A Portuguese Man
A Portuguese Man

There is this Portuguese restaurant that I keep dreaming of. I think by now it can easily be the third or fourth time. I somehow recall having eaten pizza there one day. It was one of those odd little backstreet places where the owner is legit but not very passionate. So the pizzas were kind of “catered to local tastes” meaning, everything on it came out of a tin and they serve iceberg lettuce and frozen veggies. I remember eating these little side plate sized pizzas with a friend and how surprised we were at how good they actually were.

Last night I dreamt my car broke down in the wrong part of my hometown. It was night… think Blade Runner kind of street-vibes. I think I was giving someone a lift and on my way home. I got out of my car and it was raining. Raining like that time in Seoul when my Australian friend and I got caught in a monsoon and walked home in this torrent of rain. Our clothes got so soaked that it started almost hanging off our bodies. We were laughing hysterically and I was drinking take out coffee in-between involuntary gulps of acid rain.

Anyway, back to my dream. I arrived at a tiny little plaza (I assure you, my hometown, ESPECIALLY in the back streets has NO Plazas, just bins that smell like wee and trouble) with actually the most gorgeous little eateries and the back of this same Portuguese restaurant. It was so romantic all these people sitting in these warm restaurants, their laughter spilling out into the rain in warm yellow glows. I had barely arrived inside the restaurant and the owner refused me entry for no apparent reason, so I went in the back (don’t know why) and found a basket of freshly baked rolls and chorizos and started talking to his wife who let me have a roll and a sausage. It was warm and delicious… and I kept thinking, “Why won’t they  let me eat here? This is the second time I dream about how they won’t let me eat here.” That standing meal cost me quite a sum of money. I emptied out this brown paper bag in which I kept my money on the table in the kitchen and along with the money these weird grey ants toppled out on to the table and devoured the money in a frenzy that took like 4 seconds to obliterate the contents of the bag. I stood and stared in amazement while the wife stood staring at me expectantly. Panic took over as I started thinking who I should call to help me. I don’t remember the last part of the dream so well, but I think my ballerina friend came to my rescue for the car, and I think I prayed and notes of money came back and I paid for my meal.

This re-occuring restaurant only exists in my dreams. I have no idea why I keep dreaming about it and why I keep getting refused. All I know is the more that large hairy Portugese man grumbles saying , “No more customers!” the more I want to go and eat his blue-collar faux Portuguese food. I want it! Even now.

***Incidentally there is a toxic bluebottle jellyfish called “Portugese Man o’ War”  which makes finding pictures of Portuguese men on google very hard, so I settled for an old South African favourite, Vasco da Gama, who, I’m sure, never ate ice-berg lettuce.

Image sourced from: http://www.biography.com/people/vasco-da-gama-9305736