A house full of surprises
Soon after our arrival, my aunt, uncle and cousin had arrived as well and we started exploring the magnificent area over the next days. Each evening after a tiring tourist day where we visited the nearby historic sites, we would come home to our quiet and spacious villa where we soon felt at home.
One evening we got home and my mom and my aunt started preparing dinner quickly as we were all starving. I had noticed upon our arrival that in one of the storage rooms at the back the light had been left on. That was fairly strange as the doors had been locked all week. Maybe the neighbour had access for the chickenfood and had left the light on. My uncle went to check it out.
10 minutes later, he had not returned yet and my cousin went to look for him as dinner was almost ready.
10 minutes later both of them were still gone. They had probably run into the neighbour and we were sure that my uncle had gotten himself into a conversation with the Portugese. So I went out to call them for dinner. While I descended and walked to the backside of the house I could hear my uncle talking. Aha, he had indeed met the neighbours and had kept talking while losing track of time. The door was open slightly and the light was still on.
When I opened the door wide open, I froze still. This was not the bare grey garden storage room I had expected at all. And the 3 pairs of eyes staring back were not my uncle, the neighbour or my cousin. I stared at the tv playing in this living room and at the people who had turned around. I had not moved in the door opening yet when some of the people in the room pointed to the right.
I moved hesitantly into the next room that was a fully equipped kitchen. A Portugese mama was preparing a deliciously smelling meal while my uncle was sitting at the kitchen table with a drink in his hands . With a mixture of French and Dutch and lots of gestures he managed to keep some sort of conversation going. My cousin turned around and grinned to me "These people live here". Yes indeed, I was realising this myself. I had not overcome my surprise shock yet and could only stumble "Dinner is ready, we are waiting for you guys".
After that I raced out of the rooms as if I was bitten by a snake and I hurried back up the stairs to 'our safe home'.
'There's a couple of families living at the backside of the garages', I announced when coming in again.
This was later confirmed by my uncle and cousin who could explain to us that these people traveled a couple of days a week from market to market only to return every so many days home. The next days we waved when we saw a mini-van stuffed up to the roof turning on the drive-way. Gosh, what a story to tell at home, I thought. I didn't know yet that this wouldn't be the major story of our trip in Portugal just yet.
Interested in more soapie stories? Check out the rules here and find other participants at Brillig's site.