THE winds of change are upon us friends. Save for the south of Chile and Argentina in March, the weather I’m experiencing now in Portugal is the coldest I’ve faced in my nine months or so away (and it’s not even that cold, yet). The singlets and flip-flops have been packed away for good, traded for layers of warm clothes and umbrellas (actually the flip-flops are sitting in a dumpster somewhere in the south of Portugal somewhere cos I threw them out after stepping on a football-sized dog poo). My snowboard jacket has made its first appearance – in anticipation of harsh European winter temps – since hitting the slopes in British Columbia last year. The other major change of late is my hair. I traded in my luscious semi-blonde shoulder-length locks for an army-standard buzz-cut, the kinda haircut you can set your watch to (thanks Mildred). I look a little less like a hobo, and have been receiving 47 per cent less offers for drugs per day, which is good although the noggin is now a bit colder in the surf. I was trying to think of other stuff that had changed in my world but couldn’t think of much. I’ll undergo some major life changes in the months to come, and surely I’ve changed a lot over the past nine months but right now none are apparent to me. Plus you don’t wanna hear that shit.
I’m in Porto, north Portugal right now. It’s a pretty rad city (Portugal’s second largest) and another I can add to the ‘I would live there’ list (Hossegor/Seignosse/Capbreton in France is currently leading this list). Plus it has decent surf and the past two days I’ve sessioned a pumping beachie with a local we met in Morocco last month. My time with this guy Vitor has confirmed my suspicion that all Portuguese people are next-level nice. He’s been driving us up and down the coast in his green VW van, taking us to restaurants, plying us with local wine and showing us the sights. Plus he got us a sweet deal on the guesthouse he works at (one of the raddest places I’ve stayed in nine months). I hate using sweeping generalisations to describe the population of a country, there are bad apples/cunts anywhere you go, but I’m gonna break my rule and say that Portugese people are some of the friendliest around. Example number two: we were severely lost the other night and two separate old ladies noticed our dilemma, put their shopping bags down, took their glasses out of their handbags and scoured our tattered tourist map to find where we were and the best way to get to our destination. One of them asked for a Euro for her troubles but she looked a little haggard and her country’s in crisis so I can forgive her.
The next three weeks are shaping up nicely. The next surf destination will be the frigid waters of England at the end of the month. In the immediate future however, the debauchery of Amsterdam beckons tomorrow, followed by Berlin. You’d be mad to miss it, so enter your email on the right and subscribe to my fricken site you dickhead. Nah just kidding, you’re alright.