18 October, 2011

The Ok Guy

I think one of the reasons I hate site seeing is listening to tour guides. They talk about the same thing. So and so designed it, such and such was imported, etc. We never hear about the people who actually did the manual labor, as if by some magic the cathedral arose of its own accord or the designer flashed his magic wand and there it was, the building in all its glory. And often the tour guide tells false tales as he or she is showing off their skill or lack thereof in English.

There is nothing more boring than having a tour guide who thinks she speaks perfect English. The woman at the  Palacio da Bolsa prattled along. She explained that the "gold lif" on the 'ceilin" was very expensive, in fact, she said in English that in the Arab hall 22 tons of "gold lif" were used, which seemed a bit over the top. Then when she was speaking Spanish, she said 22 kilos were used. A bit of a difference there. Was it to impress or did she really make a mistake in translation?

At the Porto caves where Port is made, our guy said, "Port is made in casks, OK?" Port is made of wine grapes, OK?" "Port is stronger than wine,OK?" "Port has to be fortified, OK?" Therefore he was christened the "Ok Guy."  

We happen to know that the British developed Port. They did it for the English public. At that time, in the 19th century, wine had to be sent by boat and could not survive the trip across the channel without being fortified. But when one of the people on the tour asked how port was developed, not a word was mentioned about the English. So much for the truth.

These are the very large casks. Port is kept in these casks for as little as 20 years and as long as 80 years.Just think. You could be born, wed, have children, have grandchildren, die and never taste the port in one of these 80 year old casks.

1 comment:

  1. "He was christened the OK Guy"--hysterical.