European Journals

Day 7: To Southside

4 September 2017

 

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We got up in time to meet George and Liesha before they went on a walk with Dexter down to Barrhead. We had a slow breakfast and worked a bit while they were gone, then packed up and said goodbye. This marks the first day of rain. They had told us that the sidewalks were like catchments for the waves from cars, so we were ready, but I had forgotten their key in my bag, so when we got to the (closed) café, we had to turn round and go back, so that by the time we got to the train then (Liesha had offered to drive us, but we declined), we were soaked. Teysia was quite upset because her rain jacket was allowing rain in the hood opening like a channel.

We dried a bit, then got back into a bit of it before finding a little deli near our next AirBnB. We sat and had a Portugese coffee, potato and caldo verde, and a couple sammiches. My veg sammich was good, and T had a Scottish pie I think. When we got up to pay, we ended up talking with the owner, a small, thin Portugese man named Arthur, or, as the deli was named, and as his name is said in Spanish and Italian, Arturo. He asked where we were from and he told us he had lived in NYC for 21 or so years after his first 17 in Portugal. He said he'd been in Scotland for 4 or else 7and now it was about time to leave, another few (4?) months. He plans to get married to his partner and doesn't want to waste time now that he's 50 something. He told us about the differences, and about staying in NYC that long, how all his friends moved farther out and he stayed in the city to manage a restaurant. He owned this little place and liked it, but the competition was tough. He told us about Portugal, how nice it is now, how it gets along with Spain, and what the dictators were like, and even before then, when his grandfather "worked from birth of sun to it's death," without time. If the sun was up, you worked. He told us about big families and big meals and lots of conversation and not working, unlike the Glaswegians who swallow their food whole and run out before he can even turn around to see how they like it. He wished us well and said the only thing keeping him from staying was the weather.

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 "you like my bean head!"  "my hair looks like wheat."

"you like my bean head!"

"my hair looks like wheat."

We headed to the AirBnB. The key was left for us, so we went in and discovered a little Victorian wonderland, all white with creaky floorboards and patched walls, seemingly hundreds of plants, art on the walls, bare wooden accoutrements, and one corner of the futon bed propped up on a Taschen tome and some magazines. The bay window looked out on the street and the kitchen over the courtyard and the stadium beyond. Scotland played Malta that evening. We worked and enjoyed the lovely apartment until Catherine and her border terrier Ted came home.

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We talked a bit and "tickled" Ted, which is apparently all he lives for. Catherine designs housewares, went to school for painting and ceramics. I could tell by the décor. She gave us some recommendations and we were up late planning.

 

I got in bed and fell mostly asleep when I heard screaming from the street and looked at Teysia and she'd heard it through her headphones. I jumped up, just in my running shorts and threw up the pulley window to see what was going on. We listened and watched for a while. A teen boy asked what was the matter and she wailed a bit, all this outside the apartments just across and down a bit down the street. A potbellied man, perhaps her husband, came storming out the front door, past the little dog cowering there, to meet her in the street and go around the corner. After a while, they came back with a clutch of little dogs - three I think, and she greeted the one waiting by the door, picking it up and asking if it was ok. That was it. We figured someone's tried taking her dog, but we didn't have much idea as the street echoed and it was all that fast, crazy Scottish anyway. Wild Glasgow!

NotesJacob Sell Hicks