A Look Around



It has been holidays and our town is strangely quiet, at least where we live. As everybody moved to the beaches, we preferred to stay or walk in the vicinity. Now that all the presents were delivered, we start to think about goodbyes and new arrivals.


I confess that I feel shocked with poverty and dirty streets when I cross this town by car.  There are things really revolting like the selling of big chunks of meat on a busy, filth corner, flies everywhere, people and cars passing by. I must say that I have to turn my face away for the sake of my sensitive stomach.


Yet, in general, over the last years, I developed the capacity to look around with tolerance, kindness and even humor. Who would guess, for instance, how skilful poverty is? It’s enough to see what people do to maintain things working. When I saw some photos of improvised chairs used by security workers, here called guardas, I laughed like a possessed. Even knowing perfectly well the situation is real and common, to see it pictured is almost like a form of art. A statement. A vision. I had to react. The fact that I laughed doesn’t mean I find poverty funny. For sure no. I laughed for the humor, for the pleasure of the photographer who discovered the chairs and took the pictures, and why not say the pleasure of the people enjoying a daily seat obtained with such skilfulness?


Because these extreme unusual situations happen when less expected, I concluded that I should always carry a camera with me. Well, this time of the year it might be wiser to leave it at home. Thanks to factor security I lost a couple of “good” shots such as the “Pink Floyd I”, a public transport mini bus called chapa. Now I can say for sure – without showing it – that there are two Pink Floyd busy chapas crossing this town.


I lost another unforgettable picture of a drunken man at a barraca (street bar), inclined towards a bazooka (2 liter beer bottle), wearing an orange worn out T-shirt with these words on the back: fitness consultant!