14.6.17

Summer 2016: Part 6

I think it was the following day [i.e. more than a year ago] that we took a trip to Sintra to see Pena Palace.
Here it is.
Finally.
A photo.


















Wait, but this is a google photo! Why on earth would I put that up?

I'LL TELL YOU WHY.

But there's no point getting ahead of myself.

So the plan was to take the morning train to Sintra. We dutifully followed the plan. Now, I don't remember why, but  Mawii and I were very irritated with each other by the time we were on our way there. I think it started when I made her wait with me while I smoked a cigarette outside the station when we boarded the train. She was worried we'd miss it or something, and I was all, Mawii, relax. We won't miss it.

(I know what you're thinking. You are wrong, we did not miss the train.)

Anyway.

So she started to get annoyed with me (because I'm, well, annoying) and I started to get annoyed with her (because she can be very anal sometimes, though not many people know this) and we got so annoyed with each other, we didn't even sit next to each other on the train.

Although, come to think of it, that might be because we were slightly late getting on the train, or rather, we weren't one of the first, and there was no fixed seating so we had to make do with what we could get.

Either way, it doesn't change the fact that Mawii can be anal. And was being anal.

Sintra was packed with tourists. There were so many people milling around when we got out of the station, that it was like being back in India again. Mawii marched on ahead, ignoring me. I lost her in the crowd and sulked near one of the bus stations.

Let her come and find me, I thought to myself.

But she didn't.

I soon realised that she was capable of boarding the bus and leaving me behind, so I pushed my way through the crowd, muttering pardons and sorrys, and I finally found her standing in a long queue at one of the bus stands.

And when we got on the bus?

She took the window-seat without apology or explanation.

That meant Mawii was Seriously Pissed Off.

Except so was I, so for once I wasn't afraid of her.

The castle is set on a small mountain, surrounded by forest. Both are open to tourists. You can't glimpse the castle from the drop-off point which is a mountain path, you need to go into the forest to see it.

And it goes without saying, you have to pay to enter the goddamn forest.

Now this is when I realised that I didn't have enough money on me to enter. Not if I wanted to get home. I can't remember what happened, I think I'd left some notes behind in Lisbon.

"I can't go in." I said to Mawii, expecting her to lend me the money.

"Okay," she said. "I'll meet you here in an hour."

And off she went.

I swore under my breath and walked to a cafe that was set a little way down the path. I bought an Americano even though I loathe them because I couldn't afford the cappuccino. I sat at a little table outside and rolled a cigarette grumpily.

Time passed.

I took out a notebook and pen because it felt like the Right Time to Write Something.

Time passed.

It was not the Right Time to Write Something after all. I put the notebook back and rolled another cigarette.

Time passed.

A tiny robin - robins are the only birds, in my opinion, that can be more or less okay - landed on my table and cocked its head a me enquiringly.

I did not let any more Time pass - I hurriedly got up and left.

Robins might be okay, but I, evidently, am not.

It was nearly time to meet up with Mawii, so I headed back towards the entrance. I saw her looking around for me, but I didn't go up to her.

Let her make more of an effort to find me, I thought.

Three minutes passed and the moron still hadn't managed to spot me, so I gave up and went across to her.

"It was beautiful," she said, in response to the obvious how-was-it.

"But I didn't go inside the palace," she said after a pause. "It was too expensive. I only saw the outside from the forest."

Boo fucking hoo. 

There was no bus that we could take from the drop-off point, so we started walking down the hill towards the town below. It was a good 2 km walk and during it, we obviously made up. This is how.

Me: Mawii, you really pissed me off.

Mawii: I think you may have pissed me off more.

Me: Probably. All good now?

Mawii: All good now.

If the world communicated as well as we do, it really would be a better place.

My memory is a little hazy - I basically remember us walking around trying to find a place to drink and eat at. We found our way to a winding lane where there were plenty of shops. I saw about five hundred things I wanted to buy - naturally, I had no money. If I had, I would have turned up my nose at everything.

I could go on about the rest of the day, but the thing is, I've been going on about this trip for more than a year, and I'm quite fed up. Here's a rough summary.

- We walked for a really long time.

- We had a couple of drinks and a meal at a pub.

- We found a grassy and abandoned wild park and spent a very peaceful half an hour there.

- We got on a bus that took us to the train station.

- We got on a train that took us back to Lisbon.

- Mawii's map failed her, and we got lost on the walk back from the Lisbon station to our B&B.

- A twenty minute walk therefore turned into a ninety minute one.

- We reached the B&B, crawled into bed, and collapsed.

I am very tempted to be all, fuck the rest of the holiday, I'm ending it here, but I won't. I will continue to document this goddamn trip for the next three years if I have to.

Because, though the posts don't do it justice, it's one of those things you want to keep with you, however abysmal your manner of keeping is.