Not about photography

And yet another post that has very little to do with photography.

As many of you know Portugal is part of the “PIGS” (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain). That means that we are all lazy, we don’t like to work but we like to borrow money from the banks and spend it not having ways of paying it back. (Sarcasm intended.)

Violent pay cuts and tax raising have turned this country, like some others, into a stage of dispair, unemployment, hunger, sadness and hopeless living. I feel it and see it everyday on the streets and public transportations. I see it among many of my friends. Losing the job, the house and the way to put food on the table, not for theirselfs, but for their familiy, can really bring a man down on his knees.

I was on the boat the other day, on my way to work and I noticed this old man. He had beautiful hands that caught my attention. I didn’t had the opportunity to take the shot on the boat so I followed him on my way to the subway. He also got on the subway and I sat in front of him.

He was holding a small piece of paper and I could see it was an add from an “African healer man”. The kind of healer that cures everything from love problems, to health problems, to money problems. That sad and tired old man was going to meet one of those magic healers. He was a desperate man.

As soon as he got out the subway, another man gets in and sits on the same place. He was talking loud and waveing his arms a lot completely out of this world. He kept saying “30 years working in this country and I have nothing, 30 years working in this country and I have nothing”.

All the sudden someone shouted: “if you don’t like it here, go back home nigger”.

All the sudden the whole hell break loose. I got up from my seat, severeal other guys got up as well and we went to that person and we threw him out of the subway on the next stop. And he was just an avarage guy, suit and a tie, in his 50’s, wedding ring on the finger…

His offensive remark was an act of dispair too.

The fear of losing the little that we have is becoming stronger than the will to help the ones who have even less.

What values are we willing to give up for a paycheck at the end of the month?

Every single day I wake up thankful for having a job.
Thank you for reading guys. More recipes will follow.



  1. I am so sorry for the situation in your beautiful country Paulo, I feel sad about the whole world, it seems we are run by greedy corporations that care nothing for ordinary people or for the world. xx

    • Thank you dear Janine. At this point I don’t think we can say that a certain country is doing well and things are okay. Greed spreads everywhere I agree and corporations run the show. The “people” is more and more somethings almost abstract, it is just a word… or numbers…

  2. jezzafox said:

    Yet another amazing post brother. It saddens me that those in need, still feel they can still pick on those who are worse off than them. Staggering hypocrisy. Thank you and your fellows for throwing him off the train

    • Thank YOU my friend.
      He was just a regular guy that went nuts. I keep on thinking that I’m a fortunate person. Yes I do have my own problems but I keep on buying and selling cameras and film and I have a job which I love but… can it also happen to me? If I lose my job, if things start to go wrong, if I can’t provide food and shelter for my son. If life pushes me to a certain point, will it be me going nuts on the subway?

      I was hoping these hard times would bring us (Portuguese) together but I’m afraid not. It’s pretty much every man for himself.

  3. anette said:

    I’m really grateful to hear that there are persons like you and the other guys who are doing the perfect thing in such a moment of sadness. Helping on a good way and doing something.
    Life isn’t easy. We have to fight every single day. That is why it’s so important not to be alone, to help each other as good as we can. We always have to keep that in mind.

    • I was thinking just that Anette. Life is not easy but we are all in trouble, we should stick together, the romantic idea of the “people”. I believe in the concept of “people”. But all this has brought to the light the worst in all of us Portuguese. I feel we are missing an opportunity to show ourselves and the world what we are as people. So far it’s not a pretty site to see.

      Thank you Anette.

  4. Rick said:

    Hey Paulo, I’m one of the ‘PIGS’ too, (from Ireland) and I know a thing or 2 about ‘African Healer Men’…

    Yes, despair is a word to sum up the situation that is spreading through Europe (and the USA) at this time. Despair is technically the opposite of hope, and hope is a feeling that things will be OK even if it looks like they won’t. Sadly, (and this is my own opinion), all hope is gone – I am not being a pessimist or a doom-monger, I am a realist and this is what I see and hear every day, everywhere.

    Despair is the knowledge that the economies, leadership, finance/banking sectors, establishments and social make up of our nations is broken with no chance of recovery. We will reap what we have sown, it a basic harvest principle. As societies and nations, we have sown corruption and greed and we will reap misery.

    Let me state that not all people fall into the category of sowing greed and corruption but you can see that ALL reap what is sown, with the common man suffering the worst.

    Having seen and experienced dire poverty in many parts of Africa, corruption and greed are also the downfall of that entire nation. You can inject cash and try your best but without dealing with the root of the problem it is a waste of time and effort.
    Again, this is just my own opinion but I feel the contents of your post will be felt by many and if they don’t feel it now, they soon will…all hell is going to break loose, I was talking with a friend about this very topic last night, a man who cut my hair today and even I was thanking God for my job and a roof over my head this morning because it could be gone tomorrow.

    Take care old friend,


    • My dear friend.

      That IS the bottom line. The lost of hope.

      I AGREE in capital letters, this will become much worst. You know how Greece is doing, they are devastated as a country.
      The news in Portugal stopped showing updates about Greece. This is true! We are going the same way. It all over Europe and yes, in the US.

      We look at the Government and he can see in their faces they don’t have a clue about what they are doing and they don’t care. We are cells in a Excel sheet, nothing more. There are no values and it’s all in the open. A guy tells the president to get a job and goes to jail for 7 months and another guy steals 5 billions (yes) and he’s at home waiting for trial.

      My friend, this injustice drives me crazy. Everything is rotten to the core and many times I feel sick and I want to get away somewhere.

      As sad as it is I have to agree, I’ve lost all hope and that is the saddest thing one can say. Hope is food and water and light and will power and a path. All that is denied.

      Thank you for your words.

  5. Steve Barnes said:

    Powerful words and images. Thank you for posting,

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