Letters to Strabo — Meeting Don Quixote at the Pastéis de Belém in Lisbon

After Finn and Francoise meet in Bilbao, they set off on an extended train journey to Paris. Their first stop is the pulsing city of Lisbon where they discover the famous Pastéis de Belém, still made in a bakery which has recreated the original recipe since 1837:

“We headed towards the Café Belém, famed for its patisserie. It was heaving. When we entered, the noisy interior was hot and sticky in the thick afternoon air. We had to wait in line to be served but it was well worth it. When we got to the front, the custard tarts more than made up for the wait; they were dripping exotically with sugar and cinnamon. We washed them down with strong coffee served in little paper cups, crossing our arms amorously as we did. She had a way of looking at me with those sapphire-blue eyes which made me feel I was all she wanted…”

Soon they come across a misfit Spanish-speaking couple arguing noisily. Finn draws the ire of the man as he admires Finn’s companion:

“‘You want to play with her, I play with you. Look, I compare you, because of our frightfully mechanized epoch, to a kind of Don Quixote, without any other windmill before you than your own head…’

Letters to Strabo

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