For over two years we had been beating ourselves up with thoughts of moving to Lisbon. On the one hand, in Berlin, we had family, friends and a fairly settled life in a country where we knew the language and culture. On the other hand, Lisbon charmed us to the point that we spent the winter there every year. Why that?
This view of the sunrise in Lisbon is taken from our balcony. And if you look at the buildings in the foreground, you can probably guess that our apartment with a view of Lisbon or the ocean isn’t the only one. This means that finding an ok priced apartment was much easier for us in this city. And Berlin… well, Berlin is flat, so it’s rare to find an apartment where the windows don’t overlook other buildings. We can’t even explain it, why the view from the window is so important to us. Maybe it’s the feeling of freedom we get every time we see a sunrise (or sunset) like this over the city.
Lisbon is also known as the “White City”. Because it lies on a river, the sunlight diffuses and illuminates the buildings with an almost “heavenly” glow. We admit the sun is a big reason for us to escape Berlin in the winter. We are both sensitive to light, or rather the lack of it. We’ve noticed over the years that if we don’t see the sun for 30 days we become gloomy and depressed. Worst of all, we were not alone – in winter even German old ladies on the street can yell at you for no reason.
Third – and this is probably the most important reason. The people. Portuguese people are wonderful, warm, patient, sweet, and caring for each other (and this is probably not enough epithets to describe this nation anyway). Even though we are foreigners and do not yet speak fluent Portuguese, they have welcomed us as if we were not “strangers”. Besides, during more than two years of living in Lisbon, we met maybe only twice a grumpy Portuguese person (and we met a lot of them).
These are just three of the many reasons why we dropped everything and moved to Portugal. Of course, we also know the downsides of living in Lisbon. But they are not so dominant that we regret our move. From our Portuguese friends, we also learned some important attitudes and a certain saying. If something happens that we don’t quite like, we just say “it is what it is”. And instead of emotionally fighting with something, we either look for a solution or just go to dinner with friends and life goes on.
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