Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Summer trip finale: Porto!

Yes yes yes! Finally I shall enlighten you with a post about Porto! I knew you've been waiting for this moment. It is finally here! PIZZA PARTY!

The journey

Once again it was ridiculous o'clock when we had to get down to our taxi. We were brought to the airport by a nice Spanish taxi driver. All of us were quite moody, irritable and the fact that we had to wait in line for long did not add up to the good mood. When we finally went through the security check, we had another freaking expensive breakfast before queueing for our flight. A little example of what we looked like:

  The flight itself was nothing spectacular. Although I did demand myself to stay awake. I only managed to be able to do this at some points. But, while the other two were asleep and we were flying over Porto, I could see the festival from the window and I got over-excited.

It was, needless to say, a nice moment to land and get out into the wilderness that is Porto (it's not really wild, but you know, whatever.

We decided to get a taxi, as soon as we had collected all of our stuff. And so we did. We happened to get into a taxi with a nice taxi driver and for the moment, we shall call him Pedro. Why? Because I can!
Pedro was interested in our motives to visit Porto. We told him we were going to the festival. He asked us if we were going to see Skunk Anansie. We told him we were there for Mika. There was a short pause.

P: "Ah."

Awkward moment! Then Pedro continued.

P: "He's very popular here. They play his album with the funny name a lot!"

He then asked us where we were from and how we got to meet and told us some things about the city. When we got to our hotel he said:

"This is the first time I met Mika fans."

We told him this was a day he'd always remember. Pedro left and we went up to our hotel.

There was a problem with the hotel though. They did not speak English. The problem with this was that, the moment the lady started rambling in Portuguese, we were quite confused. When she threw our bags in a cupboard, we were even more confused. Laura thought it meant someone else was still sleeping in our room, and so we decided to just go out and walk around the city and more importantly, look for a cinema.

It also dawned on me I forgot my nice new jacket in the plane so I had to buy something else with long sleeves. I was heartbroken but I managed to man up and get on with life.

We discovered there were no cinemas in the city centre. We had to take the metro to some distant place somewhere in no man's land. At last, we managed to find the shopping centre, next to the football stadium. It was quite pretty, but we just wanted to get tickets to see Harry Potter!

After finding the cinema and buying our tickets (Laura almost exploded at this point), we went shopping, had disgusting food for 3,50 and then finally we went to see Harry Potter.

It was fecking awesome. All I can see. I might have shed a tear. Nothing in comparison to Laura's ocean though.

We had dinner at the lovely Pasta Cafe and after that we headed back to our hotel, hoping we were allowed in our room now.

Turning Porto upside down

After a nice long sleep, we met up with Kath, Abby, Treasa and Sharon to go on a lovely rivercruise. We bought our tickets at the tourist shop and headed down to the river. We were just casually chilling and chatting when suddenly everybody started screaming. Naturally, I screamed along, even though I had no clue why.
Turns out Laura had been shat on by a bird. She wasn't happy. We just laughed. The captain of the ship helped her and told her it was good luck. Laura wasn't convinced.

It was fun fun fun. Later, the same nice captain refused to let us on the ship, because we had to get real tickets or whatever it was about. All sumpathy for him was lost at that point. We are dedicated queuers after all and to see everyone get in apart from us is not so nice.

Well, we finally went on a boat and it was nice looking at all the bridges and burning to death. We also passed the festival.

After this jolly boat trip, we decided to go for some lunch. It was quite difficult to find a suitable place, as one restaurant denied us (what do you mean recession?) because we were with 7 people. We kept walking and decided to sit down at this reasonably nice looking place.

Our waiter, let's call him Winky, thought it was necessary to wink whenever he moved or whenever we or he spoke. It was quite frightening. It took a while before our dinner was served. I decided I wanted to use the toilet and asked Winky where it was. He, how is it possible, winked at me and told me to follow him. I reluctantly did. He told me to go through the dark alley, one of those you often see in gangsta films. I looked at him as if he was quite nuts. He winked at me.
I ventured out into the alley, and saw the green chairs he described. There was a man at the door where I had to enter, so I just said Ola and he stepped aside. It was the kitchen of the restaurant. Everyone looked at me as if I was some sort of alien. I decided it was best to quickly do my business, then leave. You never know what they can do with a butcher's knife.
I almost ran back, sat down and ate my food. The waiters were very impatient. They removed our dishes before everyone was finished. Needless to say, no tip for them!

We then went to some plaza with a statue to meet up with the other MFCers. When we arrived, Chloe and her mum were already there. We chatted for a bit and more and more people arrived. I knew it was going to be fun the next day, since everyone was very lovely and nice and funny. I especially remember the American girls ya'll and of course the fantabulous Mary who is fantastic and my secret lover Rosa, who is awessssommme! But everyone was really nice and lovely of course! Also all the old faces I got to meet again.

