Oh amiguitas y amiguitos, what a bizarre and intense 2017 has been. And it is only March LOL. But back to middle February since it is when I did this trip, this pre-info. gave me most of the meaning of everything I felt during my days in Portugal, so buckle up, let us go back for some weeks in time and put our caps of “Fuck you February” on ok? 🙂
What the bloody hell universe?
The last week of January and first two of February were all about school, final assignments and final projects. I usually don’t complain about school because it’s stuff that needs to be done and the only way to finish the pain is by actually getting the shit done, period. The problem started when I realized that I might have done a miss-calculation as my 1 week time frame was simply not going to be enough to complete all my assignments when I had it planned. I took deep breathes, drank industrial amounts of coffee and just kept going with a 1-2 daily basis sleep hours, 7 work hrs. per 1 break hr. shifts and it was actually working! but in the end, the stress levels combined with a deplorable emotional state made my mind and body collapse and my defenses were the same as an albino baby ready to conquer bloody hell’s gates with a baby pacifier; i.e. I fell into a terribly sick semi pneuomonia “my lungs were dying” state. Fever, shivers, only two powerful pills in my stack plus some paracetamol and the good old Vic Vaporub. Chugged all the pills, drank insane amounts of tea, ate oranges and grapefruits like never in my life and kept working. It was Thursday, 1 more day remaining and managed to have only 1 last assignment for delivery. Slept that night with my bloodstream transformed into a flux of camomille+ginger+honey and rubbed the Vics all over my nose, my chest, my feet, my bloody anus, basically everywhere. And shit it worked. I was making a good progress but then I noticed I required a more powerful operative system in my laptop to perform some simulations on time and it was simply impossible to finish it before the flight to Portugal on Saturday. PLUS that Friday was the last night I had to spend with my previous awesome international ex-roomies, two strangers that became like family and about whom I shall talk about in another occasion. You know I miss you both bromigos!
So having overcome the worse of the sickness, I managed to get an extension of the professor, had a lovely dinner that night with friends, greek tavern on point and then just when I thought my emotions were feeling at their peak, everything crumbled down. It was a situation that today I reckon is mostly my fault for not being able to foresee things properly, that today I feel calmed and working on my daily peace, but back then, my mind thinking I was an incompetent for not finishing work on time combined with a heart telling me:-you like her so fucking much that you’re gonna fuck everything up. Like always.- and a soul unable to really process all the information that was being recorded…it was a rough night to be honest. But as I was back in my bed, barely able to breathe with a cracked heart, all I knew was that I just needed to get out of there and hop in the plane, I just needed peace urgently.
After some ancient testament size emotional “Viber” messages were sent, fever again and saying good bye to the international shack members, I landed in Rome for a 12 hrs. lay over. -WHA YU DU DISSSS!!??- I asked to the universe. -AHH shut up and open your eyes you whiny bitch!- the universe responded, as suddenly I found myself drinking a “+7 Anti cold” healthy juice and sited in front of the “Fontana di Trevi”. Perfection goddammit. The Coliseum was next and people I still can feel the goose bumps when I write these words as strong as I saw and entered the Coliseum for the 2nd. time of my life and shit, I swear I could hear the people roaring again. Not a coincidence. I still can feel the energy, the glory, the adrenaline and the strength given by victory. Feelings that made me truly smile after a long time and I said to me: -VAMOS CABRÓN-. I had a delicious Italian lasagna for dinner and was ready to get my flight to Lisbon at 7 am the next day.
Lisbon, Portugal. What a bloody cool city. To be fair I had absolutely zero idea of how Portugal was going to be. I had of course my own knowledge of the country but I did not pre-research as I usually do before any trip, did not know where to go, basically was in fucking blank because I just had no time to do it! So I decided to embrace everything the city wanted to offer me. Bold as always and wise as…sometimes. Best call ever. I first through the city taking the musical magical bus tour, passed through cool sight seeings and spots of Lisbon, both in the modern and the ancient zones. Lisbon has like a zillion amount of museums; the museum of the tiles, the museum of oceans, the museum of cars, the museum of museums. The city is divided by the Tajo river crossed by the bridge “25 de Avril”. It is like the cool younger brother of the Golden Gate bridge in SF. The music, “Fado”, the folk and typical music of Portugal so filled with emotions that it makes you want to cry. Barrio Alto is the zone that hosts most of the night life and the start spot to go up hill and spend the afternoon with wine, some food and enjoy the view of the city.
Have you heard of the typical cliches of romantic places like Paris, Venice, Milan, Rome, a log cabin to make
amazing hot nasty rough sex love aside the fire as the Aurora Borealis is in the sky? Well, despite the not yet accomplished sexual fantasy, I was lucky to be in all the aforementioned places, even some more and well fuck all that. Portugal my dear chiquitines is (for me) the most romantic country I’ve been so far. For real. One of the spots I wish you can visit one day to confirm my theory is called “Sintra”, a magical town 40 min. away from Lisbon in regional train, host of ancient castles, royal family palaces and houses related with witchcraft and secret sects. Everything is green, with stone paths, a smell like rain and point views that will take your breathe away. A spot of the planet that again, at least for me, made me think of one day taking that special lady whom I would love and would love me for the rest of my life and share all the feelings I’m describing. Or maybe just my cat. Probably will be just my cat.
