At 3 o’clock it was going to rain. Said the portuguese weatherchannel. It is now half past five, by the way, for those who want to know, time certainly doesn’t stand still, and it is still not raining.
We call that “portuguese rain”
“It’s okay, isn’t it?” we say, a little bit triumphant, because okay, a person must remain modest, especially as an emigrant in another country, but it is still a nice score.
With that climate change, we sometimes even score less well than up there in the north!
It was the universe’s/God’s/Allah’s/Jehovah’s intention that we should at least have some nice weather here in the south. Hey! Can we have something too? Economic growth is quite difficult here, but everything else is growing happily.
It was supposed to start raining at 3, which was very appropriate. For us then. Because my sister and her husband, my brother-in-law – who I also know for almost my entire conscious life – drove away this morning with her camper, and shortly afterwards we took “the young Bart”* to the train.
A week before, we’d already waved goodbye to my other sister and her daughter. Her daughter, who is only 9 years younger than me; has to call me respectfully “Aunt Ellen”.
She did it once. And I have a strong suspicion that – actually – that was not quite so respectful.
I’m starting at the wrong time. Actually
I’d better start waving in rather than waving out. That’s a happier time. Too bad I practice mindfulness, and live in the NOW, because now I’m in trouble: it’s been ages since they arrived, but they only very recently left. And as my other sister said: “Well, this is not the nicest moment … huh, saying goodbye” followed by an embrace with all kinds of incantations like: Drive carefully, Watch out, Take care, old girl, Greets and kisses for them all, and all that kind of thing.
Meanwhile, an old friend arrived with her two sons
They were only there for a few days, and sighed by the campfire: “Ah, we could easily stay here for a week …” The friend ran the nicest guesthouse in Coimbra for years, but had to go back because of the C-rises. (No link, because without her the guesthouse isn’t fun anymore. Seriously.)
In between all the acts & acting, my youngest son and I also voted
Portugal has 3 tiers of government: the president, the parliament, and the municipality. The last elections are therefore quite important. That’s where your speed bumps, benefit entitlement, festival permission and – in 2021 – the vaccination level come from.
Between the morning coffees, cozy lunches outside, barbecues-by-the-campfire and chats-in-between, I investigated what a person could vote for. Because we were registered as voters! Jay, succeeded! But who, how, where, why?
I ended up on Volt. European party (I still think Europe is a good idea, as much as I hate all that bureaucratic s**t they are spouting). Young, democratic, inclusive, smart, a party for the future.
When we finally arrive at the right place, we see the election form, the choice is between: PS (Partido Socialista – the established elite), PSD (Partido Social-Democrática – the almost established elite), Chega ( populists – the upcoming established elite (fear emoji)), the communists (remember y’all?) and another very local party that has probably already sunk into oblivion.
Hmm. So, that means I can vote for the mayor who once came by, promising that we would get bike lanes, flower boxes, benches, sidewalks, flowered verges – he just didn’t say what year.
I suspect thát was an election year. I haven’t seen him this year; it’s his last term (or am I cynical now?)
Or for some other god or goddess of one of the other entities (see above list) that could most likely do the same.
I guess I won’t be seeing anyone for a while; the elections have been won. (Who cares then?)
Conclusion: family and friends go, the mayor stays.
* 1: you are really a diehard if you read this asterisk. Congratulations, your intelligence is above average ’cause you are curious. “The young Bart” differs from “Bart the Elder”, “Bart the writer” “Harley-Davidson-Bart” and “Engelbert-Bart”. Bart the Elder and the young Bart have knocked down a huge old willow tree together, but that’s a completely different story.