So I woke up at 9:30 the morning I was to fly to Paris, only my flight left at 7. I decided to rent a car and drive there, from Lisbon… which is very very very far away. I was convinced against all odds that I would get there in time for my show… or maybe I'd be forgivably late. The GPS in the rental car told me I'd arrive at 9:00 the next morning, but I thought maybe if I drove really fast… Fucking anxiety dreams!!!
I am writing this from Gate 23 where I am about to board my flight. Its 6:20 am. I woke up at 3 am because my dear new friend Xana was snoring. From time to time I would reach over the space between our beds and touch her arm and she would stop, but it never did last long. On the elevator ride down to the lobby "Living On A Prayer" was playing and I couldn't really take that as a good sign, but then Men At Work accompanied me on my cab ride to the airport, so I figured things were looking up.
Portugal has been wonderful. As always. I love it here. Portuguese people are so friendly and helpful. When I arrived, I was greeted by Xana, my booking agent, who drove me directly (via two gas stations, her son's school, and a grocery store) to her small village in the North of Portugal, outside of Vila Real. Her family is welcoming and her 14 month old son has the sweetest face I've ever seen. Here are pictures of her village.
|Afonso and Joao|
|For washing clothes, of course.|
|Just natural spring water, no big deal.|
|For storing grain.|
|This is right outside Xana's back door.|
I played three and a half shows while here. I got to spend some time with two very entertaining ladies, Emmy Curl and Catia. Emmy was also playing the shows. She has a beautiful voice and impressive guitar chops. Catia was our tour manager of sorts. She wears combat boots, smokes like a chimney, drinks more coffee than water and is a total knock out. Seriously, what a babe. Here they are looking at an iphone ap that turned Emmy into a zombie.
On our last day together we went to see a mid-evil village at the top of a mountain outside of Portalegre. I was wondering around this castle and found a mysterious narrow stone staircase that led down into darkness, so of course I followed it. It led to this long cylindrical room that was filled halfway with water. The reverb was like nothing I'd ever heard. So I got out my iphone and started to sing. Here is what it sounded like.
And here is what the castle looks like:
Shortly thereafter Emmy came down and we sang an Italian opera together. There will be a video soon! It was magic. At the end of our show later that night, for my last song, I asked everyone to come very close and sit on the floor around me. It was kind of a bar setting with folks drinking and milling about (and it was 2:30 am) so it took some convincing, but they eventually obliged. I invited Emmy up and we sang the opera again without microphones. It was a sweet ending to the show.
The next day we woke in the afternoon and sauntered over to this venue/community center that just opened and is also someone's house. It was so lovely. We hung out there all day drinking sangria. I played some songs and then we ate dinner together. Our hosts let me know that the meat we were eating was from a pig that was raised on one of their parents' farms and his name was Jonas (the pig, not the parent). Some of the other dinner guests thought they could use this fact to make me feel guilty about eating it… but I'd much prefer to eat an animal that I know the name of than some factory farmed/tortured and nameless slab from the grocery store. Jonas tasted amazing.
|This lovely place is called Ficar, which means "stay", so maybe I will.|
|Jonas takes on many forms.|
|Dora and Xana Marie|
|Telmo with pom poms.|
Hours later I played more songs around the fireplace. Dora and Telmo, our hosts, were so lovely and invited me back anytime. I think I might move in.
Now I'm in Paris... I will report on that later.
Here are some cool things:
|Mid-evil village... squished stone face.|
|They know how to do sidewalks in Portugal.|
|Just for walking on.|
|From up in the sky they're just....|
|Modern art or ...?|