In Egypt last December we had a very clear example of what good connections with locals can do for us as foreigners and travellers in a new place. We got to have an amazing experience of the pyramids thanks to our very nice taxi driver Hassan who did as much as he ever could for us to have a good time.
And in France we’ve been invited to many dinners, lunches, excursions and trips to markets thanks to newly found friends who’ve taken great care of us.
Here in the Azores we get lots and lots of help from a neighbor. We get to use her car, so we can make small trips, go to the store or whatever. The other day we borrowed her scooter for a little drive in the sunshine. She comes over to ask if everything is ok, if we need anything or if she can help in any way and it’s very nice and comforting. We’ve also gotten maps of the island and been invited to volleyball practice with her, to come and listen and see her and her group practice folklore music and dancing.
Since the island of Flores has less than 4000 inhabitants, it’s very clear who is a local and who is not… most people know each other, at least in each village. So, we are trying our best to say hello and thanks in Portuguese and just see what we see and whom we will meet when we’re out. What we have learned this far, after travelling Europe for about six months, is that you can never predict what opportunity awaits around the corner, and to have some locals to help out or just show the way is very nice.
In the store the other day we met a French guy who we spoke to for a little bit. And guess what?! After our encounter with the Frenchman, he’s now invited us for dinner with his family and our neighbor! We hope to schedule that soon.
// Anders and Wivan, hoping to make some new friends in Flores