Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Everything's gonna be fine

So here I am in Lisbon, Portugal. Being back in Europe reminds me of my ideals. I'm improvising every day, doing little to no planning for this trip beyond having booked my guesthouses weeks ago. My favourite city so far was Oslo, which had most of the things I loved about Helsinki, but with more vibrancy and immigration. We were greeted with the charming red cottages on the way to the city, and once we were enveloped by our high immigrant quota neighbourhood, the architecture would gleam at us around every corner. I love charming details on old apartment blocks, and I love feminism even more, so catching public transport was one of my favourite things - I got to watch and listen as the women and men of Oslo negotiated with their world. Sometimes you don't need to communicate verbally with someone to pick up on their energy... It was a beautiful experience, and I was reluctant to leave. I wasn't expecting Norway to compete with Sweden in my eyes, but that's what happened. Norway's non-membership of the EU means that Sweden remains my No. 1 choice for the place to move to - and hopefully I can have lots of holidays in its Western neighbour. :)

Lisbon is charmingly run down after the flawless facades of the Nordics, but it's an architecture I've seen replicated in the likes of Macau and Phuket and have grown to love. I am also breathing a sigh of relief over the prices! The friendly faces I have asked for help have been welcoming, but not overtly happy. I wish I were more awake as I write this, but my guesthouse is very noisy and has been keeping me up at night. This is my last full day in Lisbon, and, having explored the BĂ©lem district yesterday, I plan to spend the entire day wandering around charming parts of the city and take in the pastel coloured buildings some more.

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