So, a funny thing happened to me the other night.
The birthday BBQ, by the way, was a huge success. The element of surprise was maintained, the caipirinhas and cervejas were free flowing, the meat was cooked to perfection... We had cake, ice cream, presents and a silly birthday cake hat, complete with floppy felt candles. There was even some boogieing out on the decking, despite the noise limitations. And when we were kicked out of our hostel for being too raucous, we made our way over to possibly the only club on the island.
All in all, it was a great night. There we were, partying away on a tropical paradise island, without a care in the world. What could be better? Indeed, what could top it all off?
Well, let me tell you. On my way back to the hostel, I was in a small group of about 5 or 6 people. The 'club' was only a 5 minute walk away. As we turned into our road (Rua das Flores), laughing and stumbling and talking crap in the way you can only do at 2am when everyone's a little tiddly, we suddenly spotted something scurrying around in the undergrowth. It looked like a giant rat. I don't know what it was, but it was about a foot long and had a long, whiplike tail.
Our group undulated towards the giant rat creature to inspect it more closely. 'OOOOOH what's that?!?' we cooed. As if in response, this random man who was walking in front of us turned round to us and started muttering something in Portuguese. We didn't have a clue what he was saying, but we figured he was trying to explain to us what the creature was.
Then, as if a mere verbal explanation was not enough, he came over to the bushes where we were all standing around in a circle, pointed at the giant rat creature and grabbed it by the tail. We looked up at him in with wide eyes, thinking, 'Surely, he wouldn't....he's not going to....is he?' He said something else in Portuguese, a mad glint in his eyes, and then he flung it into the midst of us, like a shot put.
The giant rat creature went flying through the air; we scattered, screaming, but too late. It smacked into my right leg before hurtling to the ground, stunned, and quite literally not knowing what had hit it.
The crazy local man then lurched forwards as if to do it again but we all shouted our protests, in between hysterical laughter, and made a hasty escape.
I remember walking up the steps to my room thinking, 'Did that just happen?'
Seriously, who throws a rat? I couldn't figure out why. Maybe he just thought it was funny. Or maybe it was his way of saying, 'Get off my island, filthy foreigners!' Or maybe he was just completely mental.
WHO KNOWS. Anyway it was definitely one of the strangest things to have ever happened to me. More than anything, though, I feel really sorry for the giant rat creature. I hope he's ok, wherever he is!