No flash photography allowed. Time start: Study. Press 2 on your device. Saramago wrote here. Let’s read the passage from his book. Any volunteers? Next. Saramago’s living room. He rested here. This painting is about The Stone Raft – Saramago’s book about the Iberian Peninsula separating from Europe. Kind of Brexit scenario. Have a look at his bedroom. Press 4 to learn more. Saramago died here peacefully surrounded by loved ones. Let’s go to the kitchen. Coffee anyone? Then his garden. He loved his olive tree. Finally his library. 15 thousands of books sorted by author’s nationality and gender. Goodbye. Thanks.
I know Lanzarote island well. I’ve been here before, mum. On my own. I remember these houses and mountains. I was picking fruit and veg – avocado, beans and cabbage. I was crying and no one came to help. I was completely on my own. I walked here from London on my own feet. Mum and dad stayed in London. I was on my own. I’m now two and a half years old and I can clearly remember it. Why did you leave me here on my own, mum? I was so little back then. And I was crying.
All the newspapers were shouting that Karl Lagerfeld died. We started the day with a quick breakfast – some porridge with fruit and honey. My two years old daughter had chickenpox so we took her to see the doctor. Then we went for a walk on a boulevard full of shops and restaurants along the beach. I could hear Maria Magdalena by Sandra. It always surprises me that people visit this kind of shops selling Chinese versions of branded clothes and massively overpriced rubbish NOT needed for the beach. I wonder if Karl ever thought about that?
Lanzarote. Puerto Del Carmen. Hotel La Geria. Room 121. Flying with a child with chickenpox – I search for some answers on my phone. 13 results. The first three are adverts of private medical clinics. The rest are search engine optimised blog posts. No information. Just commercial noise. I’m tired. My eyes are heavy. I fall asleep. Someone is banging at the door. Police! You are a risk to public safety. They force open the door. You are under arrest! I’m handcuffed on the floor. My daughter is looking at me. No, no, no daddy! Very naughty! – she says.
The flight and accommodation was a present from her children. She and her late husband used to take them to the island when they were little. She’s now drinking tea on her own in one of the bars by the main road. She stopped drinking alcohol a decade ago. Even African boys selling bags and toys do not approach her anymore. She has a big badge screaming ‘70 TODAY’ attached to her top. No one cares. The waiter brought her the bill for her tea. There’s no such thing as free tea for your 70th birthday in Puerto del Carmen.
Market in Teguise. How much? – I asked pointing at a big mask. Where you from? – the African seller replied. Is the price based on nationality? – I thought. Poland – my partner replied. These cheap ones for 40 euros – he pointed at small masks. What about the big one? – I referred to my original choice. These are expensive! 120 euros! These must be just for Brits or Germans – I had another thought. How much do you give, my friend? – He clearly read my mind. 20 – I replied. My last price 40, my friend. Polish price. 120 for Brits and Germans – he added.