It must be unusual for visitors to stay on the island of Pico for more than a few days. People here are very friendly to tourists but after seeing you for several days they almost seem suspicious, or at least in an unknown space on the next steps on how to interaction. Alexandre was an exception and he was quite curious about what I was working on using the free internet in the Iguaria Bagaço cafe in the town of Lajes. The make a great pot of tea for 80 cents.
Alexandre, Age 19
Interview conducted on Nov 04, 2019
Lajes do Pico, Pico Island, Azores
What is you most favorite part of living on Pico?
I live in paradise. I am used to all the views but I know they are great. The air is so fresh here and the seas so clear.
What is you least favorite part?
Living in a small community is difficult. Everybody knows everything about everybody. Despite that, I really like it here.
What is your favorite restaurant?
Troca Nota. It is next to the church here in Lajes. It has been closed for a month so you have not been there. The owners usually take a break once a year. They make great Italian food. Pasta and Pizza.
Do you see the weather changing?
Yes, the last few years the weather seems different. This year the streets have flooded in Lajes 3 times. The last time this happened was in 2008. We used to have four seasons as a kid and now spring, summer and fall seem like one. It is much more humid in summer and in the winter as well. I can feel this. Summer feels hotter and winter feel colder. The winds also seem strong and less predictable.
Do you feel man’s activities have contributed to storms getting stronger ?
Yes I think mans activities are contributing. If there are no changes the city of Lajes will be underwater more frequently. It will be very hard for tourism as many of our towns are by the sea.
“Alexandre’s comments about the sea surging into towns seems very problematic for the Azores. Many of the towns reside on features called fajãs. These are collapsed volcanic cliffs which create the rare low lying flat areas where settlements are easy to build. Many of the buildings in towns on the island of Pico are only 40 or 50 feet above sea level. I feel his concerns are legitimate.”