It is almost summer …

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June 2nd 2008
Published: June 2nd 2008
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Oh my God, I just realised I have been away from my blog for almost 6 months!? It’s a record! I wish I could say I have busy travelling, but most of the time I have been working hard, and receiving with a smile the pleasant surprises and twists that 2008 has brought me so far ;-)

Let me recall: I ended 2007 with a flash of luck, I almost lost the train to Antwerp, which luckily happened to be delayed (ufa!), and I started the year, yes, in peaceful Belgium, away from the craziness of the fireworks of the Low Lands, and in a very civilised ‘Black and White party.’

February took me to Portugal (‘as saudades ...’) and suddenly everything changed ... when I realised I was taking a break and getting myself in spending a semester working in Portugal ... so yes, my few trips have been very much Lisbon-Amsterdam. Destiny took me once again to Antwerp (don’t get any wrong ideas, no diamond ring :-0 and 1 night to Dublin, when there was also the king of Belgium around … On top of this Antwerpmania, my Dutch employer just announced that the annual social trip (‘uitje’) is going to be in September to … guess what? Antwerp! I don’t know, from all places, my 2008 seems to be the year of Antwerp. Assuming that the New Year’s Eve kicked this off, next one I better go to New York, or the Caribbean ;-)

And here I am in peaceful Portugal, taking the chance to review my old friends (I have learned a few child names and I am getting lost!) and making new ones. It has been an emotional time – I can’t deny it (Portugal is so different from the Netherlands in so many ways!), but let’s not go over there.

I have made some city trips in Portugal, one of them to Aveiro, known as ‘Venice of Portugal,’ which I am afraid you will only remotely agree, if you ever end up visiting the city. Well, if you ever are in the neighbourhood, why not? It has of course some canals, friendly people, some interesting art galleries, and quite a sample of art Nouveau buildings, and with the charm only found at the cities in the province. Let me try to give you an example. I tried to get the ‘Art Nouveau’ guided tour, but the guy in the city museum informed me that such a tour is only booked when there are at least 6 participants, and I was alone. I asked, ‘what about if I pay 6 tickets?’ Well, just tell me, which answer would you expect, then? Honestly I was opened to any answer, but I did expect at least an answer, but no! The guy got frozen! Oh lá lá Qu'est-Ce Que C'est Que Ça ... his neurons could not work anymore, he didn’t know what to say) And there comes my implacable and intermittent Dutch absorbed way of being: I asked again! I inquired whether, or not, the minimum number of participants did not have anything to do with economics … and then he told me, a bit embarrassed, and like reading a script "The Art Nouveau trip is only booked when there are at least 6 participants." I almost bursted into laugh! Oh, isn’t this fantastic: this kind of ingenuity? Don’t get me wrong; people there are lovely; the greatest hosts hosted me! I was to go to a concert of the Brazilian ‘Adriana Calcanhotto’), which was cancelled, and I ended up in a hen’s night of a stranger …

Why the concert was cancelled? Because of the rain, yes it has been raining over here, and the sun has been shy, but I am sure the summer is arriving and it will warm up … just before I leave…

Some warm kisses in advance ;-)


2nd June 2008

Olá! Bolas...a notícia de que estas por cá chegam sob a forma de blog!?! É claro que me ri como uma desalmada sobre a passagem em Aveiro! Tí, embora não tão geneticamente modificada pelos genes NL, continuo a pregar das minhas.... A reacção é sempre soberba e apetitosamente tentadora para se repetir e repetir... Diverte-te e se passares pelo Porto apita....Para fazermos umas em conjunto....

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