We’ve been having torrential rains lately, which is typical of the drought-breaking autumn rains. Yesterday was no exception, but after a morning torrent it seemed to dry out, despite the layer of clouds.
I put on my shoes to head out for a walk up in the hills, and our flat suddenly became quite dark. One of those clouds was rather menacing. I decided to take my raincoat just in case.
In the time it took me to lock our door and walk down the stairs, the cloud let loose. Undeterred, I went out anyway, splashing down the road and up onto a highway overpass, where brown runoff from the hills was racing down the gutter. At the opposite end of this overpass bridge was a man holding an umbrella and just standing there.
FIrst: I never see pedestrians on this overpass. My wife and I are apparently the only people who actually walk on it. Second: the Portuguese, or at least the Algarvean Portuguese, never stand around in the rain. They flee from it as quickly as they can. So who was this person fool enough to be standing around in a downpour?
His attention was fixed on a vacant lot across the road, so I followed his gaze and saw a dozen white and brown sheep, contentedly browsing. A quick look back at the man showed that I’d missed his tall walking stick, the clear mark of a shepherd.
Which I suppose makes me the only one fool enough to be out in the rain. He had a job to do; I just wanted to go for a walk.
As a side note, I also learned that my raincoat is no longer waterproof.