottles of wine.
I’ll get another bottle of wine, he said.
We talked politics.
Chiang Kai-shek had to leave China, I said.
But I think it’s gonna be okay, he said.
What, Chiang Kai-shek leaving China, I said?
No, Laura, he said, eventually I wil get back to her.
Oh, yes, sure, I said.
We need another bottle of wine, he said.
I think we do, I agreed.
I cycled through the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve and saw flamingos and spoonbills.