A funny thing happened on the way to the….museum. 

“I’m popular, I’ve got my own car, I’m popular….”  Ah, Nada Surf – proving I’m a child of the 80’s.  This chorus still sings in my head when I think about anyone being popular.  Yesterday a funny thing happened, that reminded me of the days when I came home to Carson Daly.  

I brought a small lunch to school, with plans to eat at the harbor.  After class, I took my walk to the water and followed a route I was familiar with from class excursions.  As I walked down the marbled-streets, I heard behind me, “Ana!” (as is my Portuguese name).  I turned around to find my host, Nuno, peeking his head out of the Bike Lounge (a cafe that also sells, rents, and repairs bicycles).  Nuno was wearing a bike-racing outfit, and had stopped for lunch at the cafe.  

“Come!”  I followed, tickled that I knew someone in town.    

Inside the cafe, he introduced me to Alberto and Susana.  Susana owns the cafe, Alberto repairs and sells the bikes.  They both spoke English well, but spoke Portuguese as I requested.  Susana said I asked funny questions.  Alberto invited me to come riding with him and his friends, Nuno included, on Sundays.  We had a nice chat, and then I went off to find a good bench with a view.  

After lunch, I went back to school for another excursion with the students.  This time, to Faro’s historical and cultural museum.  As we walked to the museum we passed the Bike Lounge, and my classmate Miguel was curious how much it cost to rent a bike from them.  I quickly went inside, “Hola Alberto!  Quanto custa to rent a bike para uma semana?” (I speak Portuglish right now).  I joined the group outside and showed Miguel the rates.  The students and tour guide were a little surprised at my familiarity with Alberto and the cafe.  As we continued on toward the museum in conversation, we heard “Hola Ana!”  I looked toward the voice in surprise, who could be calling my name now!?  It was Susana, walking back to her cafe, waving and smiling at me.  The tour guide Deborah looked at me in disbelief.  I blushed, as I explained how these events came to happen.  “That is the best way to learn,” she said. “Make conversations with the people!”  I chuckled to myself, a funny thing indeed.