By Mehdy Ghannad
We got in touch with a local artist from Aveiro who had sent us a video requesting we visit his hometown while visiting Portugal. Andre was kind enough to invite us to his apartment/studio to show us what he had been up to since reaching out to us the first time.
Andre is a big fan of the green movement. He believes that nothing should be wasted and recently started transforming others people’s trash into all sorts of different pieces of art. He started by collecting party and club flyers that were no longer needed and turning them into large origami pieces. From there he began collecting bottles, cans, broken electronics, car parts and pretty much anything he can get his hands on that others don’t need.
He has named his new business Lixo de Luxo, which means ‘trash to luxury.’
After hanging out with Andre and a few of his friends we packed up our gear and walked to the other side of town where Mehdy was about to help cook a local fish dish called bacalhau at a well known restaurant called O Batel.
Mehdy was given an apron by Ricardo, the master chef at O Batel and the prepping was underway. A bit more nervous than helping out with dinner at the hostel, Mehdy paid close attention as Ricardo showed him the ropes in the kitchen, eager to learn and excited to please the patrons waiting to dine. Things went smoothly, the dinner was prepared and the guests went home with full bellies and smiles.
We all stuck around for a while, enjoying good food and interesting conversations. The people from O Batel were incredibly welcoming and happy to have us there and we were thrilled to be in the company of such warm and hospitable folks. We spoke mainly about Aveiro and photography - Ricardo is a great photographer - and how we felt about our time in Portugal up until that point. It was clear that all of us were happy with our time there and the experience we were having. It was hard to convey to our new friends in a non-cheesy way that it was dinners like those that really enriched our experience so we just smiled and continued chatting, completely content with our new friends in Aveiro.