Saturday, November 24, 2018

Time capsule - Portugal version

Taxi bill found in my pocket
There were many times I left Lisboa to live in other cities. But I knew that we would return, and usually stored our things securely in safe storage before leaving the city. But this was the first time packing everything, throwing away our 6 years of stuff. The city has loads of memories, and it is overwhelming. I have a feeling that the best part of my life so far, was in Lisboa. Not in Colombo, where I grew up.

Migrations consume lots of energy - especially if the migration is permanent. Portugal was my home for the past 6 years. Although I was moving back and forth between countries, I always returned to Portugal within a year. This year leaving Lisboa was first time as in a permanent move. I will of course go back for my Ph.D. defense soon. But not to live there again. At least no plans in the future that I foresee. We were dropping our clothes that are still relatively new into the donation box since we just can take 1 checked-in bag each in the flight. Later I realized, I dropped my metro card inside mistakenly with one of the shirts. Several months later in Atlanta, I found the taxi receipt from Lisboa in the pocket of my jacket, which I luckily still did not wash. On the taxi to the airport, I had mistakenly dropped a new umbrella and a water bottle from the side pockets of my bag. Leaving a country, throwing away almost everything we accumulated over several years is in fact somewhat a painful experience that we got used to. In fact, that explains our minimalist lifestyle during the past few years in EU.

Memories of Porto, still strong after 6 years
Sometimes we want to go back to visit a few of the places that left strong and pleasant memories in the past. However, it is not always easy to recreate and relive those memories. I wanted to spend some time in Porto before leaving Portugal this year. It was always in my list since we last visited in 2013. However, due to time limitations, we could not make it this year. It will remain forever as a memory of 2013 summer, until I manage to visit it in the future. This takes me back to the memories of Kista and Farsta in Stockholm. I stayed in Kista for my 2013 falls semester in KTH for my EMDC masters program. I used to visit Farsta frequently those days for a walk and for the shopping mall. Farsta also had a Hindu temple. After I left Stockholm and returned to Portugal, I visited Stockholm twice. Once for my masters graduation at KTH and once when I returned from ACRO summer school from Karlstad. I managed to visit Farsta during my first visit. But I missed Kista during both of my visits. Kista is not much of a fun except the shopping mall which also hosted our student accommodation as well as our Kista campus (far from the main KTH campus).

Memories are the best part of a travel. I sometimes like to travel to new places. Often I just want to go back to a place that I previously enjoyed and loved. Even if I go back, the same places do not always give the same memories. Things change. Places also change. Thus our experiences.

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