I am in Porto and all I want is to STAY LONGER.
I am in Porto and all I am thinking about is when will I return? Find a little flat for myself. Settle for longer than a few days. Long enough to feel like a local. To make memories from the small things, not the tourist things. A walk to the park, finding my favorite grocery store, making friends. There is a difference when you get to know a place from the INSIDE.
But now, alas, I am still an outsider to this magical city.
The city is small, but its people are deep, sophisticated, sweet and feisty at once.
They are much like the wine they drink: the Port wine. Very sweet, and very strong.
Fado music is also very deep and melancholic, yet very moving and gentle.
It sings about love lost, fishermen gone, failures and longing.
As an outsider, one still learns about a city: its' pace, its' cuisine, its' climate. One can also make friends with friendly Portuguese people who are eager to share stories about their culture. They tell me of the oldest town up north. They tell me of the feud between the north and the south, they tell me of the foods I must try and the foods I must NOT try. They tell me where to go and what to do, and I nod, and listen, and imagine their dinners at their kitchen table, their families, their school days. I try to see beyond our exchange of tourist and guide. I try to see beyond what separates us.
But being an outsider can only be shaken by being an insider. Even if only for a short time.
To really feel like a part of this city. Like I am inside its invisible city walls, and not just behind the door, peeking in, waiting to be let in.
~Oh, Porto. How I long to be held by you, embraced as an insider. Even if only for a moment... ~
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman