A Diary of my adventure in The Algarve Pt. 1
In 2008 I upped and left to the Algarve. I hadn’t been able to cope with the stress of life at the time. I’d been living in a nice flat in Castleton, Rochdale which was a perfect location for work. I worked in Manchester for the C.I.S (Co-operative Insurance Society), dealing with motor insurance claims. Initially FNOL (first notification of loss) but with hard work and showing a keenness to learn, I had progressed to dealing with complexed claims and was earning a decent wage. As I was saying, my flat was in Rochdale, right on the boarder with Manchester and the Train-line which passed through was the Leeds to Manchester line which stopped at Victoria. It was a mere 8 minute journey that was a tight squeeze in the carriages but I was saving £200 a month over a Manchester City centre flat. You’d think that everything was going well and I was just starting a promising career? Well, you couldn’t get further from the truth. Rochdale is a shithole. It’s my birthplace and I will always have a place in my heart for it, but it’s a den of inequity. It was getting the better of me. Constantly raining, Groundhog Day had seemed to set in. Was this going to be my life long regime? My mind was made up by work. I had a new line manager who was for want of a better word, a complete knobhead. I had holiday booked prior to this pillock crossing my path. On my return to work, I had been marked AWOL as I hadn’t requested his authorisation for my holiday request. What a pest of a man. I just said ‘Fuck you and your job’ and out I walked. My tenancy was up for renewal and I had a few grand in the bank so I booked a one way ticket to Faro, stayed with Portuguese friends for a week until I got my digs sorted and a job. Within 48 hours of landing I had a job and was sharing a flat with 3 Brazilian girls 👌
So, I was working in a bar 6 days a week, 10 hours a day for €160 a week. I got fed for free, could drink as much as I wanted as long as you weren’t taking the piss, my rent was €100 per month, workers got workers prices in other bars, it was just a great time to be alive. Eu fui muito feliz 😀
I was living in Quarteria and the populous of the town is nearly entirely Portuguese speaking. I knew that the cabeleireiro 💇🏽♂️ would be Portuguese speaking so with this in mind, I would try to converse in Portuguese. Now, I had a basic understanding of Portuguese and I had every intention of learning more and more by practicing and speaking to native speaking people. I’ve done pretty well so far and I’m quite happy. You only learn by your mistakes. As I was walking to the salon, I wanted a short back & sides, “costas curtas e laterais” I repeated it over and over again on my walk. On arrival, the most stunningly beautiful lady asked me “Boa tarde, tudo bem? Quer se lavar e cortar o cabelo?” 💇🏽♂️” Which basically meant she was asking me if I wanted my hair washed and then cut. I froze. Lost for words, I just simply blurted out “IGUAL RONALDO! IGUAL RONALDO!” which is, as you can guess, like Ronaldo 🤦🏻♂️
So with my new look I returned to the flat were my 3 tipsy Brazilian roomies complimented me on the new haircut. They also said that I needed to get two earrings to complete the look and who was I to argue with them? So, armed with an ice cube, cherry tomato and a needle, I heard the ‘pop pop’ of my ear lobes being pierced by an hysterical Carla and that was that. This was only my second day! What’s tomorrow got in store for me?
Até logo, fica bem e boa sorte todos 🇵🇹👍