Ferrari Safari


(on the highway)

Pai: Is that a…

Me: Albatross? Elephant? Moon man? Further from The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test with Ken Kesey and his Merry Band of Pranksters?

Pai: (looking in the rear view mirror) Nope, better.  Hank, look out your left window in 3… 2… 1

Hank: WOW!

Me: Holy…

Pai: Ferrari!

Me: And just like that it is gone again.  Like a torpedo of color on the highway.  We are so lucky, Hank. You hardly ever see Ferraris in the wild!

Hank: What do you mean?

Me: Well, you see Ferraris on TV, on video games, and in Hollywood but you hardly ever seem them out in real life: in the wild.

Pai: Unless you are from a town called Felgueiras.

Me: Really?

Pai: Felgueiras is a town in the north where there are an abundance of textile factories and they have the most Ferraris in the Portugal.

Me: Well in that case we need to go there on safari.


Hank: What is a safari?

Me: A safari traditionally is when you go to see wild animals in their natural habitat, like in Africa, but it sounds like we have the perfect opportunity to go on Ferrari Safari in Felgueiras.

Pai: Yes!

Me: We will need Safari gear: hats, binoculars, vests with tons of pockets and zippers, cameras and we can sit in a café and just wait and watch for the opportunity to see a Ferrari up close in the wild.


Me: Alfredo, we will need a Field Guide to Wild Ferraris, can you handle that?

Pai: I am up to the challenge.

Me: I will procure the rest of the gear.  I am pumped!  This is going to be epic.

Hank: We are going on a Ferrari Safari!


Alcácar do Sal


Me: Oh! I love it here.  Look, Hank!  See all that green, green field.  That is rice.

Hank: Really?

Me: Yes and rice is a very difficult plant to grow. It is not as easy like placing a seed in the dirt and waiting a few months. You get some rice and you plant it in a field and then you flood your field with a layer of water. Then once they sprout into shoots you come back and gently pull up some of the plants and move them around until they have enough space to grow.  The farmer does this in the field with the water and there are many mosquitos and it is very hard on their back bending over.  Then as soon as the rice is ready the fields are drained and to rice is harvested and each tiny grain of rice is important.  Megumi (a dear friend) once told me …

Hank: I know this. You told me.  Every piece of rice that gets spilled is the sadness of the farmer.

Me: Is a tear of the farmer.  That is right.  Because so much work goes into growing rice that if it is wasted it is disrespectful to the people who worked so hard to grow it.

Hank: Yes.  I remember.

Me: And look up… Cegonhas (storks, flying overhead).

Hank: And look here.  Hydrangea.  Megumi loves Hydrangea.

Me: (pause)

Hank: (pause)

Me: Thanks for being my kid.

Hank: Thanks for being my mama.


Looking for parking late on a Friday in Lisbon


Me: Oh my… I love dim sum with friends.

Pai: (circling the street)

Me: Hank did you get scared when you got stuck in between the railings when you were sliding down the banister or was it funny? I mean who knew you were that skinny?

Hank: Mama? What are you doing?

Pai: (still circling)

Me: What do you mean?

Hank: Do you not see that we need The Princess Parking and you are saying nothing?

Pai: (still circling)

Me: Oh no.

Hank: Mama! Say the words!

Me: I totally forgot.

Pai: (still circling)

Hank: Mama! What did you do? Karma’s gonna get you!

Me: AHHHH! Princess parking, princess parking, princess parking, princess parking…

Pai: (still circling)

Hank: We are getting further and further away!

Me: Please send us some princess parking.  I would be very grateful for some princess parking.

Hank: I can’t believe that you forgot! You do it every time and it always works.

Pai: Here’s one.

Me: Hurray!

Hank: Thank you, universe. This is really far away, but we’re healthy and we can walk. I am sorry my mama forgot to ask sooner, amen.