Hmm. Jetlag seems to have caught up with me. Joyous. I fell asleep fine, but woke up when Gabe came to bed around 12:30, and then laid there listening to the hot water heater roar on and off, on and off, for about an hour. I got up and discovered Gabe had turned our bedroom heater up, not off, which helped on that front. But not enough, and I soon decided that an hour of lying there was more than enough, thank you, and  got up again to have some oatmeal and see if writing can’t clear my head a bit.

We walked around the city again yesterday, our usual route up through the miradoure, down to Estrela, back up through Barrio Alto. We are familiar enough with it now that we can just take off down side streets without a worry, not having a map with us or anything. It’s rather freeing.

I am finding it all far more beautiful and intriguing than I remembered, actually. I think it took the first few months of total culture shock and acclimatization to really get used to what this place is, and now I can appreciate it for just that. Having grown up in the third world, Gabe is used to seeing unfinished edges to buildings, or graffiti, or trash on the streets. Me being a first world kind of girl, well… it was all kind of a shock really. But I’m past that now, and just see it for what it is.

And… wait for it… I may even some day love it.

I am certainly developing a grudging affection for it, which is far better than the resentment and mild revulsion I felt at first. No, now I love the people leaning out their windows to talk to their neighbors — and their neighbors’ dogs.

I love the little old ladies who stop their carts in the middle of the aisle at the grocery store and insist on catching up with their friends RIGHT THERE in front of the bread that I need. God forbid I interrupt them — by the sounds of it, they are busy solving world peace or something equally groundshaking!

I love that you can’t walk down a street because half of it’s closed for construction, sending you on a wild detour onto yet another totally different street from the one you were just on, with no two buildings of the same size, color, era, style, or state of repair.

I love that we can walk for hours on Sunday in the middle of the street and dodge only a few cars, as everyone else stays at home.

I love that everyone you meet on the street stares at you for speaking English and then grudgingly acknowledges your greeting of “Boa tarde” with one of their own.

I love drinking tea made in a a huge French press while overlooking the city from the miradoure, listening to Brazilian music, and watching old guys play cards.

It is all good, and it is all here, and it is all ours. Woohoo!

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