The plan was to go to the mall, but first we passed a partystore to buy red hairspray for our little practical joke. Everyone who reads this blog will probably have seen Mika's red streak. He hated it and so we decided to make fun of it by all showing up with red streaks in our hair.
The mall was next and we all kind of spread and had dinner. Then we discussed the plan for the next day and decided to kick everyone who started a list in the nuts. All was well and we all went back to our hotels.

Yet, of course, Laura, Luke and I had to deface Mika first before we went to sleep. It was the second poster we had ruined that day with our names on it.

Festival day

I decided to go earlier than the others and met up with Mary at the same statue. We had heard there were already people there who started the numbers and so basically shit was going down. We met up with the Spanish crew and made our way down to the festival.
With Eye of the Tiger playing in our heads, we marched to the group sitting there and told them numbers were a no go. Many started to remove their numbers, but some clinged on to the idea that it was going to happen. It took them 3 security guards to let them know otherwise.
Queueing was quite fun, I finally met the legendary Willy Wonka, who kindly shared her sandwhich with me. The red streaks were everywhere, although the rain would later get rid of them.

When the doors opened, it was as if we had to run a marathon. I couldn't go too fast because of my damned shoes. We had to wait at a second barrier and I decided to take them off. Security told me to put them back on again. The second barrier opened and I ran as if the end of the world was near, lost my shoes, had to go back to grab them, ran barefoot over stones and my feet were very hurt. They still hurt to this day. But I kept going like a boss and ended up at the left side, in between total strangers who wanted to get rid of me.

I texted Laura and she told me to come over to the right side where all the cool people were. I stood behind Rose, because she is so tiny I could easily see everything. We had KFC, talked and laughed and had fun until the first act came on stage.

Her name was Aurea and she was quite good. I enjoyed her performance.

Then the Tindersticks came on. At this point it was raining. We were wet. Let me describe this experience: If you'd like to torture someone for whatever reason, put them in a giant freezer, keep pouring buckets of cold water over them and make them listen to the complete discography of the Tindersticks. I assure you that word peace is close with this method.
And yes, they weren't the band for a festival like this. But seriously, the man's voice was torture to listen too for more than 2 songs. When they also demanded the audience to shut up for a whole song, we were even more pissed than before.

I wanted to put a video on here to see for yourself, but the moment youtube started playing a song, my computer froze. Enough said.

The Cranberries were really good, even though they played for too long. Had we not been cold and tired and hurt and broken, I would have enjoyed it even more. But at least they were a plaster on the tindersticks wound.

Then, after a long stage preparation (no, it does not work to put up giant paintings when there is a strong wind), Mika finally came on. The gig was good, although he did not seem to be as into it as he was in Liege. First 2 songs his eyes were closed and there was barely any eye contact with the audience. The gig was still good though, although I think he was tired. Imma was on fire as always, as was the rest of the band, but I couldn't clearly see them. I did miss Ida though!

After the show, the whole crew of us went to the parking lot to wait for him to come out. It didn't take too long for him. But it was a disaster in my eyes. Instead of lining up, which would have been more convenient, people mobbed him and yelled his name and kept shoving pens and pictures in his face. It wasn't a nice thing to see. I lingered around for a while, but I did not attempt to get close as I refused to mob him. I just went back to where Kath was standing, at a nice distance and I was disgusted as he tried to get away but nobody let him.
When he finally got away, we went to the hotel of our friends and got a taxi from there. We immediately went to sleep and slept for a long time.

The rest of the trip

On Sunday, we just slept most of the time and went out to have dinner. We had a typical Portuguese dish which my stomach could hardly digest. Never again.

We then went back and rested a bit. I had an early flight so I slept some more, only to wake up at 3 am. I got ready, woke everybody up and said goodbye. I went down and had the taxi driver already waiting for me.

He did not speak English. So it was all sign language. Also, at 4 am, there was nobody on the road. So the taxi driver drove as if we were in the Fast & the Furious. I feared for my life.
Eventually, we arrived at the airport and I found out there was no life there at all. All the lights were out, people sleeping on benches. It was the weirdest thing I had ever seen. I waited for a long time, checked in, went through security and sat down at the gate with a smelly woman next to me, who tortured me with her smell for the rest of the trip (she also sat in front of me on the plane).

I fell asleepand before I knew it I was back in Holland and the epic Summer trip had officially come to an end.

I want to thank everyone who I've met and met again for a great trip I will always remember. Of course, also my Dream Team for travelling with me and sharing the good and the less good times. Until next time! See ya!

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