Kaffe och cognac med grabbarna på mjölkbaren

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Många gånger hade vi gått förbi den här lokalen i São Brás, Leitería Central. En mjölkbar, i Portugal – och på 2000-talet? I Sverige dök de första mjölkbarerna upp på 1930-talet, bakom låg en organisation för mjölkpropaganda. Drycken skulle helst vara mjölk, maten var enkel husmanskost och ”bar” stod för självservering vid disken. Nu är nästan alla avsomnade.

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Den här kvällen i São Brás hade vi redan ätit och var ute efter något annat än mjölk. Då lade vi märke till reklamskylten för Carlsberg på dörren, fattade mod och gick in.

Det ångrar vi inte. Leitería Central visade sig vara São Brás version av Rick’s Bar i Casablanca, på Humphrey Bogarts tid. Ingen vit smokingjacka, visserligen, och ingen pianist som spelar As time goes by, men allt ökendamm från Marocko man kunde önska sig.

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Här träffas grabbarna som åkt motorcykel i Rally Paris-Dakar, det riktiga, ursprungliga, som gick till Dakar i Senegal. Man kunde starta från Paris eller också från Lissabon. Alla här hade förstås startat från Lissabon, och flera hade tagit sig ända till Dakar – några flera gånger.

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Över en kaffe och cognac fick vi oss till livs många hisnande berättelser, om brutna vevaxlar och brutna nyckelben. Och mängder av nyttiga tips. För den som är på väg till Nordafrika är det här en veritabel informationscentral, om färjesträckor, ökenrutter och bra vattenhål. I såväl bokstavlig som överförd bemärkelse.

Leitería Central, Avenida da Liberdade, São Brás de Alportel.

Harald Nordli

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