Monday, May 12, 2008

jonathan is...

I arrived in Lisbon today for another work conference, faintly piqued to be leaving behind a somewhat warmer Britain, which seems profoundly counter-intuitive. But it's lovely here, the sky pastel blue and the countryside peppered with terracotta and army green. Portugese driving, meanwhile, is as colourful as ever - my taxi driver at the airport (having informed me that my journey would cost 50,000 Euros!) veered off into busy traffic and left me sweating and swearing as we rushed West past kilometres of fading high rises, building sites and narrow, beautiful crevices of exposed rock, which intersect stunning villages as incongrously as a railway line in an English town.

My hotel is almost exactly like every hotel I've ever stayed around the Meditteranean, which is exactly as it should be, for I feel instantly relaxed and at home - although of course work starts tomorrow morning, bah. I've just thrown myself into the heated indoor pool and lurched from shelf to shelf, hanging my arms over the divide which separates the warmed water from the cold pool outside. And now I'm sitting in the hotel bar drinking a beer and wondering what to do for dinner. So that's where we are.

Apologies if this post has read like a long facebook status update.


Around the pool the white hotel
looks like a series of shoe boxes lined up
in a Habitat shop window.
It is so staggeringly uniform
that the hanging of towels from balcony rails
is strictly prohibited. Anyone who breaks the rule
is forced to wear water wings and is
banished to the children's pool
for the rest of the holiday.

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