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I know you are not always sure about having this love affair with me, the foreigner. I spread like ants in your streets, tuktuk-ing all over town, looking flashy with my credit card. At times you frown, afraid to lose yourself. I assure you, when I blink, my eyes carry hearts, not dollar signs! “At least she´s not spanish” you think, right?
There are things I struggle with too, learning your language, feels like eating soup with a fork!
I´m trying to become a part of you, I am here to stay. Please don´t answer me in english anymore, querido! You don´t have to prove your fantastic language skills to me anymore, I know, it´s because your TV is not synchronized. If I got a dime every time you tell me that, we would exhilarate you out of the crisis.
You open your mouth a bit more when you speak portuguese to me, and I will educate my weekenders to not “gracias” you anymore, deal?
Over all, I couldn´t be happier. You´re priorities are healthy: friends, family, bacalhau and moscatel. Never in my life did I hear of a dying man, looking back on life and wishing for more business meetings.
You don´t rush, since we mingle, I also don´t mind to wait. When my old lover constantly ran for the clock, even Marquez Pombal can do just fine without displaying the time.
I´m glad you see the chance and possibility in this huge change we are going through. You are clever enough to see how the world around you is changing and how globalization will not take a bridge over you. It feels like somebody is pushing the fast forward button: short term rentals in grandma´s old flat.
But I think we can create your version 3.0 to a larger and wealthier city, the buildings that were rotting away, get a new chance to blossom. Your Tugas keep the biggest part of the pie, if you stay strong and sovereign at the negotiation table.
So let me take your hand, let´s breath easy and look for the path that promises you to be modern, wealthy, authentic and cosmopolitan. And you and me, we keep mingling. Maybe one day I will even share your passion for fado, they say love can move mountains.
Lili Marocsik is currently based in Lisbon but offers assistance with traveling, you can find her on her website lilimarocsik.com