The Azores

Shortly after finishing painting a square commemorating O’Comillas visit to the port of Horta I realized that my hands were full of paint. I was going to visit a local artist at his home and decided to first wash my hands. I borrowed some paint thinner from another guy that was painting a masterpiece square on the dock. Went to a water faucet, took my watch off, and proceeded to watch my hands thoroughly. I returned the paint thinner, walked up to the street, got in a taxi and fifteen or so minutes later arrived at the artist’s home. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me because the view of Horta from John’s house was incredible. He was having lunch when I arrived. I had a glass of water and just looked around his work area. When he had finished his lunch, another ten minutes or so later, I looked at my watch to see how much time I could spend looking at Scrimshaw which is art carved into whale teeth.

To my huge surprise, I didn’t have my watch on. I had left it back in the marina and this was now over half an hour ago. Plus it would take me another fifteen minutes to get there after calling a taxi. John noticed I had suddenly gotten very worried and asked me what was going on. I explained to him that I had just realized that I had left my watch in the marina, but not to worry, it was sure gone by then and we should get on to business. He inquired further as to where and when this had happened. After I explained it all to him, he told me he will take me to the marna and that my watch would still be there exactly where I had left it. He proudly added: We are in the Azores!

So we got in his car drove down the mountain and back to the marina. Fifteen minutes later I walked up to the water faucet where I had taken the watch off. The watch was one of those fancy Suunto computer watches that tells you everything you ever wanted to know about anything, but which I mostly used for the barometer. Well, John was right. The watch was there, exactly how I had left it. This was a huge surprise to me. In my home country of Venezuela, the watch would be gone before I got in the taxi to get to John’s. On the other hand, this was the Azores and John was now displaying a proud smile in his face. He drove me back to his home and then proceeded to explain to me that I should in no way feel obligated now to buy anything from him whatsoever.

The whale teeth John gets nowadays are recovered by scuba divers from old whale ship wrecks. I spent about an hour with him looking at Scrimshaw and just chatting. I had a great time. I did purchase a piece, but I felt I had gotten so much more than art. I had gotten a taste of the Azores, of its people; and I left the island just a few hours later with a desire to come back.

Perhaps one day I can bring my family to the Azores, flying of course.When we get there, John has already offered to show us around.


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