Eighth Week of a New Life
After a two week trip to the States to pick up my temporary Portuguese resident visa which was just approved, I came back to Lisbon. This time was different as this is now officially my home. There is no turning back. I was interested to see how that might change the way I feel about this grand experiment…
Home Sweet Home?
Landing at the airport was going to be interesting given how I felt the last time I arrived here. That arrival was after the “Farewell from Hell” through Terminal 1 at JFK. Let’s just say it was not the best sendoff from my beloved home of 23 years. As a public service announcement, I highly recommend taking your chances in a rowboat if your only option is to fly to Europe out of Terminal 1 at JFK. It is the worst terminal I have ever been in, especially considering that it is located in a major international airport in the US.
The “Farewell from Hell” had landed me in Lisbon Airport for the beginning of the grand experiment in a fragile state. It did not take long for me to get the feeling I was doing the right thing then and the same was true of this more “one-way” adventure. The airport was just a little more familiar to me, as was the ride into my neighborhood. This ever increasing familiarity with the city is making Lisbon feel more and more like home.
The first day back, after a power nap and some work time, I headed out to watch the evening’s Champions League games at the local sports pub. The staff indulge my love of Man City, not a popular team to anyone working there or any of the regulars. Man City had a big game along with the local team, Benfica. They put my game on half of the TVs and Benfica on the others. The sound was turned on for the Benfica game which really didn’t matter as I doubt my 15 words of Portuguese would get me far in understanding the live game commentary.
After the Man City win, I headed back toward my apartment. As I passed my absolute favorite spot in Lisbon for hanging out with the locals, I heard someone shout “She’s BACK!!!!”. Some of the friend’s I’ve met here were there to share a drink with me as well as the brothers who run the place. They are truly two of the kindest souls I’ve met in Lisbon, always offering to help me any way they can.
It truly warmed my soul to have such a soft landing back in Lisbon. From the friendly cab driver who gave me tips to make my new life easier, to one of my new friends who helps me out as he’s recently been through the process I’m currently going through with respect to my visa.
It was truly a wonderful “Welcome Home”.