terça-feira, 21 de fevereiro de 2006

Relativo ao Sr. AA Gill no SUNDAY TIMES na rubrica Table talk


August 21, 2005

Table talk
AA Gill

I've never been to Portugal, so my prejudices about the salty Iberian appendix are unsullied and uncorrupted by acquaintance. It is with a disinterested authority, therefore, that I can say Portugal is Belgium for golfers, a place so forgettable that the rest of us haven't even bothered to think up a rude nickname for it.

Portugal is Britain's oldest ally - like that keen exchange student your mother forced you to be nice to, and who turned up in paperweight glasses and national costume. It's also the only colonial power that was given independence by its own colony. Brazil told Lisbon it would just have to stand on its own two feet now, because, frankly, being seen out with it was getting embarrassing. Portugal's colonial reputation was for being overfamiliar with the folk they were ripping off. In fact, there is a theory that the Portuguese only got an empire as a desperate attempt to get laid.

The world is dotted with plain mates on double dates, countries that are gawkier, hairier, shyer, goofier and less entertaining than their friends. Their main purpose is to make the next-door neighbour look good.
Obviously, there's Canada, which is the ugly friend of America. New Zealand is the dingo date for Australia. Ulster is the foul-gobbed psycho with a neck tattoo out with lyrical, literate, craicing Eire. But how depressing must it be to be the forgettable one out on a date with Spain? It's a Ladyshave assault course.

Portugal has been doomed to be the mini-me España. It's Spain that's famous for sailors and discoverers, when, in fact, the Portuguese were better and braver at it. Spain got fascism and Franco; Portugal just got some bloke called Salazar, but nobody noticed. Spain got bullfights, flamenco, Penélope Cruz and Real Madrid; Portugal got golf courses, porto, gout and domestic servants. Name three famous Portuguese who weren't sailors. Or three of your favourite Portuguese dishes. Okay, so there's bacalao (salt cod), those little custard tarts and, erm, another one of those delicious little custard tarts.

One of the problems with the communal, back-slapping, one-for-all-and-all-for-France Europe is the rock-on relativism (by the way, Portugal is in the EU, isn't it?). We're all supposed to be uniformly good and nice and attractive. We're supposed to believe that everyone's sense of style is equal, that their pop songs are jointly joyous and that everyone's domestic cookery is equally, salivatingly moreish. So in EU-topia, the food of Greece is as wonderful as Italy's, although there's always the proviso that it has to be really, really well made. How many people do you think there are who can make Greek food taste good?
Very few. And they're all Turks.

In gallant little Portugal, the food is well meaning and pretty dreadful. And before you say anything, no, I've never had it well made, because I've never found anyone who can be bothered to make it. Salt cod, of course, can be fantastic, but one swallow doesn't make a cuisine. Then there are all those things made with chickpeas. The Portuguese are very fond of pulses, bobbing like buoys in soups of old fatty fat.

I'm sure if you're born to it, it reminds you of your grandmother's beard and your mother's mop bucket. Portuguese food is heaven if you're Portuguese. But if you come to it with a mild hunger and a choice, it's just a sort of Spanish, but without the shrieking. Dinner of the Dons always seems as if it's therapy to cope with the sensory, religious and emotional overload of being Spanish. Portuguese food, on the other hand, is more your necessary ballast and seasick ammunition for discovering Tierra del Fuego - or being the live-in couple for a rock star in Sussex.

Tugga is a new Portuguese restaurant on a stretch of the King's Road that is filled with barn-like grub bars, vaguely themed by country - Italy, Spain, Mexico, Thailand.
Their decor and menus are more style indicators than authentic gastronomic experiences. The King's Road has always been a notoriously difficult place to find anything decent to eat, at least, anything that wasn't at school with your sister. Most of the clients who trawl up and down here in the evening are up from boarding school, clogging the pavement as they do intense and romantic things on their mobile phones.
I love watching young people on phones; they come alive. Face to face, they're mumbling stroke victims, with all the elegant body language of a beanbag. But give them a handset, and they prance and pose like Margot Fonteyn laying an egg and orate like Hal at Agincourt.

Tugga is just another in this series of dark rooms, which, I suspect, do most of their business in the bar. The best thing about this one is the wallpaper of gaudy flowers that looks a bit like they've skinned a dead BA aeroplane tail and glued it to the wall. The Blonde says this particular paper is very fashionable at the moment and comes from Scandinavia. Jabberwocky food is now expanding into jabberwocky environments. You get food from Lisbon, wallpaper from Stockholm, wine from Chile, water from Fiji, music from Ibiza, waiters from Poland and a bill from the Cayman

The menu is short and Iberian, starting off with the Portuguese version of tapas, which is very like the Spanish version of tapas, but without the thumbscrews. This includes that pata negra ham that just is Spanish. The best I can say about Tugga is that it's trying to improve the general food of the area, while providing a base for the coveys of public-school children who have been at a loss for a summer camp since Pucci's, the famous virginity brokerage, closed down.

This is laudable, but, sadly, this Atlantic-rim food is never going to be fashionable or trendy. And it's not terribly well made. The ham was sweaty and sliced too thick. The salt cod, which ought to be the signature dish, was bland and resistant to swallowing. The chickpea mush was really not edible for pleasure.

Tugga is going to have a hard time competing with its pounding, tequila-slamming, chip-and-dip, youth-ogling, short-skirted neighbours.
But then, for Portugal, that's a familiar story.

Eis a resposta dada pelo Director local do ICEP.

Dear Editor,

We read with interest AA Gill's decimation of the Portuguese nation in the guise of his review on the new Portuguese restaurant in the Kings Road on Sunday 21 August, and were so impressed that Mr. Gill could apparently review our country in such expert detail without ever having actually visited Portugal, we felt compelled to write in.

The fact that "Senhor" Gill claims that Portugal is 'forgettable' is beyond belief - unless, of course, he has in fact already visited the country but has experienced some kind of unfortunate memory loss. As the 2 million or so UK visitors who chose to holiday in Portugal every year would attest it is, in fact a country of contrasts which appeals to beach lovers, golf players, surf dudes, nature fans and, indeed, epicures alike.
Whatever your passion, so much of this country is just waiting to be explored by the discerning traveller and to find your vision of the ideal holiday you need only take some initiative, get off the tourist trail, broaden your mind and seek out your corner of European paradise for yourself.

We also were most bemused reading Mr. Gill's thoughts on Portugal's contribution to the modern world. Apart from our nautical pioneering, there are many Portuguese natives who have made a significant mark in areas of key interest to your readers. Indeed, José Manuel Durao Barroso, who was born and bred in Lisbon, is now President of the European Commission whilst as the well educated Mr. Gill would no doubt be aware, José Saramago won the Nobel Prize for his contributions to literature in 1998.
Furthermore, Londoners will also know that the Portuguese architects Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura designed this year's Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in Hyde Park whilst one of Portugal's most famous painters Paula Rego, currently has work on show in exhibitions across the UK.

With these starters out of the way, let us now move to the main course - Portuguese food. Here the claims that food in Portugal is 'well meaning and pretty dreadful' left a slightly sour taste, particularly when the very same "gourmet" freely admits that his own culinary sense of adventure has fallen short of actually taking the short plane journey over to Portugal to experience the delights of this country for himself. After all, if one is to be an expert on how traditional cuisine should best taste, surely there is no substitute for experiencing it on native soil?

This would also serve the useful purpose of enabling the Gill-ty to learn that this most famous of Portuguese dishes is of course the "bacalhau" and not the Spanish "bacalao", as referred to in the review. And with over 365 different ways of cooking the dish, I'm sure that we could find one method that would take his fancy.

All that's left is for us to wish AA Gill the best of luck in achieving his ambition of a promotion across to the travel section, although he might do well to learn from his counterparts that there really is no better substitute for researching a destination than to actually visit it - a somewhat unorthodox concept for Mr. Gill to entertain at present, it might appear.

Yours Sincerely,
José António Preto da Silva
Portuguese Tourism Office
Portuguese Embassy
11, Belgrave Square
London SW1X 8PP
tel. 020-7201 6666 - fax. 020-7201 6633

Toma para aprenderes! You English bastard!
Meus agradecimentos ao Sr. Pedro A.

quinta-feira, 16 de fevereiro de 2006



quarta-feira, 15 de fevereiro de 2006

Onde estás?

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Onde foste? Porque não me respondes? Porque não me ouves? Porque não ouves os meus chamamentos? Não me queres ver? Não me queres ouvir? Não me queres falar? Não me queres? Queres que me vá embora? Queres que cante? Queres me ponha de joelhos? Queres que volte mais tarde? Não queres que saia daqui? Quantas horas queres que fique mais aqui? Um dia? Um mês? Um ano? Dois? Estás sozinha? Com quem estás? Posso subir? Te ouvir? Te tocar? Pelo menos, posso-te ver? Porque não abres a janela? Espera lá... mas não é esta a tua janela...

segunda-feira, 13 de fevereiro de 2006

Há quem os tenha!

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Esta é dedicada a todos os que “Os” tenham de pedra, havia quem "Os" tinha de betão.

quinta-feira, 9 de fevereiro de 2006

Logo pela manhã.

É por estas e por outras que o futebol é uma merda!!!


quarta-feira, 8 de fevereiro de 2006

Que sorte!

Uma formiga a passar a linha do comboio entala um pé, depois de um esforço e a ver o comboio aproximar-se desiste e diz:
- Que se foda, se descarrilar, descarrilou . . .

terça-feira, 7 de fevereiro de 2006

Fiel Jardineiro

Fui ver à duas semanas:
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SECA!!! Acho que nunca tinha saído de uma sala de cinema antes de acabar o filme...


