Unintentional Hipster

I just like wearing women's jeans, not eating animal products and writing shit nobody cares about. It was an accident, I swear

Archive for the tag “portugal”

What I Learned in Lagos: Part 1

Oh my lordy lordy lord.

Oh how I wish I could describe to you all how many different parts of my body are just aching with…let’s for the moment call it love? Not like…pretty woman love, love fo’ Lagos! Ohh it’s pretty there! Oh the girls are pretty! Oh the drinks are cheap!

Ohh my head…

I learned a lot of very, very strange things in Lagos. I call these strange because given the circumstances of where I was combined with what some distilled potatoes did to me shouldn’t really have resulted in me learning much…at all. But I’ve picked up some really valuable stuff in Lagos and I’m trying to put it into words. I’m still pretty yucky from last night, but I want to start whilst it’s fresh!

The first part of what I learned in Lagos is how crazy similar the concepts of confrontation and rejection actually are. Sometimes you are enacting stringent amounts of rejection by embracing confrontation and when you embrace confrontation, you’re rejecting something else.

Okay, I’ll rewind a little bit. I know I repeat myself a little bit but the reason that I’m travelling is to help me overcome some big and little problems, some involving questions of the self and some involving questions of others.

I spent almost my entire time in Lagos confronting one of my huge problems by adamently rejecting it (“The Octopus in the Corner”). I went out, I partied, I danced like a twit, I giggled at nothing, I slept on the beach. I did absolutely nothing and then I went out and went absolutely crazy.

I’m still not really sure if it worked or not. But it addressed a really interesting idea about the psychology or philosophy (probably neither, I just want to sound educated and stuff…) of how we behave in our lives. Everything that really reflects any major importance in our life is either a confrontation or a rejection. But in every confrontation, there is a rejection. I don’t think I’m making sense…

I thought about this because I was thinking over how I need to learn to say, “no.” I desperately need to learn it but I’m not sure that that’s going to be happening anytime soon! But I say yes to these others things to avoid having to confront the initial problem. It’s almost like procrastinating with feelings.

This is just a short blog, just a quick rambling of thoughts. There was a lot more stuff I learned in Lagos-I’m not sure if I’ll write it sooner rather than later but it will be out and about in the not too distant future.

Admittedly, I’ve never been to Ibiza or Prague or Tel Aviv or any other crazy party cities but when you go to Lagos, be prepared. It sneaks up on you and it does not want to let you go.

Toby Fredkin

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What I learned in Albufeira

So, in case you haven’t noticed yet, I use my experiences gained travelling through specific little places through Europe as a means of growing and/or bettering myself. Then, I sit down for a little while, think about how these experiences have changed me and try to put them into words.

Just a litle precursor-I put all these things into words because it helps me to better understand it. Maybe I’m just lacking in sufficient enough memory to just think these things straight out in my head. Regardless, writing it helps me make sense of it. And I miss my friends back home so this is a more efficient way of sharing everything, since finding enough time when you’re constantly nine hours apart is very difficult.

So, Albufeira! I wish I had my computer so I could show y’all photos but unfortunately not. I’ve been here for two days and all I’ve done is walk through the most confusing series of country back roads I’ve ever seen (street signs? loljks) and walked along a few cliffs. Oh, and I found a tiny little beach that was essentially completely secluded from the world. Until a family of fifteen French people crashed my party and I left.

I haven’t been into the city (although I’ll pass through quickly on the way to Lagos-that blog is going to be messssssssed up) and only two beaches, but I’ve purposefully tried to keep off of the tourist trail here. Why? Because I don’t feel that most other people are attempting to gain the same things from their travels as I am. Not in a, ‘They’re doing the wrong thing!’ sort of way…I just kind of like being alone. I can’t understand the incessant need to gaggle that accompanies tourism, being silent whilst the waves crash in a cavern hidden between the cliffs is a wonderful thing.

And, whilst sitting on my secluded little beach, uninterrupted in the most part for three hours, I started geting my little lesson from Albufeira. And after waving goodbye to the Dutch couple with unpronouncable names, whom I’ve promised to visit in some unpronouncable Dutch city, I got it. I’m still slightly confused how to put it into words properly but I’ll try :

If you can’t fix it yourself, then find help. It’s okay to do that.

My first day I spent alone and it was a very healing and therapeutic day. I thought a lot, I did a lot of writing and got terribly scratched up trying to find hidden beauties off the beaten track. But I sort of began realizing that, whilst it is all well and good to try and find happiness in ourselves, it’s just as crucial to find happiness with others. I’m not specifically talking about love or any rubbish like that, just the happiness we find in connections with other people.

