Well, we did it. We moved to Portugal, picked up and packed up our whole lives, and moved here. We have an address and a bank account, cell phones, furniture, the whole deal. I still can’t believe it.

I’m currently sitting at the desk in our new office, with the window next to me wide open, listening to the birds and the city wake up. I awoke to find the sun just appearing behind the buildings on the hill opposite ours, and in the hour that I’ve been sitting here, I have not yet been able to get enough of the view outside. It’s not that it’s spectacular by any means, certainly not compared to some of the riverfront places we saw last week. But it is intriguing, and varied, and always changing. And for the moment, it is all mine. (I would show you a picture of the view, but we’re limited on bandwidth til the internet is installed Tuesday, so you’ll just have to wait.)

Yesterday was both easier and more stressful than anticipated — easier because we actually fit all our suitcases (ditto on the photo) into one large taxi, and then didn’t have to haul them up many flights of stairs, which every other flat we looked at would have entailed. So that was a relief. Our banking situation got straightened out just in time, so that went much smoother than anticipated as well.

But it was also more difficult, since the flat still has a lot of kinks to be worked out — not least of which is the fact that we won’t have a shower stall until at least Monday. Or rather, we have the stall, but it’s in a box on the floor of the office. Not so great at stopping splashes.

And, as good as the place looks, since it hasn’t been lived in yet, there are also a few inconveniences in the design — for example, the shelf over the sink in the bathroom, while decorative, prevents you from being able to wash your face or even brush your teeth in the basin. The choice is either to hit your head on the shelf or get water all over the floor, and usually a combination of both. Alas.

Like I said, still some kinks to be worked out, most of which will involve workmen traipsing in and out for the next week or so. I came home in the afternoon after toting three full bags of groceries up the hill, only to find two large men in our rather small kitchen, fixing the gas connection on the stove. I chose to wait a while before putting the groceries away. But they got the gas fixed, and later on the toilet seat, so eventually it will all be worth it. And it’s far better than where we were, because at least it’s ours.

For the most part, though, the place is wonderful, and all we’d hoped for. It is clean, quiet, and well-laid out, with a lovely feeling of calm despite being in the center of the city. The location really is the best part, as we discovered last night. To celebrate our successful move, we went to see some fado — traditional Portuguese music — at an old theater complex nearby. I misread the time, however, so the place was still abandoned when we showed up at 7:30, since the show wasn’t until two hours later. (Should’ve known they’d never start anything at that horrendously early an hour!)

Instead of having to sit around, however, we simply went home for a bit, then came back out again for a late dinner and the show. There we sat in a small, intently focused crowd, all on on big benches or (if you were lucky) oversized beanbag chairs, listening to fabulous live music in the light of the full moon. Once we’d had enough, we left early and were home within ten minutes. So it’s already confirmed: the location is fantastic, and will be a great base from which to explore the city.

Which we will begin doing today. As soon as I enjoy some more solitude. Ahh. Bliss.

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