Beep! Beep! Several loud blasts of the horn scream through the quiet little village. I scramble downstairs. It’s the siren call of the pastry van. He rolls into the village every morning at ten to ten, later at weekends. We can’t settle to anything until he’s been, hooked on the chorizo rolls, fresh bread, pastel de natas and cakes with artificial cream. Diet? What diet?
I practise my Portuguese, listening carefully to see if I can get the correct amount of change. I have learned ‘see you tomorrow’ and all my sixties and seventies from this guy, and practised my pronunciation of ‘chorizo’.
He points to a cake. “Russo”, he says with a throaty roll of the ‘R’. I copy. He laughs at me. Sometimes the baker even drives past on the motorway and waves at us, as though we belong here.
Other vans come into the village selling linen, frozen food, vegetables. Non so tempting. This morning though I discovered another van I will get hooked on. It drives past every Thursday. It could be I’ll never need to leave this village. But more about that another day.