To say that I possess the capability to solely fix myself is absurd, I thought. And, however true or untrue this may be for other people, it’s the truth for me.

But, through the kindness of strangers, a long walk and a stolen orange, fresh of the tree in a back alley, I understand a bit better that maybe I’m investing too much effort into directly solving these problems alone.

So-the next four days are in Lagos. Which will be heinous. My problems-whichever part of my life or body they are attributed to (I’m talking about the heart or mind, cheeky), are for the next four days the ‘Octopus in the Corner.’

Maybe if I just don’t pay attention to it, it will go away? I’ve heard crazier.

Go to Albufeira my friends. It is just too pretty for words.

Toby Fredkin

What I learned in Faro: The Kindness of Strangers and Peace

I have never, not in my whole life of (admittedly very limited) travels been somewhere as sleepy, gentle and, most notably, peaceful as Faro in my life. Faro has been my first stop in Portugal before I trek around the coast up to Lisbon and Porto (via some shiny beaches, of course) and initially, I wasn’t too sure if I really wanted to come here.

There is next to no tourist influence on this city, even though I have still only met one person in two days who actually speaks Portugese. A few guided tour officials roaming about the place trying to sell boat tours to the beach in the vastest multitude of languages I’ve ever seen before, but that’s really it.

I chose to come and spend two days here because I really wanted to relax somewhere and get my head put on straight. The last few weeks for me have been very tumultous and confusing, a lot of things have changed in a very small period of time for me since Madrid. I guess that”s what we travel for, to help find ourselves somewhere that we are completely lost.

The first thing I learned in Faro actually began at Gatwick Airport, at 1am, trying to find the shuttle from the South terminal to the North terminal. I became wildly lost in what I can only imagine was the staff carpark, looking for this terminal. I met a French girl who was also flying out to Faro. We chatted a little bit, she was a very sweet girl. We finally found our way there in the end and we sat out the front of the airport for about four hours, just chain smoking cigaretes.

We talked about travelling to learn (she was living in London to improve her English so she could work as a stewardess), crazy and intolerant people in the world and some absolute rubbish. But if you talk with a stranger for four straight hours in the freezing cold with nothing but a few packs of cigarettes, some rubbish is bound to come up. She offered me cake and coke (the drink!) and it was nice.

We got to Faro and her parents were picking her up from the airport. I was terribly confused, I had no idea how to get to the hostel from the airport (there were no signs for buses or trains or anything else of the matter). I met her parents, they didn’t speak a word of English ┬ábut they were very sweet and bought me orange juice. Then, they drove me to my hostel.

Faith in humanity: very much restored.

Then, after a good nine hours of wandering the terribly beautiful and wonderfully boring streets of Faro, I came back to the hostel and met the owners. We went out to have a look at buying a guitar for the hostel, then for some dinner and wine. Today, they took me for sandwiches and coffee. They are a wonderfully sweet couple and outrageously hospitable. I don’t have any other word to describe how hospitable they are except outrageous, they’ve taken great care of me in the last two days, even offering to help me find gigs in Faro.

Mixed about with a few people in the hostel who have been very generous with their wine and cigarettes, I learned my first lesson of Faro: the kindness of strangers is truly limitless, as long as you show the same kindness back. Without these people I had never met before in my life, I would have had the most miserable two days here. I mean yeah-the sunshine is beautiful but it can only cure so much loneliness in a man. Never again will I take for granted how good people can be. This city has made cynicism seem like a joke.

The next thing I learned was on my very, very long walk through a very, very small town. I had nothing with me, barre a bottle of water and a packet of cigarettes. Nothing but me, a seaside landscape, the sun beating down and my thoughts. It was incredibly peaceful.

There is no way to be in this town, I feel, and to not be instilled with a great sense of peace about the world. Yeah, there’s good. Yeah, there’s bad. But here in Faro, there’s just peace everywhere.

So I soaked it in, and I began to come to peace with something. Now, these little black bubbles of spiritual disconcertion that have been hanging over me have not been come to peace with. But, I became at peace with the fact that I have to face up to them and ‘pop’ these problems. To me, I think accepting and preparing yourself to deal with your problems is as important as dealing with them in itself.

So, I have come to peace with the fact that I have to make peace. And I’m ready to do that now. What’s that, remnant teenage angst of an immature 21 year old? You wanna fight?

Bring it on bro. I’m ready for ya.

Toby Fredkin

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