The skype is the limit

I was used to go to a friend or a girlfriend at night. Nicely chatting about what happened that day or about the meaning of life. Or go to the latest theatre show. A workshop about this-or-that. A nice evening on a festival.


You get on your bike and five minutes later you’re there. Bit of trouble to lock your bike. Against a tree. Chain around it. Lock. Don’t forget the lock of the bike.

Full house, empty hours

If you live in the city, you just have a social life. Just like that. No trouble. After dinner, when the children are in bed, tired of playing all day, clean and dreaming about the story you just read to them, there are hours and hours waiting. (Partner more or less the same: tired of blabbing all day, sticky of all stress and hanging on the couch watching tv.)

If you live in the city, there’s so much choice to fill those hours.

Living in the countryside

Here, in the country, it’s quite different. I could go to the café in Pedrógão, nearby. Pity that a woman alone never goes to the café here in Portugal. It’s strange if you do. And then there’s the owner, and maybe another lost soul. Not very inspiring.

They know eachother for years. They grew up here in Pedrógão. They went to the same little school. I don’t know what I could talk about. When I’m gone, they have lots to talk about. For years.

“Remember, when that woman from the Termas-da-Azenha came here, alone, for a drink? Just like that? Hahaha, weird! Nice woman, she is, but a bit strange.” (no, they don’t really do that, they’re much too polite. I’m only imagining things)

So I skype

So, I don’t go to the café anymore, but instead I skype with my friends. Often on a sunday afternoon. Such an afternoon when you’d end up on a festival, at a terrace, in a museum or in the café – as cityfolk do.

Now it is the other way around. Portugueses go out on a sunday afternoon, it seems all of them. After an abundant lunch, you go here or there, and that’s how the Figueirenses (*) pass here. I serve a cool Duvel in the right glass or a homemade icetea, brew a bica (**), get my money, and go back to my skype-partner.

Sor … … at … did … y … ay … ?

Obstacles, impediments, hindrances, obstructions, interceptions, disturbances – all that nuisance is part of the game.

People in the café, people in the termas, people at the desk for information. At the other end of the line stumbling-in-children or partners, who have lost their keys. Sometimes the connection is not too good. If the weather is bad, the line is bad. The other side is starting to fall out, or is echoing, so you some trouble with … what …. th….. h …..did …. they …. sa ……

One time, talking to a friend, it was quite bad. We were talking about the future and the possibilities of the Termas, and skype fell out all the time. We made the connection again, and again, and again. Up to twenty times or so! You get used to it, and we are both good at multi-tasking and on top of that mother, so we got back in the flow in a jiffy.

The last fall-out was summarized concisely by my girlfriend: “The skype is the limit!”

A new way of expressing yourself.





(*) Figueirenses: citizens of Figueira da Foz. If you come from Lisboa, you’re Lisboense. Born in Tomar: Tomarense. Et cetera.

(**) Bica: very small cup of espresso. The Italians have a reputation, but the Portuguese coffee is at least as good!