I had the chance of visiting a very good friend of mine from Japan who was living in Lisbon due to master studies similar to mine. “T”-kun took me around many groovy spots of the city, had some Portuguese alcoholic beverages in a fancy market, had some wine in the top of one of the hills and had actually a great time talking about school, love, future, alcohol, life. I know I’ve said this a lot in the past but is always crazy how you can connect with people from literally the other side of the world, with spiky hair and slanted eyes. Great one “T”-kun!.
The next day I was ready to take the train to the northern side of the country and off I was to Porto. Did I say how cool was Lisbon? Never mind. Pack your things, stop whatever you’re doing and go to Porto. Seriously. Despite being a bit chilly and rainy, it just made it equally beautiful city. The “Manuelino” architecture, old castle walls, medieval churches, rivers, a bridge design by Mr. Eiffel himself and the absolute and magnificent Oporto wine.
But first things first. My mom’s surname is Pereira and there are records that this surname came from my great grandpa which was either Spaniard or Portuguese and to whom I actually owe my first name. The village is veeeery tiny and peaceful, stone streets with barely a central church, farms, vineyards, a graveyard and some sort of small mountains and green fields surrounding everything.
This trip contained also like a business bonus feature. I had the amazing opportunity of first being contacted by the #momondo PR team in Portugal because there is a Portuguese cultural magazine called “Fugas” that heard first of the competition and second that the Mexican lad who won has Portuguese blood running through his veins. So basically they kidnapped me for one day, a fucking brilliant day where they made me an interview regarding the contest, how did I win (still no clue), what did I say, what did I thought when I knew the price and of course what was my opinion and knowledge about Portugal? what was my favorite spot so far? and the main reason that took me to Portugal, why did I want to go to a village in the middle of nowhere called “Pereira”? Despite being in Portuguese, you can check the interview here if you want:
They also took me to eat typical Portuguese food in a town called “Barcelos” which was close to Pereira, ate duck rice, octopus, cod fish, delicious wine, among others. I also got a Portuguese rooster as a gift from the restaurant. Wanna know the story? Just google it, quite cool! Then the crew took me to the village of Pereira to actually see and explore the place. I mean how fucking cool is that? who does that!? And then back to Oporto. But the most amazing experience was when we were in a local cafe in Pereira, were talking to a kind old sir and we asked if there were any old reminiscences of what Pereira was and he mentioned a castle in ruins, the “Castelo de Faria”, that supposedly belonged to the royal family of Pereira in the very old times. Off we went to the castle on the top of one hill and man…everything was covered in green, all the stones, all the paths, all the trees. It was like taken out of a Narnia and a Game of Thrones and wild Harry Potter scene. My first feeling was:-I’m on a fucking fairy tale, everything’s so green, uhhh look at that big stone, LET’S JUMP ON IT-. I basically felt like a little kid, running and jumping around every tree and stone I saw. The people of Fugas and Momondo were just laughing and saying that I truly looked just happy, that it was incredibly contagious. Like, just imagine if you could talk to the trees or stones of such ancient place? what would they say? or what would they not say? better said. On this day, at that moment, everything I mentioned in the beginning of this post just went at warp speed through my mind, that and even more stuff. An internal emotional wave that made me cry as I was just listening to the wind just because I had to cry, a thing that I very rarely do. I felt as if the place was telling me -you’re gonna be alright, be brave, be bold, be yourself-. You see I’m a guy who in times of crisis believes on whatever signal life gives. I’m a true follower of the signals, every detail that the universe is telling us and there was an instant when I truly knew what I was doing right and wrong in my life and most important what I needed to do to work and overcome that which I thought was wrong. Too bad it was only an instant since I kinda fucked it up some weeks after that (LOL) or well…did I? It was just an absolutely brilliant experience. Thanks #Fugas and #Momondo !!! I will never forget it.
As a cultural data, Portugal was founded by many families with significant resources, among those, the Pereira family. The proof is in the castle of Sintra where on the ceiling you can observe all the royal families coat shields that founded the country. Wikipedia also cooperates with this. So know you know ladies: you looking for a man who is single, handsome and descendent of a royal wealthy family founder of a country? *winks with cool sound.
The last days I spent in Porto I basically explored and walked as much as I could. The Duoro river, divided by the bridge “Luis I” as said designed by Mr. Eiffel, the library which J.K. Rowling got inspiration from, the Majestic coffee, a 40 year old Oporto wine that was the closest thing of love I’ve ever felt, the “Riberinha” area, got lost in the magical and narrow streets, ate a magical thing called “Francesinha”, listened to more Fado music and saw some other good friends I made during my year in Sweden. I even saw a cat in a leash. It was an authentique jackpot if you ask me.
Portugal was special because of many things. It is directly related with my mom’s bloodline, it is a special place for “J”, it is the holder of probably the most delicious wine I’ve had so far, a country with great and friendly people, with delicious food, with music that touches your heart, and specially it is spot that literally took tears and fears out of my eyes; it created a tremendous emotional earthquake in my core that reminded me that to be in love is a game where we meet people who makes us evolve on specific times of our lives, in every sense and in every way. A place that reminded me that nothing is meant to last, NOTHING in this life, and that it is exactly that fact, which makes life beautiful and provides unforgettable memories, just like the Castelo de Faria did to a young and wild mexican lad. It is exactly that fact, the reason we should listen to our minds but obey our hearts and be bold, be free, be brave, be fearless, be fucking happy.
Obrigado querida Portugal!!!!!