Continuing our new series, today we share Lisbon in Us by Gracinda Gomes, co-author of getLISBON, which reveals us her path and how her connection with the city was established.
Without even realising, life takes so many turns. They’re the ones who’ve brought me to Lisbon, with which I’ve developed such a strong connection. And that’s what today I share with you in this short story.
September 17, 1985 was the day I landed in Lisbon after a long trip from Macau, a territory whose destinies were drawn by Portugal for over 450 years.
What marked me the most that day was being welcomed at the airport by a group of country friends, who had taken the lead in the adventure of opening new horizons in Portugal. It gave me a sense of security and tranquility to be supported in a strange environment, although Lisbon was not completely unknown to me.
I found a city which was a bit sad, degraded, slow, very bureaucratic and close-minded …
I remember the long monthly queues to recharge the public transport card; the bureaucratic complexity of banking services; and even the low variety of products in the supermarkets, which, by the way, were mostly minimarkets or small grocery stores…
But I also found a fantastic climate and gastronomy, different people and perspectives, new knowledge and learnings and diverse experiences…
Going to the cinema was one of my favourite hobbies. I remember the countless cinemas that existed in the city. The smaller ones like City, Nimas or Londres were the ones I frequented the most, but unfortunately most of them no longer exist.
Despite Lisbon’s multicultural past, there was a lot of strangeness, curiosity and ignorance towards those who came from the East like me.
Considering myself and being considered a foreigner in my own country wasn’t easy. It took years of adaptation, coexistence and learning to truly feel the city I chose to belong to, its history and culture, its habits and traditions, its music and its people …
Teresa was the one who sharpened my desire to know more about Lisbon, with the stories and curiosities she’s been telling me over the years of our friendship. In 2017, we together embraced the challenging getLISBON project, which has allowed me to get to know Lisbon in a more in-depth way and to increasingly admire its valuable heritage.
I must still mention the caring, supportive, friendly people I’ve met here. Knowing that I can count on them, in a place that is no longer strange to me, is a feeling of security, tranquility and of a lot of gratitude.
Today, after more than three decades, I’m a witness of the huge transformation that Lisbon went through. The city is luminous, organised, lively and with extraordinary beauty. More and more environmentally friendly, sophisticated enough but without the hustle and bustle of other capitals… and now finally, multicultural.
Now I’m only a foreigner when in historic areas flooded with tourists (may this scenario return quickly), where I’m naturally taken as one. 😉
In 7 Marks of Macau in Lisbon you can find out more about my roots and, in an interesting manner, observe the connection between the two cities.
|Lisbon in Us by Gracinda Gomes|
|Mini introduction||Born in Lisbon in 1965, in the wood snake year. Co-founder of getLISBON. Graphic designer. Yoga lover. Loves to travel and particularly likes to contemplate the cities she visits from the river or sea (when applicable) 😉|
|An inspiring place||Vasco da Gama Bridge Viewpoint|
|An unmissable visit||Casa do Alentejo Association|
|Her mouth waters with…||Pão de deus with butter (directly translated to god’s bread)|
|A song…||Para Sempre by Xutos & Pontapés|
Cover image background: artwork by Styler.
|Never miss another article | Subscribe here|
The project getLISBON has been very rewarding and we want to continue revealing the singularities of fascinating Lisbon.
Help us keep this project alive!
By using these links to make your reservations you’ll be supporting us. With no extra costs!
• Look up the best hotels on Booking.com and get 15% or more off!
• Looking for a different experience? We can create a customised itinerary based on your interests. Contact us!
• Or if you prefer tours and other activities in various destinations, take a look at GetYourGuide.
• Save time and money with a flexible Lisbon Card!
• Rent a car with Autoeurope and discover other regions of Portugal