Sunday, July 8, 2007

role models

Yesterday I talked a bit about the great fish that is found in Portugal. Similarly, the fruits and vegetables there are just as fresh...and inexpensive too.

It's not uncommon to see orange stands on the side of the road in small villages. These oranges are usually picked that same day from their yard. One of my fondest memories is when we were driving through a small town and pulled over to buy some oranges.

The old, married couple running this orchard seemed to be doing this for years. As soon as we crossed the street to get to them, I knew we'd be glad we did. The older woman immediately took notice of my sun tan/burn, and started quickly talking to us in Portugese with a great look of concern. Of course, we had no idea what she was saying but that just added to the fun. We asked them (as best as we could) if we could take some photo's of their orchard and they lovingly obliged.

After purchasing a few things, we were ready to pay. Of course, the language barrier came into play again. We tried to pay them 3 euros for our loot, but the older gentleman said it was too much and gave us our money back. He carefully took a few coins from our palm and said that was all he needed. I remember thinking that this was just another example of the honest people of Portugal. He could have easily taken the money we offered him, and we would not have been the wiser as to what the actual price was.

They were a true testament to what Portugal is.

They were not the only kind people we encountered. The country is filled with them.
And the fruit is one of the best you will ever have -- so fresh and juicy.
Beautiful produce everywhere.


ima said...

Great! I remember years ago ....the market in Israel and the orchards were exactly the same, most delicious fruits every where...brings back memories, when Mony was a baby and we took him with us to the market, he had to touch every apple and every orange in reach ! So very cute...

Annie Ruok said...

Great pix - what an adorable looking couple! They sound so sweet. What a refreshing change to be a tourist in a country that does not try to exploit them at every turn!