We’re introducing you to Raquel, a young woman who plays a fundamental role not only in our lives but also in the getLISBON project. She is the one who translates our texts into English, allowing our content to reach readers from all over the world. In Lisbon in Us by Raquel Santos she reveals to us how Lisbon is her city, how she experiences it and how she sees it through our eyes. Lisbon has grown in her and just that has made this project worth it! Thank you Raquel!
My connection to Lisbon grew on me, slowly and then exponentially.
I started my childhood wanting to be like everyone else: Portuguese without question. I didn’t like being different or having to explain that no, I’m not Chinese, I’m not Japanese nor Korean and that yes, I really was born in Lisbon.
It took me years to realise what it means to have been raised in the midst of two very different cultures and distinct languages.
Lisbon was the city I so wanted to belong to and Macau was the one I just didn’t comprehend, the homeland of my parents, of my family, but that still didn’t feel like “my place”. Well, one day I finally understood that there will never be a country, city or place that is the same as my home, and no matter where I go, I’ll never belong completely. Freedom. Yes, this epiphany brought me freedom and made me see that it’s about choice and acceptance. Lisbon became my city, even when strangers speak English with me and ask me for how long I’ve been here. Macau became my city, even when I don’t understand the language nor much of what’s going on around me.
But we’re here to talk about Lisbon, aren’t we?
Four years ago I accepted the challenge of being the translator of this blog. That’s right! After writing this article, I still had to translate it to English. Now the question remains: are both versions the same? 😉
This means that involuntarily, over the course of more than 150 articles translated to English, I got to know Lisbon from a different perspective. I learned curious facts that I probably wouldn’t even have heard of if it weren’t for these articles.
To me, Lisbon was just a set of memories and experiences collected throughout my (still short) life. I have in mind, for instance, the countless days I spent at the Lisbon Zoo, the afternoons at Marquês de Pombal and Baixa-Chiado, the uni breaks spent on the terrace soaking up the sun, the hours queueing up just to be in the front row of that concert at Coliseu dos Recreios, the thousands of times I crossed the city on foot, some to save money on public transport, some to unwind, and many for being the scout that I am.
But today, Lisbon is much more. It’s the Portuguese pavement and its patterns, it’s the espresso and the coffee with milk, it’s the story of its reconstruction after the earthquake. Lisbon isn’t just what we see, but also why we see it. It’s the art spread across the city by artists (my favourite is Bordalo II), the names of the streets and alleys, the gardens, the museums and of course, the river.
Now Lisbon is the city where I was born, where I live, breathe but also the place I want to and make a point of showing to others, the ones that don’t have the luck of calling Lisbon “my city”.
PS: Thank you Teresa and Gracinda for everything you’ve taught me 🙂
|Lisbon in Us by Raquel Santos|
|Mini introduction||I was born in Lisbon, I’ve been a scout at Grupo 7 – Escoteiros de Portugal since I was 10 and have been a scout leader for 3 years. I studied Management and embarked on the world of startups by founding my own (now failed) project in 2020. Currently, I’m working at a startup studio and incubator, where my mission is to support our startups on their journey.|
I am in my element at the top of a mountain after a hike, at the gym lifting weights or at a concert of one of my favourite bands 🙂
|An inspiring place||Rua Augusta Arch Viewpoint|
|An unmissable visit||Lisbon Zoo|
|Her mouth waters with…||Alho francês à brás; cheese (you can never go wrong with good cheese)|
|A song…||Terra Firme by Benjamim and Barnaby Keen|
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