Hindsight, part 1: Christmas

Trip Start Jun 10, 2008
1
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Portugal  ,
Friday, December 26, 2008

Alright, so to continue my effort to revive this blog, I will start writing somethings about my time in Portugal. They are all being written a considerable time after the facts and I want to get this done quickly, so there will be short stories only, and few attempts at clever titling. Hopefully, though, this will bring out what was most meaningful about my stay there.

I had arrived in the city not long before Christmas, so I hadn't made any friends yet by then. I thought about joining my relatives in Porto, but they had decided to spent the holidays in Brazil, so I ended up alone. Then I thought there might be other people also alone in Lisboa for Christmas and that we could all get together if that was the case, so I put up a post on the CS forums suggesting that. The night of the 23rd, I got a message from a Portuguese girl, welcoming me to Christmas with her family, I left for her house on the 24th afternoon. I tried to buy some champagne or something to bring there, but I hadn't accounted for the earlier store closing time on the holiday, so I had to come empty-handed. The party was great, standard Portuguese style, I guess - loads of food, about four different codfish dishes, sweets for probably a whole month of parties. I felt really welcome there. Then there were the presents. All the while my host was warning me about the presents time, that her family really bought a lot of them to everyone, that it would take a long time to distribute them, that it would seem crazy. It didn't seem crazy, although there were really a long lot of them. At some point I realized there might be a present for me too, oh no, please, I came empty-handed, please let this girl not have gone out on Christmas day to buy a present for a stranger she invited home just because he was alone. But sure enough, my name popped up eventually. I got up, embarrassed all the way into the bone marrow, got my gift, gave her a hug, opened the package and said 'Great! Thanks for the lovely, uh...' I didn't know what I was looking at. 'Thanks for the lovely...' Her grandmother whispered to me: 'They are cuff links!' 'Yeah, thanks for the lovely cuff links!' Cuff links, alright, but that is something profoundly meaningless to me, as I have never used any, nor do I have any intention of being in a situation where using such a thing would be appropriate, so I just call them shiny thingies. Soon after Christmas, that girl went to Cape Verde and we never met again, but every now and then I open the shiny thingies little box to recall what they look like. They say to me 'Hey, remember Christmas?' and I answer 'Yes, I do, thanks for asking!'
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Comments

marja
marja on

Huh... what? Back in Lisbon? Ahhh...
Good news, first, that you're still in Finland (I suppose), and second, that you're going to write more about your time in Portugal. I'm looking forward to more amusing stories!

rmusse
rmusse on

thatīs the spirit
lovely CS story specially for this particular time of year which i personally find the most depressing one. don´t know why, but i really feel that way every year. but happily, it wasn´t your case. :)

shine on you crazy diamond lol

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