Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I wish I was leaving by train

A companhia aérea soube a data da minha viagem antes de mim. A companhia aérea quer saber a dimensão das minhas malas. Ainda não as fiz, respondi. A companhia aérea acha que eu me devia despachar. A companhia aérea acha que já não há nada a fazer em Portugal. A companhia aérea tem pressa. Eu vou me deixando partir.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Reflexions of the way we used to be

I have been in a strange mood lately. All of us, Portuguese, have. Despite our old age, we’ve been acting like teenagers, still insecure about our own capacities. For the most of our school years, we’ve been taught how we once sailed the vast oceans to rule the world, but omitted how we’ve lost that rank, and how we still can’t forgive ourselves for it.
We turn to others in search for a clue that will explain what is wrong with us; is it fate or is it circumstantial? Like a proud mother to her son, you will tell us that nothing is wrong. That we are as clever and as able as any other, you will remind us of recent glories: how we invented ATM machines; and of old ones: how we were the first to bond with remote India, Japan and Malaysia.
But don’t spare us the harsh truths: the fact that others are also skilled, and that they are not standing idle, that talent and inventiveness don’t suppress hard work, that understanding our potentialities and limitations, instead of being paralyzed by fear of failure, is far better.
I have no doubt we’ll grow up to be healthy adults. It is circumstantial, but living through it is what it is being a Portuguese today.