Thursday, February 18, 2016

Hometown Blues

An impromptu homeward bound and back sounds like a good idea so I decided to pay a quick visit to my hometown instead of spending another meaningless weekend doing nothing (i.e. devouring pepperoni pizza slices in bed, relentlessly netflixing). I surprised my parents by showing up out of the blue late in the evening on a very quiet Friday.

I didn't exactly miss that small lukewarm town; I missed my parents, my old friends (and no, it's not because they pick me up at the airport already complaining about how hungry they are) and the bedroom my mother once painted red to please me when I was a faddy teen. The town itself, however, has become terribly tedious, I can't believe I've managed to live in such a stagnant place for so long. It's like Chernobyl or Silent Hill but in the sunny Algarve. I felt like Alice in Wasteland. Empty streets, closed cafés, an uneventful night out, cheap wine, maudlin memories soaking in fig liquor and waiting to drown. The absence of footprints along the stretch of sand.

Going back to Lagos brought me a strange sense of nostalgia tied to a helpless feeling of emptiness. It's like coming back to a home that is no longer your home but in a way, it still feels like it is, do you know what I mean? It's bittersweet. Time and space stood still, nothing has changed. I feel torn apart between two countries, not belonging exclusively to one or the other. Am I supposed to feel free or lost?

Anyway, I had a good time: I ate like a greedy pig, rode my much-missed bicycle, drank proper medronho, shared a chicken croissant (yes, it's a thing) with my partner-in-feast Cláudia, had insightful conversations with Daniela when she drove me back to the airport to the sound of Roxy Music and promised myself to fly to Portugal more often, for the sake of family, friends and food.


  1. I long for the moment I can move into such a sleepy, dormant place, but then I think of my son and wonder if he will not end up feeling as you do about such a place.

  2. Ah beautiful pictures! I've never truly moved away yet so I can't say I know exaclty how it feels but I know what you mean.

  3. I think that feeling is quite common when coming back home, like you've changed but everything else has remained stagnant. I feel a bit guilty about the fact that I don't know Portugal very well despite the fact that I live in Spain. Ooops.

  4. Belas fotos!
    Lagos é uma cidade bonita, mas parada e com pouco para oferecer
    sobretudo aos jovens. tens a vantagem de poder ir e regressares
    quando quiseres. O jantar com a Cláudia e a Daniela foram super
    divertidos! :-)
    Ah,e terei de pintar o quarto de outra cor! :-)

  5. I totally know what you mean. I always look forward to going home but when I'm there, I can't wait to leave again. I don't understand people from school who are still there and have never been anywhere else. Gorgeous photographers as always. x

  6. I feel exactely the same about my hometown - I love to
    visit it because then I can see my old friends and my parents again,
    but at the same time, I don't like it as much as I used to anymore because
    there is actually nothing you could do, it is just boring and I get a bit frustrated
    after I have spent some time there.

    But anyway, these pictures are still amazing and they make me want to
    fly to a warm and sunny place and leave my rainy city behind for some time. ;)

  7. Such beautiful photographs and writing, as always - like flashes of scenes from a book. It's a little melancholy feeling like you are torn between two places at once, and don't completely belong it either, but I think it can be wonderfully freeing once you get your head around how you feel about each place.


  8. Beautiful photographs. I lived in quite a sleepy little village in Cornwall for a long time, before that I didn't even live in a village, it was just 2 houses and 2 flats on the side of a one track road miles away from a shop, church or other human life. So I definitely know about those sort of places. When I return home I feel somewhat the same, though I feel quite at peace to begin with. After a week or so I start to feel trapped by it but that's why I only treat it as a holiday. It's always nice to go home, like you say for the sake o ffriends and family, and food too! Whilst I'm not countries apart, only counties, I definitely think visits need to be done as often as possible. The bright side of revisiting a dormant village somewhat trapped in time is only being a visitor.

    Issy | MissIsGoode xox

  9. Absolutely awful. My friends had a great laugh though. Brutal writing.

  10. Ha tanto tempo que não passava por aqui e que saudades que ja tinha dos teus posts :)
    Identifico-me imenso com o que escreveste ... quanto mais tempo passa e quanto mais conheço menos me sinto em casa esteja onde estiver. Tenho sempre vontade de estar noutro sitio, e quando estou noutro sitio quero voltar onde estava. É complexo!
    Gostei muito das fotografias :*

  11. Nunca experienciei nada como tu descreves mas deve ser algo frustrante e sinto que é cada vez mais frequente entre o pessoal da nossa geração.
    Fotos do caragooo Nancy!