I left Lisbon almost suddenly. My lease was up in a week, and my internship at Terratreme had just finished. Winter was leaving. I knew it because I began to sweat profusely during my bike rides to work – that never happens in the winter. In winter, I’d bike in the biting cold morning. Eventually I felt the skin on my face break because the cold made it dry. I continued biking anyway, without moisturiser, I thought I was invincible, but a couple of weeks later when my skin broke, I had to buy some finally.
It has become sort of a tradition, that we do a little Halloween get together. I can’t really say it’s tradition, because at this point, it had only been the second time we’ve done it.
I took very few photographs of Paris. I had V with me, an analog camera Krish bought at a cash converters shop fifty steps away from his house in Arroios. When he told me about V, I thought it was excessive. But 8 months into the future, V is my only companion on my way to Paris. Like many good things in life, I got V by accident. Forgotten at a rented apartment, I retrieved the old camera at the exit of a a ferry port that connects Tallinn and Helsinki. Handed to me, carefully wrapped in a plastic bag, I had, unknowingly met my new best friend.
Last week, I found myself in Viana do Castelo again. I was there in transit, waiting for the next bus that would bring me further up north. It was the place where the fourth edition of DocNomads first had their fieldwork. It was, where we made our first films as a class. That was in the first semester. Now that we’ve arrived at the last, I remember the photographs that I had promised to show them “once we get back to Lisbon”. I’m about a year and four months late, but here they are anyway.
I wrote this message last Christmas.
We’ve come this far.
“I seem to want to write to you every chance I get! I must tell you how much I appreciate your patience with these things
I went to to Tuscany in the summer.
We went on a road trip last Easter, my friends and I. It was a long one, and we crossed country borders in a car. Yali and I were particularly ecstatic. If you live in an archipelago, crossing borders while driving is not an idea you entertain a lot, and for Yali, she says she can drive for seven hours and still be in China.
In January we moved to Budapest. It was winter and the first morning we spent in the city was one of the few days of snow. Winter was an exciting concept because I’ve never really experienced it but it was also very alien. It felt like the city was alien to me or, that I was an alien in it. When the sun started to show, I began taking photographs of strangers. This one, was of a man who just left the tram, I asked him for a photograph but he said:
I tried ask again to make sure I understood correctly
..no. Not me..”
He opened his arms up to the sky, looked around and then finally at me and said:
“Budapest is waiting for you.”
Since then I’ve been working hard to make sure that Budapest doesn’t wait too long, after all, we have barely a month left, and then we are on our way out again.
I was surprised at how many people were already there. The train leaves at 07:45H so I arrived at Keleti very early.
“I used to get a lot of sunsets like this back home but this one is special. You see, I’ve never experienced winter in my life. We have a lot of rain and often floods that devastate many of our lives. But winter is another thing. I don’t think anyone is ever ready to face winter, of any kind, even the people who have lived it all their lives. That day was the day we got our resident visas, after days of uncertainty over not being accepted one because of strange challenges (Balsors) that have left us on edge since we moved in to this flat.
Ingrid is back in Lisbon. At this moment, they might be having coffee at a kiosk near Gianluca’s house. I’m not there now, of course, so I tried to look for photographs of us from when I was in Lisbon.
We moved to Hungary last month. We had to get used to the place so we decided to get out of Budapest for a day.
I think it was Sunday when I arrived at Bappy and Anja’s in Intendente.
Last year, seems like a distant past.