A train bridging Santorini to Verona -II


via Discover Challenge: Finding Your Place

Finding Your Place

Part I first? Here.


If we are not late, there’s only 30 minutes left to be on the train. The fog slowly rose, giving place to the white light of sun rays scattered by the cloudy tiny water drops first, and then to a bright sunny day in all it’s splendor.

The ticked collector comes, but I’m so absorbed in my music and writings that I only notice him when 4 young people get up and follow him until the door. There are 2 guys in front of me that start to dress their coats while the group is kicked outside the train in the next stop. One of them has a Tarantino look and Top Gun worth it sunglasses, which gives him the “look at me I’m such a bad guy” look. The other one is taller, the face softened by the wide grey eyes, casual look. Unlikely friends, beating the odds with an alcoholic beverage that they sip every now and then. Despite the coats, they don’t look rushed, so I realize they have tickets.

So, I needed a plan, a strategy. I could not just settle for the wait-until-the-next-trip obvious option. That’s just me. If I want something, I’ll try to make it happen right here, right now, even though sometimes all it takes is to wait, to give it time. Greece brought me back to someone I used to be. Someone who just stepped aside when I started my residency. I didn’t notice it, I cannot even say I forgot that person; it was just like it never even existed. And in Greece she slowly found the space to show herself again and with that I became aware that not only I am that person too, but also I need to find space for her in my life.

I know, we all have different versions of ourselves. Some of them aren’t just that adjustable to our daily routines.


The train comes to an halt at 11:50, with a not-so-Italian punctuality. This time I’m at the ground level platforms and I give confident steps towards one of the exits, eager to enjoy the four remaining hours i have until it’s airport time. Of course I don’t know which way to go, so I ask. Is it easy to go to the city center? Yeah, sure. So which street should I follow, that?, I ask pointing a finger towards the open door right in front of me. Oh!, you want to…. And points two fingers down, moving them in opposite directions, in that universal language barrier breaker gesture that anyone in the world would interpret as walking. This particular guy seems to be a bit younger than me and his English level is bad enough to allow him to ask me how to say in front, which reinforces my impression that Italians are not so comfortable with the XXI century Esperanto as I would suppose. But then again, I’m Portuguese but my Italian level is so bad que me quèdo siempre com el español – I apologetically explain to him.

Bologne is sunny, the temperature pleasantly higher and I can almost touch it’s peculiar aroma as I cross the street. Against all the odds, Bologne 1 – Verona 0. But then again, I only fall in love at second sights…

First things first, the providential coffee shop just across the road is perfect for toilet and a cappuccino. Sited at the high foot table, I see the news headers in a screen. Reactions to Fidel’s death. The pope giving some speech – I wander if it’s like a Sunday protocol or if something happened. A bomb in a Bologne something station – hum, a what? No details and everything calm around. I shrug. It’s cappuccino time either how.

So the solutions eventually came to me, more or less at the same time, completing each other. In the boat I was off. That meant I had to focus on myself and the world around me. No cell phone, no wireless and specially no whazapp meant no work texts, no yes I can do your shift next week, no feeling bad for not answering to a text (I always feel obliged to do it asap… Don’t ask.). So that was first. Outside work hours, I’m mostly out of immediate reach. I check mail, messenger, whazapp etc when I want, instead of letting them interrupt whichever I’m up to. My closest friends know, and know that if I don’t receive the message they can call. Exactly as my parents will do if in need. As for the hospital, no nurse will send me an whazapp if one of my patients develops a fever.  They’ll call. And then there’s the whatever I’m up to. I can be with a friend, having dinner ou just drinking a coffee. I can be walking. Or I can be looking at my trips’ photos and let my mind build stories around them.

So this is how this yours truly decided to give this blog a new chance. And why now, when I look back, this past month feels like a jigsaw of two lifes so far apart, but somehow blending in my days.

The train trip made me find myself. Again. And since then i’ve been finding a place to everyting i am in my (busy) everyday life.

Follow Spotify post’s playlist? Here.


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