Today I was a tourist in Lagos, Portugal.
This is our second visit here. Aside from having friends here, what brought us back is its pace and ease of life. It is an ancient seaside town, loaded with natural beauty and a few tourists.
The Saturday Market, a short bike ride away from home was the highlight of this morning. With baskets hanging off the handles of our bikes, pretending to be two of the locals, we feigned annoyance at the ‘tourists’ getting in our way. Once in the market, the truth about us came spilling out. Out came our cameras and a huge appreciation for the ability to buy produce from the farmers directly. Friendly, relaxed faces manning tiny stalls sold locally grown seasonal produce – figs, chillies, grapes, olives, almonds, rosemary honey, tomatos, greens, homemade breads, sweetmeats, fresh and dried herbs, flowers, plants and other everyday little things. Saagar would have loved the real peri-peri.
The market reminded me of my childhood in India, buying real food from real people, sharing with them the value of their land and labour. It reminded me of sweeter, simpler times. Times when we had a feel for the land and a connection with each other through the food that it produced.
Simplicity is indeed a virtue, be it a town or a person.
The simple joy of breathing clean air, priceless.
So many simple things are now lost in many parts of the world!
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
– Leonardo da Vinci