Lisbon again

Back in Lisbon for one day, more or less, and already had a lot of revelations. What is it about this place?

I landed at noon, which means I left Berlin at 8 am, which means…well. I was quite crabby, which was not helped by the fact that I am currently in the anger phase of this whole MS thing. Well, counting some weeks in November/December of last year, it is actually anger 2.0. The real anger. Anger – the return. Fortunately, I was picked up by my awesome friend Grant, who likes me, is patient, and is actually one of the few people around whom I am completely at ease with being myself.

So, first thing I learnt after sleeping in his bed almost the entire afternoon:

I need these weeks here to rest. I do not want to make the same mistakes as during my last trip, where I met with so many people, and always felt I came short of their expecatations, was missing something, etc. Whatever I did, I always felt I should be doing more, or something else. It was stressful. And hot. When I returned to Berlin I was exhausted. This time I return to a week of christmas celebration in my parents’ house, so I will need all the strength I can get. Entao, resting! Taking it slow.

The other thing I immediately realised was how Lisbon makes me calm. The first hour or so, walking through Alfama, I felt threatened, actually. I glowed the tourist glow, and people noticed. It was grey, shady, wet, scary. But it went away quickly, and when I went out for a tosta de queijo and a cha preto around 5 I felt at home. Even more so when I realised I could more or less follow the afternoon TV programme A tarde é sua. Nice.

The third thing is my own little project calls XX hostels in 3 weeks. At first it was five hostels, but let’s see. It depends a bit on the prize, my mood/health and willingness to drag my giant 18 kilo suitcase up and down the alleys and stairways that are Lisboa. I just checked into the first one (the project basically is checking out hostels that I do not know yet and staying there for some days). Already, I realise one flaw of the plan, namely: there are no other people. I will wait some days but if all the hostels are that empty, I prefer going back to Grant’s and my all time favourite hostels Rossio and Travellers House, where I know the people. For now, I am waiting. And writing.

Ah yes, the writing thing. I need to make a decision about my freelancing future, namely whether I should continue it, give it up or – my favourite option – combine it with a part time job that will offer me human contact, a structure and new challenges. I miss that. I miss to have a bit of stress… Another option would be a hostel job in Berlin. I had an interview some days ago and need to figure out whether to confirm or not. I need to find out how to become a Redakteurin. No clue, but right now I think that it is probably what I should be doing. Makes sense. Or translating novels. Whenever I read one, I find so many mistakes it makes me angry. If anyone has any insights on these things, please let me know.

So far for now, more soon.


About juliamaja

With 28 I did the first non-linear thing in my life. After school, university and work without any interruptions, I quit my advertising job and moved to Lisbon to find out what I want. The result: I write for a living, whether in Berlin or Lisbon. I am happy. Let's see how it goes.
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