Friday, July 19, 2013

Disconnected Worlds

Walk towards the 'point' in Parque das Nações
That was the 28th of June, the late night 12.15 a.m after the Porto trip. Enjoying Dim Sum in a Cantonese restaurant in Arroios, I was thinking of the day of return to Sri Lanka, which was just a few more days ahead. It was just 10 months in Lisbon, and for many of the readers, this period may be awfully short. But I should note that these 10 months were the best part of my life, so far. My mind was empty when I came to Lisbon. I earned lots of friends during my stay, which essentially had filled my mind full of memories. One thing I liked most about Erasmus Mundus is, it had offered us an immediate set of friends. As a set of foreign students, we all had become a clique, regardless of our cultural diversity.

Staring at a fish tank
Though we are separated by the ocean, I thought, we are still connected. We are still living in a connected world. I was wondering, how horrible that we force fish and birds to live in disconnected worlds by capturing them from their natural habitats to our fish tanks and cages. Probably they will miss their loved ones, forever. Just imagine, what would happen if you are dropped at Mars with a no return journey to the Earth (refer to the Mars One initiative)! 

Reverse Cultural Shock?
A big fish in Lisbon Oceanarium
When I came to Lisbon, I was thinking, what would I feel when I return to Sri Lanka. I thought, I would be really excited. I would not really miss anyone, because I will anyway meet all my friends again at Sweden! But what happened? Lisbon was not a mere place where I studied for a few months. Rather, it redefined me. It let me see the world in another perspective. I earned more friends than I thought. The life was simple; but complicated and complex. I was happy and sad at the same time. Then I realized, I was just sad. While I was walking towards the gate after the security checking in the Lisbon airport, I realized that I am leaving my heart in Lisbon. I will be back, I said myself. Lisbon had written so much into my memory. The days in Sri Lanka introduced a reverse cultural shock to me. I knew about it; but never thought it would happen to me, myself.

Back to 2012?
In Sri Lanka, I had the chance to meet my beloved lecturers and my friends. I started to become active. I thought of writing something on my blog, since it was starting to lose its technological essence once more, as I haven't blogged on technical stuff, after the series of posts on Jikes RVM. However, all I had was the thoughts and reflections of Lisbon. I feel like I have left some of myself at Lisboa!

Living Light Weight
Before my Erasmus Mundus life, it never occurred to me that I will have to shrink my belongings to some luggage. Travelling have to be light weight, and due to the mandatory mobility involved in the Erasmus Mundus, we also have to live light-weight. This involved a decision making on what to throw and what to take back with me.

I had some free time, and I decided to review the places I visited in Lisbon. I started writing reviews at TripAdvisor, which I didn't do for almost a year. You may have a look at my reviews. Oh, I am a proud Senior Contributor of TripAdvisor. I found the blog post, "What Happens When You Live Abroad" sharing same sentiments as me on living abroad.

My friend pointed me out recently, when I was chatting with friends from Lisbon, over the Facebook. That site is indeed useful for anyone who is travelling to Lisbon for the first time. What I like about their site is, they keep it simple. Click through the tabs, and make sure you visit this site on a later day again, as this site is pretty much new and currently being updated.

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