Portuguese organization (day 83)

Day 83 – Tuesday, 11.12.2012
I woke up quite early today, because we had to be in front of the school at 9:30. I was planning to leave home at 8:50, because I can’t walk so fast with my a bit damaged knee, but as usually we went from here 5 or 10 minutes later. Well my knee was much better now, but I still couldn’t walk perfectly. We still managed to be in front of the school 10 minutes earlier. Haha, so much for my slow walk! I’m still much faster than most of the Portuguese people. =D
When Damir and I got there others said the bus was supposed to arrive at 9:00, but somehow we didn’t have that information. Well it turned out it didn’t matter, because the bus arrived at 9:30 anyway. And so, we were on our way to Peniche, where International Interchange day was waiting for us. First thing when we arrived there they showed us part of the ESTM (School of Tourism and Maritime Technology) building, we had like a short coffee break and then we returned to the bus.
We took a ride to the opposite side of Peniche peninsula to where a fortress is. Once it was the most important fortress in that part of Portugal and it served like a defense against pirates. Later its function changed according the needs of that era. So it served as a military stronghold and as a refugee center, but in World War I it started to serve as a prison for political prisoners until 1974. Now it is a Municipal Museum. So we checked the museum, seen the prisons and fortress walls. It is so interesting when you’re standing on the wall and there is the whole ocean on the other side and you actually hear and feel the waves hit the shore. At some places the pressure even moves some sand. It’s so unusual and amazing at the same time! =D
Then we returned to ESTM where we had lunch. Well for me it was only one pear because as always there was nothing else to eat for vegans or even vegetarians. But I didn’t mind. Usually when I’m not at home I really don’t feel hungry and it’s very easy for me to stay on fruits for the whole day in that case. After that we went to some large auditorium where we were supposed to listen some lectures about tourism and interesting facts about Peniche, but the main problem was that took about 3 hours and most of it was in Portuguese language, so we slept for quite a while. But some parts were in English and some parts Lucas translated for us. So we still got some information, but to be honest, I was still bored for most of the time. After that we had another coffee break and again there wasn’t anything for vegans except for potato chips which I usually don’t eat. So well, I decided to be vegetarian for few moments and I ate 3 cookies that I knew had eggs in them. They were ok, but they had just too much egg in them. And it’s not only my opinion, others agreed on large amount of eggs too… But oh well, Portuguese people obviously love that kind of food. And as we learned until now, they just love too sweet stuff. Even chestnuts and popcorn are covered with sugar… =)
After that break they convinced us to go see a backstage and visit a multimedia workshop at some hotel. After some convincing from organizers (which were students of tourism) we agreed to go there. As it turned out, the backstage was actually a backstage of a hotel and we’ve seen how the kitchen works, the laundry rooms, storage and so on. Though it really was interesting and something you usually don’t see, it was definitely not the kind of backstage any of us expected… =) Then there was a multimedia workshop with an artist Alfonso Malão. It turned out as an hour of theory about how microphones, speakers and all the cables work, then we got about 2 minutes of him playing the synthesizer. I admit, what he played was amazing, but really, an hour of theory that nobody was interested in and you can’t explain all that in one hour! Well maybe we would like to know all that stuff, but we would need a lot of time to study that and so this was really the most boring multimedia workshop. He should just show us his work and we would all be amazed and happy. Then Matti wanted to try his synthesizer and the guy turned it on again but then he just started to play and when he stopped he turned it off again and forgot all about Matti. It was really funny how Matti just pressed those keys in hope there will be some sound, but that guy just ignored that. It was weird but funny at the same time. =)
Then we returned to the school and we had some short fire show, that I must say was nice, but nothing special for me since I’ve seen so many much better ones. But still, thumbs up for their trying and effort. Then we had ANOTHER food break where we got the leftovers from before. =) Then they asked Matti, Berthram and Lucas to play a song for us, because they brought guitars and some weird whistle that Lucas has. They played really well and it was so much fun listening to them. =) That was really awesome. But then that was it, we went back on a bus and drove to ESAD. What I have to tell is that we were supposed to represent our own countries in some way and Damir and I were working on that Power Point presentation for most of the day yesterday, but in the end we didn’t even do or show any of that! So I feel a bit stupid for really trying and putting an effort in that for nothing. I’m the kind of person that loves to prepare things and I want to present them the best I can, so this was really a huge disappointment for me, because we were prepared and we thought they are actually interested in listening about different cultures. I mean, the whole trip and everything was a good idea and I know they’ve been trying, but in the end it was just a mess and it seemed like organization was great on paper, but not so much in practice.
On our way back to school guys kept on playing and singing on a bus. We had like a small band with Lucas playing his weird whistle, Matti and Berthram with guitars, Damir with some paper instrument he made on a bus, Laura improvised with some rattle she just created and I was a drummer with some carton folder. =) It was fun! When we got off the bus we walked to the center together and guys kept on playing so it was like those moments when you imagine you’re walking down the street and there is a theme song playing… =D Well we went on a drink at Praça where Sophie joined us.
So I have to say that obviously in theory this intercultural exchange day was a really great idea, but when it came down to practice it just didn’t work out as it should and as we expected. But it was still really fun and interesting day and evening, but mostly just because the company was great. =)


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