of Encounters

February 13, 2011



A chance encounter with an accommodating local leads us along ancient streets, dimly lit and roughly hewn, its buildings whitewashed and misshapen. Salt and the dank, ever-present smell of fish and its gathering permeates every breath. With it’s proximity to Africa, this city, Portimao, is considered somewhat Moorish and so much of it’s atmosphere speaks of it. The old section of the city is much like the Casbah of Algiers, with its labyrinth of steps, seemingly leading to nowhere and its many inclines and sharp turns. One could be lost, never to be seen again, were it not for our faithful Gunga Din.
After what seems a march of circles and the increasing trepidation of the Companion (trouble on the horizon) as to our inevitable demise at the hands of marauders at every corner, we enter into a small Cafe.
A dinner theater, as it turns out.
Immediately assaulted by the smells of exotic spices and the hushed tones of a smiling and refined Maitre d’, we are ushered to a small, linen covered table that seats the three of us. Gunga Din, in a flurry of dialect, is insistent that we be moved to a larger table and with a frown and more hushed tones, we are made comfortable. The reason for this becomes apparent after a short time when a very attractive young lady makes an appearance and saunters (yes, saunters) over to our table at the obvious relish of our kindly host. The Companion is now more at ease knowing that Gunga Din is acquainted with such quality and could not be the pirate she initially feared. An ordered and promptly delivered Scotch helps this ease take hold.
I will not bore you with the details of the fare other than to say there were no menus and they only serve a single offered dish, depending on what night you are gathered. Fortunately for me, this evenings was of the Fowl variety and was delicious (seafood would have left me wanting).
It was the entertainment that I wish to describe.
A small stage, a single guitarist and a immaculately dressed Woman, singing in the most beautiful language in the world. Sounds simple, and is, but it’s the manner of presentation that makes it so unique and complex. The style of music is mournful (as the word Fado infers) The music accompaniment is merely for tempo as it is the vocals that are the true focus.
The Woman stands erect and motionless throughout, directing all her energy and nuances to her facial expressions.
Fado is a Portuguese innovation but can be found in most South American or Latin habitats.



One Response to “of Encounters”

  1. mark harrell said

    i would like to read of recall, any chance?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: