Beware of: Beware of Pickpockets!

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(Black and white and red and green Lisbon…)

It’s 4am. I’m awake. I think. This week has been like a dream, maybe I’m not awake…

Here’s what happened at the workshop (and here’s a link to the website: Shelley and Alejandro said some stuff and now I believe I can be a fairy princess… No, no, not can be, I believe I am a fairy princess.

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(Go left, that is unless…)

Here’s what happened… there was an exercise on the first day called the Interview. You had to pair up in your free time with another participant and interview them with the purpose of introducing them to the group the next day. So I’ve been to enough workshops to recognise this exercise but, there’s a twist. When you sat in front of the group the next day you were your partner. (Note: I forgot to ask my partner for permission before she left yesterday so I won’t be using her real name or her details but I hope you’ll still get the gist.)

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(Tiles in Colégio Militar, my metro station by the big scary bridge)

My partner’s name is Virginia (note: see previous note, her name is not Virginia…) So when I sat in front of the class I said My name is Virginia and I come from Wales, the one in America (note: no she doesn’t…) and then proceeded to tell a story about Virginia. As if I was Virginia. Right, I’m going to assume you’ve got the idea. The being-your-partner twist might seem like a small twist, it was not a small twist for me.

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(Mats in Sintra)

Anyways, going back to the day of the interview. Day 1 of the Workshop, the day I got lost and un-lost going to the workshop and also got lost and un-lost returning from the workshop: In order to interview Virginia (who was determined to get to know as much of Lisbon as she could in 5 days) we travelled to the other side of the city for lunch and a flea market, as you do. So I was perfectly placed for the getting lost part of this story. I got lost. (As an aside I almost met, but didn’t because she didn’t know my name yet and felt shy of calling out, Hey you from my workshop, Karen (from Canada, who never reads blogs) had also travelled with her friend all the way across Lisbon, coincidentally, to precisely, exactly the same spot I got lost in… are you getting this? I hope you’re hearing Twilight Zone music.)

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(Fountain in Sintra)

Moving along and returning to the point. Picture this, I am losing myself in the tiny crowded streets of Lisbon. I have a backpack the size of a small child on my back carrying everything I might need (except plasters, but that’s a different story.) Google still doesn’t know where I am and the only thought in my mind is, beware of pickpockets. (I need to jump aside here again, to say: Beware of thinking: “beware of pickpockets”!) So that when Karen saw me, she said I was moving in a determined fashion (she used other words but this is a mixed audience, no just joking, I can’t remember her exact phrase.) What she didn’t know was that I had lost my mind (… to thinking). The moment I found my bus to the campsite, I remembered Virginia. Oh my god, Virginia’s story is amazing. Followed by, I wonder if she knows it’s amazing? All the way home on the bus and later in the camper van I was preparing for my starring role as Virginia. Not in the, oh holy god how will I get up in front of all these people I’ve just met? No, instead, I could hardly wait to get up in front of everyone! I imagined how I would do it. I would persuade Virginia that we should volunteer to go first! Neither Virginia nor Mairead seem like the volunteer-to-go-first types. But they did volunteer to go first and they told their stories first.

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(Cheese wrapper from keep-in-touch dinner in Sintra)

I want to tell you Virginia’s story, but as I mentioned earlier I forgot to ask and it’s a bit personal, so I will have to change it a little… but I’m tired now, so I’ll tell you tomorrow… or the next day.

Night, night, Mairead.

About Mairead

I live in Ireland☘️ and sometimes travel with my husband in our motorhome. In April 2022 we will be visiting France, Spain and Portugal. I will be writing here.
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1 Response to Beware of: Beware of Pickpockets!

  1. So, so glad you found the workshop and braved the journey again the next day so we could find each other!

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