Streetwalker

No, no, don’t worry, I haven’t become a streetwalker out of sheer misery over PayPal.

No, I wanted you to have a look at the pavement that can be found in many Portuguese cities.

What you see above and also below, are images of the works of art that thousands, millions of people walk upon each and every day. What you see is handmade by artisans you could hardly call bricklayers.

Those people, now mostly older men, learned the trade from their fathers, who in turn learned it from theirs. They learned to chop thick slabs of grey, black and white marble into square or oblong pieces, learned to follow a set pattern, or created one themselves and also how to put the little cubes into a layer of sand, tap it into place with a special hammer (no, not even a rubber one) and fill in the few millimetres of space between them.

When in Lisbon – which was every time we went to Portugal, which was every year – I often stopped to watch those older gents at work and sometimes lowered my couturier-dressed, Cartier-watched and diamond-ringed self (yep, I once found attributes like that important) onto the pavement, and handed him the wee blocks of marble he needed for the pattern he was working on. Those were the days…

In Portugal you must look up and you must look down at the same time and even then, you’ll still miss something absolutely gloriously beautiful. Darn it, I’m making myself bloody homesick. Must go there soon…

Don’t forget to look up, down, left and right and straight ahead … somebody is bound to smile at you and wish you a good day. Portuguese hospitality knows no bounds.

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