The Membus made it to Porto in one piece and welcomed a new international crew on board. From the Memrise office came Anna, an escapee doctor now treating the maladies of an ageing bus on a wild retirement break. She was joined by two new assistants – Suellen, a lawyer from Rio and Artur, Porto local and proud polyglot ‘Meminence’. With them came our filmmakers; Eduardo, a Brazilian chemical engineer who decided he’d rather miss his exams than miss out on the Membus, and Rufai, London cinematographer here to take up Diana’s mantle.
After a quick tour of the bus we all headed into Porto to get to know each other over dinner. Our Brazilian team members found much hilarity in the quirks of the local Portuguese language, which the rest of the team couldn’t quite grasp. After delicious Portuguese tapas, we made it back to the bus just as a storm rolled in from the Atlantic. We all enjoyed our first night on the Membus tucked up in the cosy top deck dormitory with only the occasional raindrop making it in through the mostly watertight windows.
The next morning the crew set off for their first day of filmmaking and got some excellent videos despite the odd downpour. In the evening we all met in a wine bar in town where Marie lived up to the French stereotype and insisted on trying most of the wines in the restaurant to ensure only the highest quality for her team.
The next few days were spent getting to know Porto in the sunshine. We met and filmed lots of interesting characters and explored the beautiful city’s riverside views, cobbled streets and decadently tiled houses.
Before setting off, we just had to welcome the last and very essential member of our team – the new driver. The dazzling Renato appeared in the Memrise office one day greeting every member of staff with a loud ‘Ciao’, proclaiming he was the driver we’d been looking for. His only condition was that we let him roller skate on the roof of the bus. Well how could we refuse?!
He arrived at the campsite with a big box of Portuguese treats for the team and asked where we stored our face masks as he unpacked bags of his famous Italian face clay. He then changed into a small pair of shorts and his roller skates. While we headed to the supermarket Renato glided ahead of us, mostly rollerskating on the wrong side of the road (which didn’t bode well for our drive the next day), spinning past shocked drivers and occasionally letting out a shriek of joy.
The Membus was now ready for it’s drive to Ericeira, and with it’s new driver we’re sure it’s going to be turning more heads than ever!