Fui ver ontem:
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Típico filme para Oscares. É muito bom.


O libertino

Fui ver no Sábado:
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O Jonhy Depp está cada vez mais apurado. O filme é muito bom, pelo menos eu gostei. Dá a sensação de que se está a ver um peça de teatro.


sexta-feira, 3 de fevereiro de 2006

Se eu.

Se eu fosse um cão, a minha baba era sólida.

Se eu tivesse um canteiro, não plantava nada, deixava que a terra fizesse o seu trabalho. Há que ser ecologista.

Se eu andasse descalço, gastava mais água.

Se eu fosse menos gordo, a minha balança podia ser de plástico.

Se eu não fosse, seria.

Se eu não usasse soutien, achavam-me uma porca. Se uso, é porque não sou. Pois...

Se eu entrasse numa corrida de bicicletas, por certo que todos se iam fartar de rir de mim, assim prefiro rir deles e ficar em casa. Mas ando de bicicleta à mesma.

Se eu fosse menos eu, seria mais outra pessoa e passaria a ser ele, como ele não sou eu e eu não sou ele, serei sempre ou outro que não é ele, mas sim eu. Não é confuso, mesmo nada, é só estúpido.

Se eu mandasse, enviava um turista Romeno para a Grécia, só para ver como elas mordem!

Se eu enganasse uma mula, seria muito capaz de fazer um castelo de barro. Porquê? É fácil... Ao enganar uma mula, estou a ser mais cabeça dura que a mula, logo quadrado, etc, etc... Pois, e porquê de barro? Ora o barro é muito utilizado nas construções antigas, em especial as antigas, como se trata de um castelo.
Mas há outras justificações para o barro, por exemplo o ponto zigue zague nas máquinas de costura.

Se eu te beijasse, seria capaz de perceber porque te amo tanto.

Se eu quiser paro já, querem ver?

quarta-feira, 1 de fevereiro de 2006

E esta é a última história de hoje.

Esta não é uma pequena história qualquer, é sim uma qualquer pequena história, conta o dia em que todos a conheceram. Essa diva, essa querida diva, que nos encheu de animo, de amor, de carinho e sobre tudo, de tesão. Não falo de uma qualquer actriz porno, de uma qualquer modelo da Gina, não falo de uma qualquer top model que todos querem comer, não falo da tipa mais gira da revista da La Redoute, falo de uma mulher qualquer, que nos embasbaca, que nos corta a voz, que não nos deixa pensar como deve ser, que nos corta a respiração, que nos torna impotentes de dizer: deixa-me, que nos faz pensar que afinal o universo tem um sentido qualquer. Essa mulher foi-me apresentada hoje.

Não me lembro do nome dela e sei que nunca mais a vou ver.

E mais outra pequena história

Esta é a história de um grande cão, de tão grande ser, passava os dias todos na rua, a vadiar, sem dono, senhor do seu focinho, sem ter que dar justificações a ninguém. Como era muito grande, no que dizia respeito a disputas por cadelas não tinha qualquer tipo de problema, era as queria e não queria. Nasceu e vivia, pelo menos e até há bem pouco tempo, em Sevilha. Fazia grandes corridas até à antiga Expo, local de encontro das grandes matilhas, para apanhar as novas cadelas e desfazer outros cães que já lá se encontrassem. Era temido por todos, um verdadeiro senhor. Fazia-se sempre acompanhar por vários, sempre bem mais pequenos, mas não menos temidos, outros nem por isso, uma verdadeira matilha assassina. Como em todas as histórias, houve aquele dia, e sim, um dia, o nosso grande cão, quando caminhava no passeio em frente da praça de toiros, encontrou um pequeno rato, que lhe disse:
- Sabes uma coisa, grande cão? Essa fita cor de rosa no pescoço fica-te muito bem, como és alto...

Mais uma pequena história

Esta é a história de uma pessoa que se achava muito feia em todo o seu ser, mesmo na alma. Feia, feia e feia. Não podia sair à rua, uma aventura dessa dava direito a duas semanas em casa a espetar agulhas nas pálpebras e a comer peixe fresco, muito cozido.
Um dia, arriscou e saiu. Era Domingo, Centro Comercial Colombo, pelo sítio e dia, queria suicidar-se e passar o resto dos seus dias em casa. Ainda conseguiu olhar para duas ou três pessoas antes... antes de alguém lhe perguntar:
- Quem és tu?
A partir desse dia tirou um curso e agora diz com um grande sorriso:
- Esta vida é uma merda!
Casou, teve três filhos, a sua cara metade é intragável, a sobra é do pior, não tem tempo nem dinheiro para nada, mas... mas no entanto, é muito feliz e esta pessoa sente-se agora mais bonita que nunca!