Trip Start Feb 15, 2007
29Trip End Jul 17, 2007
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In some ways this is the end of my trip; in some others, it is the beginning of something larger. I still haven't decided what to do with my life from now on. Actually, I have been trying to do the opposite - instead of choosing from a limited set of options, I have been working to melt the set's borders, so that it is flooded with all kinds of options that are not normally considered...
But that is to be pondered about in the next blog, for now I would like to say that, although I changed my plans (and my goals) a lot of times, my main objective was accomplished - I have stayed a long time in Portugal, long enough to laugh at political jokes on the TV, to understand completely the Portuguese accent (which was really hard to decipher when I had just arrived), to absorb some Portuguese expressions, to walk alone on little traveled roads and to visit a lot of different cities/towns/villages/places. And, most importantly, I stayed long enough to develop a link to the country, so that if everything else was void, I would still have the priceless feeling of at the same time leaving and returning home.
I'd like to finish this blog now with a poem I really like about Portugal (followed by my take at translating it to English), a poem that in my opinion has a clear Portuguese feel and that was one important source of inspiration during my sort of failed march:
As Amoras (Eugénio de Andrade)
O meu país sabe às amoras bravas
Ninguém ignora que não é grande,
nem inteligente, nem elegante o meu país,
mas tem esta voz doce
de quem acorda cedo para cantar nas silvas.
Raramente falei do meu país, talvez
nem goste dele, mas quando um amigo
me traz amoras bravas
os seus muros parecem-me brancos,
reparo que também no meu país o céu é azul.
Wild Berries (Eugénio de Andrade)
My country tastes like wild berries
in the summer.
Everyone knows it is not a big,
not an intelligent, not an elegant country,
but it has this sweet voice
of those who wake up early to sing in the woods.
I rarely talk about my country, maybe
I don't even like it, but when some friend
brings me wild berries
its walls all seem white to me,
I notice that in my country the sky is also blue.
Portugal is also my country now.