Conclusion

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Last post of my Portugal series

I arrived in Lisbon late in the evening to spend the night and catch my flight early next morning. I woke up before the sun and booked an Uber for the airport. Diego, the driver was warm and welcoming, and we had a little chat on our way. He asked me about my travels and whether or not if I liked the place. I enquired about him and his life. Apparently, he wasn’t very happy with his life. He had to work 2 jobs and said its a normal thing for people in Portugal. He had to drive the cab for 12-13 hours when he wasn’t working on the other job. It was not possible for him to pay rent with just one job. Like some other Portuguese, he complained about the taxes and corruption. However, he held high praise for the new prime minister but was concerned that others in the ministry won’t let him last long. According to him, Portugal is a very nice place for tourists, with beach, sun, sea, food, everything nice. But for locals, they have to pay even when they are sick. “You cannot be sick for long in Portugal, if you’re sick for long, you die..”. The wildfire in the summer could also have been controlled, but the government officials were bribed and no adequate steps were taken to prevent the fire. The officials didn’t care because none of the dead were their families.

He complained about a few more things till we arrived at the airport. I think he just needed someone to talk to and express his disappointment. The sun had already come out by this time. I thanked him, hugged him, and said goodbye and walked into the check-in to board my flight for one final time in Lisbon.


It has been an amazing one month spent in Portugal. I met a lot of fantastic people, crazy ones, experienced great things, had eventful times, seen some unreal places.

I am also thankful to the Schwarzkopf Foundation Young Europe for funding a part of the travel through their grant. It’s a wonderful initiative to encourage young people to travel.

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Till next time, Adeus Portugal!!

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Apartment E101

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The morning of 1st Spetember 2016 wasn’t the most cheerful one. I got up from my bed, making slow advances towards the kitchen to brew my morning coffee for one final time. As the old coffee machine made grumbling noises, I walked into the balcony for probably the last time.

My contract for Apartment E101 had been terminated and I was all packed up to leave. Having arrived in Finland, this apartment was my first shelter. I was gathering all my memories from the last three years. I remember the first time I stepped inside meeting my roommates, befriending them.

Rodolfo, Qang and me were the first ones to move in the apartment and later Johan and Maxim occupied Qang’s room one after the other. Rodolfo and me had always been in the “House of Pendjos” (that’s what we called it XD). Both of us had changed so much as a person from the time we arrived here in Finland. Waking up to Latin music and greeting The Mexican with “Huomenta”, “Buenos Dias!” was our typical morning routine. I first got introduced to Latin culture and learned more about China through my roommates. I recollected the flashes of all the parties and drinking games I had in this same kitchen, our friends coming over, trying out our Mexican and Indian cuisines. roommatesI sipped my coffee and sat in the balcony thinking about the summer evenings. I found myself smiling and recalling those moments. Towards the end of summer, the dusk always seemed bright. I remember how I used to sit long in the balcony and read books, it used to so quiet and peaceful. img_20160731_215527

When it rained, the drops would make a clicking noise against the glass window pane in the balcony. It always felt good to feel the freshness and hear the rain against the window and watch the drops trickling down the glass pane, gleaming in the sun.img_20160802_211012

The door to my room resembled that of a high school kid’s, with posters and stickers, some of them posted by Rodolfo.img_20160823_123225I walked into my room, so many memories confined here. It felt like these walls have seen and heard too much of me. I had lot of interviews, calls, fights, laughs, sorrows, joys all in this room. When I looked outside from my window, I could see the trees all green. I had seen them change color with seasons, turing to yellow, white and green.

 

When I’m low, I have a habit of surrounding myself with things that motivates me and keeps me going. These posters and messages on my walls and windows are a symbol of that. I tend to talk to myself quite often and these walls & windows helped me with it. Apparently, Apartment E101 was very good at it.