My bags are almost all packed. Here we go again, moving countries, though not to a new one this time. Despite the enormous amount of stress and headaches that I’ve been dealing with in Lisbon (f***ing bureaucracy!), I’ve been trying to enjoy as much of the city as possible. I’ve been ready to leave since the day I arrived but there are things that I will miss of course.
Things I won’t miss at all
Bureaucracy. There is no austerity that can cure a country rotting with bureaucracy. People waste ridiculous amounts of time on stupid shit instead of getting things done. It’s a bloody nightmare for those having to use the system and it shows how pathetic a country can be.
Pollution. I feel like every 10 minutes that I spend walking around get me a little closer to lung cancer, as everyone and their dog’s got a car here so the air is disgusting.
The holier-than-thou attitude. Everyone is more important than the next person and nobody takes responsibility for anything so forget about getting an “I’m sorry” if someone, oh, erases your USB stick for example. When you point out what they’ve done – right in front of you – not only do they simply say that they didn’t do it, they also get angry at you. If you speak with a Brazilian accent then things get even more fun!
The Latin hierarchical bullshit. I thought I was next in line at the IT department at school but a professor walked in and the IT lady dropped everything and rushed to the professor, sucking up to the guy big time. I needed to speak to the director at school once but the secretary said he was busy. When I told her what it was about she stood at his doorway telling him what I was saying and telling me what he was saying.
Things I will miss
Fish! I love to eat fish and here it’s not only fresh but also cheap. Broiled salmon with lemon and olive oil, grilled sardines with baked potatoes, other fish I don’t even remember now. And the bacalhau! Oh, how delicious.
Inexpensive lifestyle. From food to rent, it’s affordable and as a student I’m so very glad about that. Going out for a cup of coffee or a beer, buying an unlimited transportation pass, occasionally eating out.
Food. It didn’t take much for a friend to convince me to take the last pastel de nata today. He just arrived and I leave tomorrow so I’m eating as many of these yummy things as I can stuff my face with before I leave. The bread’s pretty good too and the fresh fruit and vegetables will be missed too.
Sunshine. Goes well with beach volleyball and the ocean. Also, Lisbon, as does the whole coast of Portugal, has a beautiful late afternoon light that slowly turns into a warm golden light as the sun moves lower and lower in the sky. No wonder most tourists I see around are couples, things can get pretty romantic around here.
Tram 28. I’ll miss the 28 almost as much as the sunshine. My little special tram, going up and down the narrow streets of Alfama with its polite little bell asking people to please move out of the way, carrying tourists with smiles spread across their faces.
Our lives are books and we begin and end chapters with certain decisions we make. Looking at my clock I see that tomorrow has already turned into today, as it’s 0:00 on June 21st, so today I close my Lisbon chapter. It was a bit of a tough one to get through and though I have no idea what happens in the upcoming chapter, I can only hope to make it worth a metaphorical read. I hope you’re writing a good story for yourself, dear reader. We don’t get editors.