The Flying Santos
Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
394Trip End Ongoing
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I've just got back from seeing Ade off at the airport. It's a strange feeling saying goodbye. He was a good friend. I feel a bit blank now.
We met up in town earlier for one last 'coff' (ee) and a few final words. It was a beautiful afternoon and the sun was burning fiercely, a welcome change from the downpours of late. We found a tiny table in a small but peaceful courtyard at the back of a little gift shop.
As we sat down neither of us spoke. I pulled out an old wage slip, tore off a blank strip of paper and started to scrawl down my email address. As I did this I noticed Ade writing something carefully on the inside cover of a book. When we were done, we looked up and I handed him the piece of paper. We didn't have to say anything, the occasion was sad enough. He handed me a very old looking hardback book, which at a glance, looked like it was finished in leather. I read the passage he'd written on the inside and closed the cover. He watched me the whole time. He then told me to 'keep it for always'. I told him I would.
After a brief silence he commented on the quality of his coffee. It wasn't up to its usual standard (it has to be in a white cup) and so we knocked back our drinks and stood up to leave, getting a passer-by to kindly take a photograph. After a quick last look at the lake ('Goodbye lake of Wakatipu-pu-pu') we drove out to the airport.
It was busy in the departure lounge with people from all walks of life coming and going, taking calls on mobile phones, engaging in lively foreign conversations and shushing children as they belted out the occasional scream. Our farewell celebrations consisted of a rushed 'Heiny' and by then it was already time to say goodbye. We embraced strongly like we always did and exchanged a few final words. Then we said goodbye, and shook hands one last time. As he turned around and walked towards the exit doors I took in a huge deep breath of air and walked in the opposite direction. A man I'll never forget.
So here's a toast - to the legendary 'Ade'mal Santos:-
Te amo, te quero, pra sempre! Obrigado and god bless you my friend, and may you find 'O quatro'. Vai la! - and travel safe. Beleza!