Greetings from the sun

I’m almost back home. I’ve spent three amazing days with my friend in Portugal,  without a moment of awkwardness, at ease with each others preferences or silences or conversation.
I’ve visited Coimbra, which is a nice student city, famous for its historical university. We had coffee at a lively bar by the river while people from a dance school advertised their courses by dancing some African dance by the river bank in front of us.


River Mandega, Coimbra


The University of Coimbra

I’ve met her the first day of a new job in 2009. I had accepted that job at the end of my PhD because, even if it was a temporary contract, it paid well, it was somewhere in Italy (nowhere near my home town though) and it was not a technical job. I needed to release the tension accumulated in three years of research for my PhD. With hindsight, it was a counter productive career move. And within six months there I had bought a brand new car and smashed it on the ring road around Milan. So much for releasing tension.
But I had met this friend. She helped me when I had the accident. She would leave her office and come to my place to fix me some lunch every day for almost a month. And we spent most of the time together chatting, telling each other everything about our lives. I had never had a friend like this before.
After a year and a half, I left and went back to the UK, but we managed to meet at least once a year. She visited me when I was doing the IVF cycle. She came to see Pallino a few months ago. No wonder I decided to see her now.

I’ve been in Portugal once before, with L. Now again I felt like home: the buildings, the people, everything is familiar and good. Shop assistants chat with you kindly, in the restaurants food is good and portions big.

We’ve visited Lisbon as well, and I met up with another guy I worked with a few years ago. We had a great dinner in Bairro Alto. I bought myself a few summer clothes that I will only be able to use when I go on holiday again, but it made feel good.

And I missed my little one and my lovely husband, who actually got me this holiday.
So long Portugal, I’m home now.


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