People die

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?
Um.. yes.
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.
I have?
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.
Oh, good…
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.

me reading

Reading The Alchemist, looking like Bear Grylls. Photo by: Diogo Marçal

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.



2 thoughts on “People die

  1. luk

    At least in the next place you go to, you dont have to say that you had been to faro. You can say that youl had lived there…

    Ps. Nice photo. Surely not your sock camera;)

  2. ilse

    Dat schiet niet echt op met je knie! Hopelijk slaan deze medicijnen wat meer aan en dan? Moet je minder pijn krijgen tijdens het fietsen? Dan mag je ook nog wel een tijdje doorslikken als er zo weinig veeandering in zit? Gelukkig heb je veel lekker weer gehad. Je ziet er goed uit op de foto en lijkt inderdaad wat op Bear, stoer! Succes en sterkte! 🙂


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