Telephone in the church

I had to spend a few hours before the next appointment. In the centre of Coimbra, so it need not be a problem. I had my camera with me, and I like to experiment with it.

I had to do a little errand and for the rest not much more. So no stress. The grater was easily found, just as a few interesting bottles of wine. I didn’t want to walk around with them all the time, so I went to go back to the garage to put them in the car.

Red alert

The car is new to me. He’s only just part of the family. We don’t know each other so good yet. Apparently, he was horrified when I opened the passenger door, as he began to wail and flashing its lights.

Panic! What do you have to do? I never had a car with an alarm, and I did not even know this one had it. I felt like a stupid countrygirl.  You feel quite embarrassed with all that noise ….

To open the driver’s door didn’t have any direct effect, and I felt my eardrums. I could not be a burglar in cars with this pagan uproar so close to my head. Bad for your concentration.

Ah! So you have to put the key in the ignition and then he understands that it’s you. Silence. Thank you!

Nobody looked up or reacted or what. No one came to see. An alarm on your car apparently has very little effect.

A sunny terrace?

Back to the sunny world. After last week’s storm everything has been blown clean and it is lovely and bright. Time for a esplanada? Maybe a bit early.

Let’s visit the church. You do that as a tourist, but not as a normal human being. At least, I don’t. Never have the time for that. It’s always comforting, such a high space. And I’ve always felt that the intent of the people who have been praying there over the centuries lingers.

No tourists. It’s too early in the season. Only Portuguese who come in, making a cross with a vague kneel and sit. It’s not busy, only a few people.

I look around me, quietly, secretly – you have to be a little discreet if someone is praying, right?

Phone. Phone?

A young woman a couple of benches before me turns around, picks up her phone in one smooth motion, routinely presses a few buttons, reads, turns back and goes back to praying. All this on her knees.

After a few minutes she gets up, puts her phone in her purse, makes such a typical catholic vague kneel-and-cross-movement in the aisle and walks away. She is very fashionably dressed in very tight jeans-with-the-right-holes-on-the-right-places, and a pink jacket with fur. Not a person I would expect praying in a church.

Apparently is that catholic thing still very ingrained, even if people here no longer go to church, like everywhere. They walk to Fátima though – you see a lot of pilgrims walking down the road, specially in May and October.

It’s a common thing that you go to the village shop and the senhora behind the counter kindly asks you if you want to get it yourself, because she walked to Fatima and she is still tired.

My own little pilgrimage is over – time for the next appointment. It’s nice to have an open church, a place where you can sit down and contemplate.