Miradouro Blues


Since Paul came up with the idea that low blood pressure offenders cannot walk up and down courses, I’ve been serving a Miradouro sentence. Typically, he has other things up his sleeves, like for instance avoiding the iPod. Giving him time, I guess he is going to succeed in cutting ninety per cent of the things I usually do.


Without the music escape, during an hour or so it’s only my thoughts and I. My thoughts, Katherine and a few other aspects.


Some days Katherine is particularly gentle.


“Olá, amiga!” she sings with her best girlish accent.


I have discovered that she responds to the colors I wear. Her gentleness ranks from maximum, for pink, to minimum, for black. So now I have a Katherine dress code to take in consideration before my daily walking expeditions.


One afternoon Katherine introduced me to her best friend Emi, a little boy younger than she is. I am curious about that boy. If Katherine wants his plastic motorbike, a slap and two shakes will do the trick for her. Every day, year round, I could witness that fierce and temperamental kitten beating him. What kind of sequel will this have upon him? What kind of a person is he going to be?


I don’t dare to intervene. Katherine has a secret weapon against any educational approach: she screams like a factory hiss. And I wonder how can she be so lovable despite all the above predicates? Is it that from childhood we just forgive all the wrong doings of a pretty face? Would people forgive Emi if it was him? I don’t think so. Still, he is even more charming than she is. So my conclusion is that being beautiful and mean is mainly a girls’ prerogative.


Far from the corner where Katherine sits with friends, nannies and toys, Miradouro is a microcosm of Mozambique. Within that little more than one kilometer, I can find a bit of everything: people dressed up for a promenade with colleagues or a boyfriend; people casually dressed for a walk; people working out… Actually, during precise days of the week, aerobic and other types of open-air gymnastic classes are going on.


Weddings and photographers are Friday and Saturday business. Street vendors sell ice creams, cold drinks and crisps. Beggars are rare. Still, the sad picture of homeless children and adults is painfully frequent. They sleep on the benches or straight on the cement of the ground. There are clean green spaces. There are abject filthy stains. There are silences and the city humming. There are fresh windy afternoons. There are hot stunning sunsets. There are lost souls. There are musicians singing lonely notes. There are quiet days and busy days.


And as I stand in the middle of the kaleidoscopic throbbing of people, things and life itself, I also wonder: despite the evidences, despite the control I do have over my options, emotions and actions, despite having five mirrors lying like never before, why on earth did my heart went on strike?