Ah yes, Afurada! With your soft pastels and bright than bright colors! And your intimidating looking fisherman’s wives! You enticed me when I was in Portugal last spring and someone I met suggested I go an visit your shores. You were supposed to be beautiful and exotic and I couldn’t wait to check out the reportedly inspiring color combinations that were to be found in your streets. And so, on a sunny February morning, I took the ferry over from Porto to check out if all this was true. You were untouched by tourism, until I arrived on the scene, that is, and whipped out my camera.
I think I now know what anthropologists must feel like when they do their field research. Definitely interested, slightly intimidated and a tad unwelcome. Afurada is a quaint fishing village on the Douro river. Friendliness is not a job requirement that is high on the list for fishermen. And so it came as no surprise when I realized that this town has the biggest concentration of moody introverts western Europe (in case you want to know, it barely won over Charleroi, Belgium during last year’s competition). There were also very few men about, I noticed. Gone fishing, I guessed. And will you look at that? All the woman wore variations on an outfit that consisted of knitted vests (no fleece, thank God), thick ankle socks and black or nude Crocs. Some of them even wore brightly colored buckets on their heads as they walked right through me.
The houses in Afurada were a similar study of conformity. It wasn’t hard to discover a pattern of brooms, plastic chairs and / or potted plants next to the firmly closed doors. The color combinations were lovely though, I’ll give you that. And so, I ignored the fact no man, woman or child in Afurada wanted anything to with the likes of me. I took as many photos as I damned well pleased and then contemplated my morning over lunch at a restaurant with a waitress who barked at me that no, you can’t sit here, go and sit at that table instead – although that’s what I though she said because my Portuguese is not very good, desculpe!
Afurada is great if you’re a stylist like me and want to discover some great color combinations off the beaten path. Don’t expect to get the red carpet treatment, however – but I guess you already understood that, right?