25 junho 2012

1η εβδομάδα EVS! - Kyriakos (Grécia)

1 week in Lisbon! 1 week of EVS! How could somebody keep it short when they have to deal with those two issues? Well, I will try, although I warn you that I am not known as the least speaking person on the globe ;)

Since the first day I felt quite welcome in a city I already knew since before! Meeting in the airport my future “boss” made me feel like a VIP since Raquel was waiting for me holding a label so as to recognize each other on the arrival’s hall! After she accompanied me to my new home I was about to deal with what was my only worry about that new chapter of my life: the interior room! Surprisingly enough I liked it and I consider that if there wasn’t the window issue it would have been the best room ever. Some days later I realized that interior rooms are something common in Lisbon, so I slowly began getting used to the idea, without this meaning that I like the idea! ;) 

Once the “working week” began another joyful story came along! Meeting again with old friends! I got so happy meeting again with Sara and Rasa, whose names I think they are so close not by a coincidence but because they fit each other sooo much since they are both passionate, joyful and… anyway I will not go on using more adjectives cause the list would be extremely long! Sara has just returned from Nepal1, missing the yaks over there but appreciating the fact she will have electricity 24/7 here, and she is about to be our tutor! Hmmm… that means no fun with her and that’s why Marta has undertaken the entertainment part as our mentor!  Rasa on the other hand is our sweet colleague, workaholic sometimes, and although colleagues are equal to each other she could turn to be more equal than us ;D Time will show…!

And now I will have to refer a bit to the new comers in my life!! First of all Marietta! She is going to be my really-equal colleague and I thank her in advance for that! I think we will have a good time together and I appreciate the fact that she is quite pleasant! Marta is our great, hyperactive, mentor who, according to Rasa, has somehow fallen from the sky!2 She showed us really many things around Carnide and asked us about our interests so as to facilitate our life here and make us be part of the city! Actually it’s incredible how much info she has provided us! So many that we will need to stay for a life3 here to follow all these! Last but not the least, Nenad! He is so pleasant guy and we are neighbors not only in Lisbon but in terms of our countries as well! Although he is done with his EVS in Spin he passed by to show us a bit about DIC4 and till we were done my brain was about to explode by all those media we will have to get used to use! :D
The first week in the office was a preparatory one and hence easy going. My expectations about the following 9 months matched pretty much the expectations of the others so I think we will have a nice, productive and joyful time!

As it concerns the city what may I tell? I just LOVE Lisbon. I feel blessed being here and I am so grateful to Spin for accepting me! However I want to mention just some facts, positive and negative, which I have spotted in the city during this first week:

- No windows at home, no windows at the office, taking the metro to go to the job! I think that in the end the luck of light and fresh air will make me move from Spin to the next-door association related to the mentally disordered people!! :p

- I didn’t really like the fact that I had to really insist in using my ID card for bureaucratic processes like for obtaining a tax number. The same happened in the bank but in that case I decided to draw back out of respect to the personality of the employee. The argument that there is no expiry date on my ID isn’t serious because, since within EU all National IDs are equally valid, everybody will have to accept these the way they are… I was lucky enough having a passport with me although you don’t need having passport within European Union. A rhetoric question is “What if I didn’t have passport”???!

- I feel sad by the fact that, as I have been informed, there is no real recycling in the city since even if you manage to find a recycle bin people throw garbage in there, whereas even if the bins are not dirty there is no recycle in the factories. Unfortunately the same story is happening in some cases in Greece as well. I just hope that information isn’t accurate. Anyway, either if it is true or not, I still cannot recycle since there are no recycle bins nearby my place. And I feel really uncomfortable about this…

- You can see that the people live difficult times here. And I don’t mean this just by the fact that the prices seem to me more expensive compared to my last visit in the city. The most important is that I all the time see homeless people in the streets. Probably they are less than those in the streets of Athens but this doesn’t make me feel better. Although Lisbon is my shiny city those people show me a reality that exists not only here but also back home. And although in Greece the people are protesting and struggling for their lives I know that this doesn’t happen so much in Portugal. I know that probably it’s because of the long dictatorship but knowing the reason doesn’t mean anything if you don’t try to change the result. Since I am coming from a period where I was actively trying to deal against the problem in Greece I would love to see something like that happening in Lisbon and in Portugal as well…

- Although Intendente is supposed to be dangerous I was walking in there last night (and I mean really in the night!) and I was feeling extremely safe! Of course I have done the same in the past in Rua Maria Pia although the difference is that at that time I didn’t know that this is an infamous area. Anyway I feel quite safe in Lisbon and that’s the important!!

Among that first week’s most joyful experiences have been:
- Meeting with Sarinha and Rasinha after so long!
- Rasa’s meeting with Marta in Spin’s office and both of them dancing Zumba :D By the way I consider Zumba a hilarious name!!
- Sara’s croissant com queijo e manteiga, the incredible amount of associations existing in the “Bairro de  Horta Nova” and the cordial welcoming I received by the people in the association next door to Spin! How can I forget the warm hug one of those people gave me once he heard that I am “Griego”? And he wasn’t the only one of them behaving like that after listening I am Greek. I can remember 3 stories but I think that the previous is enough!
- The great, funny and joyful gentleman serving us during the opening of our bank accounts in Banco Espirito Santo (On my previous visits in Lisbon I was making fun of that bank but I think that now universe decided to make fun of me by forcing me to cooperate with it :D )
- The walk around Carnide with Marta showing us both the place as well as the facilities provided by the municipality! I was actually shocked by seeing how active that municipality is!
- The croissants we had with Marta and Marietta
- The cherries we were given in Vodafone
-  Discovering that more people than those you were expecting are living in Lisbon!
- The fact that I am gonna watch Football’s European Championship in Portugal! It reminds me the glorious days of 2004!! :D
- The guy in the supermarket asking me to let him pass in front of me because he had just 1 item and him saying to me “Obrigadinha” on my acceptance! It wasn’t just the word I liked but also the sweetness in which this guy said it - The politeness of a public bus driver on the route from Alges to Belem last Wednesday night, not just to me but to every single passenger getting in or out the bus.
- The Portuguese army staff showing me on Thursday how a helicopter and a personnel-carrying vehicle work during an exhibition of Portuguese armed forces in the Parque Eduardo VII for the celebration of the day of Portugal! I hate guns and armies but the surprising was that those guys were speaking fluent English whereas the people working in the Greek army cannot even speak proper Greek :D

As the days are passing by I am trying to get used to the idea that a dream has come true! That I have returned to my beloved Lisbon for living here! And reality has outmatched the dream since I have the opportunity of being surrounded by wonderful people and doing something I like. I know that time flies and that the 9 months will pass very soon but I am willing to cease the days and get as much as possible out of this experience. A viagem já começou…

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