Can’t remember the last time I’ve been to Príncipe Real and Chiado. Been there today. Had parked in front of Jardim do Príncipe Real, by sheer habit, thinking that it would be a nightmare to try to leave the car closer to Chiado.
Following a trip to the oldest bookshop still selling in the world, Bertrand, wishing I could have all those wooden shelves in my house, to get Flaubert’s “Sentimental Education” (research, don’t ask…), after being touched by the magic of Christmas lights in Rua Garret, which, this year, looked like chandeliers in an eighteen century ball room, and the world map in Camões, climbing up to Príncipe Real, I felt like a character in a TV series.
As I was heading back, with more time to look again to the windows that had caught my eye earlier, at a fast pace to meet a friend, they seemed even more special.
The shops, all so different and colourful, made me think about how it felt so much like an artists’ neighbourhood. As so many in London, NYC for sure. The same vibe as Kreuzberg, in Berlin, with the vintage shops and the beer gardens. Even had that horrible black graffiti on the doors. There’s no room for beer gardens in the medieval streets of Lisbon, but you can get a drink and eat outside, sitting in high benches that look like wine barrels. I know you’d rather drink it instead of sitting on it. There, you can do both.
So many images popping in my head…
I saw myself living there, having lunch with friends, getting in those shops to browse, everything must cost a fortune, just to get inspired by the vivid colours and patterns of skirts, coats and sneakers.
And the boldness of being different.
Lisbon is an amazing city, those two neighbourhoods my favourite of them all. Let’s hope It can keep those shops alive, the clothing without brands, unique, one piece per person only, truly original. Rather than a mass production chain of shops sponsored by children in Asia.
I can’t stand Spanish shop brands all over every single city in Europe anymore.
And to think that I clung to you for months because I saw you as the source of all of what was pouring out of my brain and into the paper.
The other day, a friend had put it right. Even if you find inspiration in the things I say, it is your imagination that creates the images.
It’s all mine.
The good thing about series is how everyday life and its hassles magically disappear from the screen and you only end up living the events that lead to change, awareness, integration, totality, the Self.
A very small proportion of what it is this thing we call living.
Most of the time, it is tedious, tiring, dull, empty, difficult, bureaucratic, time consuming. Full of demands, such as bills to pay and all sorts of boring stuff to attend, to do, like taxes or clients with a sense of entitlement that pay you for a coffee expecting to get Moet & Chandon.
All in all, life is just a huge pain in the butt.
As if TV series were not enough, now we have a bunch of people lying to you and to themselves the whole day, on social media.
So, I am pretty much aware that it is just the idea of living there that I love. Reality being a whole other matter. Truth is, I would never leave the house as there’s not that many people in my life I would have lunch with. And soon enough I’d get mad at the hordes. They would tire me to the bones and I’d run back home, to an expensive rent apartment, loads of noise and even more people shouting outside my window. Can barely cope with the ones speaking inside my very own head…
It is good to recall that I don’t really need to leave my country to get inspiration, I just need to keep on being able to look at things as if I saw them for the first time. I just need to keep my childlike sense of wonder alive.
And you almost killed it this time…
Haven’t changed my mind, though… I don’t want to fall in love ever again.