The streets of Saigon are an unimaginable chaos. Hundreds of scooters weave and turn, whizzing by vendors who wheel fruit and food carts in the middle of traffic. Locals call out to the tourists, “Where you go?” or silently sidle up and whisper, “Marijuana?” Young women hand out flyers for spa, nail and haircare services.… Read More First Days in Saigon: Down the Rabbit Hole
Saudade is a word in Portuguese and Galician that has no direct translation in English. It describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might never return. (Wikipedia) Evening rounded the corner and stopped. In the middle of the… Read More Tenho Saudades Tambem
The voices in the restaurant almost drown out the strains of music. Only three tables are occupied, yet the room seems full– perhaps, it’s the kerosene lamps hanging from the ceiling, the low wooden beams, the black and white paintings, the wall of celebrity photographs. The decor creates warmth. The restaurant, O Pescador (trans. in… Read More O Pescador (The Fisherman)
Dear Friends, Forty minutes, and ninenteen miles from the center of Lisbon, awaits an idyllic town– Cascais. The coastal town Cascais has streets lined with palm trees, designer stores, restaurants, smaller boutiques and pocket-friendly shops, gelaterias, bookshops, a yoga studio, bicycle shops, rows of pink, white and eggshell houses, bars, pubs and tea houses. A… Read More Cascais, Cascais, Cascais!
This is how it starts– the falling in love with a city. It descends and envelops you. There’s nothing to do, it happens all at once. In mid-step, between your exhale and inhale, you realize it.… Read More This Is How It Starts– The Falling in Love
Dear Friends, For the sixth time, and with a great degree of scucess, I found a room on Airbnb. My host is a charming Portuguese woman, Agostinha, who welcomed me with a warm smile, a bag of groceries, and unbeknownst to her, pigeon poop on her head. The Portuguese are a bit on the shorter… Read More Lisbon Morning
Dear Friends, Walking to Kaisers supermarket, the corner cafe beckoned. Pellets of sleet were falling, and a warm escape would’ve been welcome. Usually, there are one or two customers sitting outside, wrapped in dark coats, drinking coffee or eating a waffle with a scoop of ice-cream, but the sidewalk was deserted. The cafe owner, a… Read More Reading Between the Lines: Leaving for Lisbon