“Times change. Wills change.”–Luiz Vaz de Camões.
This may be the shortest post I write in this blog, but it is definitely something worth reflecting on.
The above picture is what Lisbon, Portugal looked like last night (24 Oct) at around midnight. No one is there. The street pictured is in the heart of Lisbon. It’s not in some obscure suburb.
I knew something was weird when we were picked up at the aeroporto and driven to our hostel. Our driver sped uninterrupted through tunnels, major highways and city streets with virtually no traffic impeding him. All along I was looking out the passenger side window looking at the beautiful streets that no one seemed to be enjoying. I was completely dumbfounded by this. Here is one of the major European capital cities and it’s virtually uninhabited. Now granted yes I know it was late at night on a Tuesday, but you can’t tell me that if you went to Amsterdam or Warsaw and took a picture of the street at the same time that it would look like this.
Honestly, I don’t know why Lisbon was so desolate last night. My only guess would be to surmise that what I witnessed last night were the consequences of severe economic crises and draconian austerity. There are just guesses but it’s clear to me that something is wrong when the Portuguese are not out enjoying life, even if just a few.
I found it very haunting.