A moment of happiness in Portugal

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I take a deep breath. Another one. I can feel the scent of trees in the air, maybe the one of the eucalyptus tree, which is so popular here in this area. I can smell the bonfire, that we just sparked and very gently the barbecue meat (chicken, as we have also Muslims amongst us). I can feel the spring in the air which smells so different here than at home in Germany. I can smell the freedom, that I am feeling for already 7 months now. It is night.
I look down on the city. It lays there in the valley like a chain of lights. From up here in the mountains, one has the best view over the city - this small city, which captures such a big place in my heart. I am happy in this moment. I feel as beeing exactly in the right place. I cannot imagine any other place where I'd prefer to be right now. I let myself fall back on the blanket. I see the dark treetops - they rise so high in the sky. They seem to almost touch the stars, flashing through the dense leaves- and needles roof. A few scattered raindrops are falling on my face. The bonfire is warming my feet. Around me, I notice the voices of the others. From the people, that became so important to me over the last months. Without whom it would not be the same. People from different countries, with different nationalities. They are laughing. It seems as if somebody told something funny again. They are laughing together, even though many of them do not speak the same language. Most of them speak various languages, but sometimes, not a single one overlaps. But however, we understand each other. Since 7 months I am here in Portugal now. 7 months in which i have learned so much: about other countries, other cultures; a new language, about my work, about life, about myself.
I'm not living next to the seaside, in one of these touristic places. My town is located in the middle of the mountains. They nature here is so untouched and unexplored. It is so unique. Sometimes, the beauty of the landscape just tales away my breath.
In 5 months my project will be finished, then I will go back to Germany- back into my old life? But I don't want to think about this yet. Here, I've learned to enjoy the moment. Because it is exactly these moments when i can enjoy life as it is.
Between these people from different countries, I suddenly remember some lines of a text from my Portuguese class:


„É bom ser branco como o açúcar
amarelo como o Sol
preto como as estradas
vermelho como as fogueiras
castanho da cor do chocolate.“

(Meninos de todas as cores – Luisa Ducla Soares)


[It's good to be white as sugar
yellow as the sun
black as the roads
red as the bonfire
brown as the chocolate]

And in my mind I add:
It is good to travel,
It is good to meet different cultures on different journeys. Cultures, with all their peculiarities and habits that often seem weird at their first appearance.
It's good to see different places and meet different people.
I already know, that in 5 months, i will be longing for this country, longing for Portugal.
I will have “saudade” after my new home, after this tiny town and after all the people who grew so close to my heart. “Saudade” after this language, which I regarded as so unaesthetic in the beginning. I will feel “saudade” after the portuguese nation, which constantantly floats in “saudades”. And suddenly I realize, that I understand the portuguese culture much better than I thought I would. It seems to me as if I finally understand the deeper meaning of this word now: “Saudade”. A word, which so many tourist guides considered as untranslatable.
My thoughts are interrupted by the filled plate, which is shoved right under my nose. It smells fantastic. I leave my world of thoughts, but the feeling of beeing in exactly the right place, stays.

Fifth Edition

5While closing the 4th edition of Scriptamanent, after the final meeting in Izmir, we are already preparing the new call for the next edition of the project. Stay tuned!

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