Lisbon in Us by Rosa Simão

Lisbon in Us by Rosa Simão is a sharing of nostalgic memories that awakens the senses and that you'll love to read.
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This week Rosa brings us to the picturesque Lisbon with the popular figures of fish wives and paperboys of her childhood in Sapadores and Graça and with the strolls around Santa Luzia, downtown Lisbon and Algés beach… Lisbon in Us by Rosa Simão is a sharing of nostalgic memories that awakens the senses and that you’ll love to read.

Rosinha, as she was affectionately nicknamed, was born in a traditional Lisbon courtyard, in Sapadores, where her mother and uncles had already been born, in a one-story house with a backyard, the stage and scenery for her solitary games.

Her courtyard had the gate always open, ready to receive visitors, who announced and shouted in a vibrant voice. She remembers the woman of the fava-rica (cooked and seasoned dried broad beans), with a pot on her head, still smoking and releasing a warm and voluptuous aroma… She remembers the woman of the “figos de capa rota”(a variety of figs), in a wicker basket, on a bed of fig leaves… She remembers Aunt Albertina, a fishmonger, plump, with a basket on her head, circle skirt and black embroidered apron… She remembers the chimney sweep, who always came before Christmas, so that the chimney would be ready to welcome Baby Jesus… She remembers the ardinas (paperboys), children like her, carrying a tote bag over their shoulder, selling newspapers…

She remembers the walks to downtown Lisbon with her mother, or the tram ride from Graça. And it was to her aunt’s house, in Graça, that, on Christmas Day morning, she carried the toys received from Baby Jesus, to play with her cousin. And there was even one Christmas when Baby Jesus arrived a few days earlier and left her a doll, hidden in the wardrobe of her parents’ room. A big doll with blue eyes, a red silk dress and little white shoes…

She remembers the walks on hot summer nights to Cais das Colunas and the fresh smell of the sea… playing at the Senhora do Monte Viewpoint… the children who bathed, in hot afternoons, in the “swimming pool” of the Santa Luzia Viewpoint, who she envied, because that pleasure was forbidden for her…

She remembers the mornings spent on the beach in Algés – and there she is, in a photo, 2 years old, wearing a wide-brimmed straw hat and a bathing suit, in one hand a shovel, in the other a bucket … And she also remembers the scares she got, when, at the seaside, a stranger took her and dipped her in the sea, at her mother’s request…

She remembers the Saturday and Sunday matinees at the Cine Oriente, in Penha de França, where she experienced naive and melodramatic adventures with Marisol and Joselito, the little nightingale, as he was called at the time… And she remembers the lollipops and the necklaces of pine nuts and nougats waiting for her on the way out, in a wicker basket, accompanied by a saleswoman…

And she remembers an afternoon of shopping, with her mother, in the small stores in Martim Moniz, and some yellow shoes with a bow and a matching handbag… And she remembers the snacks, in a dairy in Rua Barros Queirós, hot milk, with a bola de berlim (similar to the German Berliner) with cream filling or a rice cake… She loved going downtown with her mother!…

Memories of a Lisbon that she left, reluctantly, in her early adolescence, to live on the other bank of the Tagus River, but which she recovered daily in her youth, as a university student and, later, as a teacher.

A Lisbon that, regardless of her place of residence, continues to inhabit her and will always remain alive within her, through the memories she cherishes and venerates…

Lisbon, her city, of the hidden alleys, the shady alleys and the popular neighbourhoods, each revealing a different Lisbon, hand in hand with the modern Lisbon and cosmopolitan Chiado, Liberdade Avenue, the avenidas novas!… Lisbon, In The White City, described by Alain Tanner! Mysterious, fascinating, seductive, enchanting Lisbon…

And, perhaps, one day, still in this or another life, Rosinha will move back to her city to live in the mansard of her dreams, facing the Tagus River, to immerse her gaze in it, in every dawn and every sunset…

Lisbon in Us by Rosa Simão
Mini introductionBorn in Lisbon, in a traditional courtyard, in 1955, graduated in clinical psychology, she began her professional journey as a teacher – her first passion; later, she embraced her activity as a psychologist in a project for the social integration of young people, intensely invested and experienced, affectively and emotionally; since 2005, she has been linked to the field of ​​adult education/training, as a guidance, recognition and validation of skills technician. Each of these experiences contributed – and the last one continues/will continue to contribute, she hopes, for as long as she can be dedicated to it – to her growth as a person, as she believes that we are an unfinished project, until we take our last breath. Emotive, in love – with her People, art, literature, travels – she prefers living the HERE and the NOW, as intensely as possible, even though, from time to time, there are moments of nostalgia for everything and everyone who were an integral part of her history, some already gone, but that continue to live within her.
An inspiring placeAlfama and its alleys, Graça, the Senhora do Monte Viewpoint.
An unmissable visitNational Museum of Ancient Art
Her mouth waters with…Peixinhos da horta (deep fried green beans in a wheat flour based batter), with tomato rice and, for dessert, pastéis de Belém (egg custard tart).
A song…Lisboa menina e moça by Carlos do Carmo; Lisboa que amanhece by Sérgio Godinho and Caetano Veloso; and Lisboa by Pólo Norte.
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