"i am never just in one place at a time"

i arrived very early this morning in porto, in a mere 6 rides, which is half of the amount that it took from amsterdam to grenoble.
during the day, all of the rides spoke only french, except for two, whom also spoke some moroccan arabic :)

on the second to last petrol station in france, i found a portuguese guy who was driving straight to porto. he was speaking to the servicemen in french, so i approached him french... we spoke for a little while, and he said he would be going in the direction of spain. he looked very spanish, so i decided to go ahead and ask:
--"¿hablas español, también?"
--"ah, bueno, está mejor! pues, hablamos en español."
-"si quieres... ¿eres española tú?"
--"no, soy de nueva york."
-"vale. nice to meet you." (in perfectly accent-less english)
--"you speak english, too?!"
--"és português?"

in the end, i wound up not talking to him so much after all, because he played a constant supply of good music, and i was pretty sleepy, and he was very chill and didn't mind the fact that i drifted between asleep and awake easily and without much to say in between. he didn't riddle me with obvious questions the way most drivers do. he only said that i'm courageous, and left it at that. he was also traveling with his dog, a nice dog, neither too big nor too small.

we crossed a lot of snow in spain. it snowed and snowed and snowed, and the plows could not keep up with the weather well, but we continued along anyhow, my driver (pedro) sometimes rolling a joint while driving, with his eyes still glued to the road, which was empty and white, white, white. the snow flakes drifted past us in the form of large balls, which looked and felt surreal. "we're in outer space now-- watch out, we're going to hit a planet soon!" pedro said, over the hum of spanish accordion music...

in porto, the sun is just as i remembered it. it's weird because i was expecting the seasons to feel totally different here, but they look exactly the same. across the border in portugal, the snow continued to fall as the sun rose and warmed the sky into all kinds of breathtaking colors, but porto still somehow looks a lot like spring or summer-- how can it be?

the sky is bigger in portugal. the clouds move far away from the ground, and the trees grow taller than the buildings (which is not very tall either), and the grass lies low and flat, damp cool-green against the earth, so that as you ride past, all you can see is one big, enormous, overwhelming sky. it's a shame that in holland, the sky falls down so often to an oppressive human-level, in grey foggy days and clouded starless nights. i prefer this big open sky much more. it's so vast and endless.

beijinhos casa!