Sorry for the missed post yesterday; I’m in bureaucratic hell trying to get official documents passed between the US and Portugal. Having suffered through the identical hell several times so far during my residency, I can state with some authority that the US Embassy in Lisboa is useless for just about anything involving citizen services. I’m sure it does a bang-up job in local diplomacy, state dinners and sucking down US federal funds, but when it comes to actually serving American citizens (who pay for its operation and the salaries of its employees), it can’t be bothered. We’re on our own. Apparently this is known by others besides us poor US citizens, because a Portuguese bureaucrat recently told us, “Oh yes, the US Embassy can be a problem.” No kidding.
Anyway, as a break from my efforts to find a back route around the latest bureaucratic roadblocks, here is another scene from the historical village of Linhares:
A widow in traditional black mourning clothing was chatting with friends as she stood at the entrance to a narrow pedestrian lane. When she turned to make her way down the lane, she presented a wonderful image:
Portugal is an interesting dichotomy, being intensely modern in some aspects (and locations), while in others it is seemingly lost in time. Linhares seems lost in time, but in a good way. It’s a beautifully restored village, with no overhead power lines and a palpable sense of history. Small villages all over Portugal are losing their young people to the lifestyle and employment of the cities, but the handful that receive historical designation get a new lease on life. Linhares has that new lease, and glows with its potential.
(Click on the images to embiggen.)