The check-in is closed, yet her willingness is open: “you can pass, but if you don’t get in time at the boarding gate, you will lose your …“. I’m already at the hand luggage control. I take my stuff out of the bag, remove my belt, pass and start to run with the open bag in one hand, with my jacket in the other, while with another hand I hold the belt and with the other one, the pants without the belt. I run towards the gate. They call my name. My pants are falling, but the gate is open. I put my belt back, get in the plane, I put their belt.
I’m in Lisbon, unable to find the hostel where I booked a single room. My phone is dead, yet my hopes are high. I ask. The locals are absolutely sure the hostel is precisely where they’re sending me: “Go straight, turn left.” It’s not there. “Go left, turn right”. Not. Speaking of people, there are fewer and fewer on the streets. So I ask two policemen (!): “straight, right, straight, right, straight.” So sure they are, that the hostel is to move there by its own just because they said so. But it’s not. Actually, it’s going to close soon. I keep and keep asking. Nothing. My legs are carrying me for more than they’ve been designed to. With every step, they tread on my fallen hopes. I may not be comfortable, but I can see the city in its whole splendor from where I am. These souvenir postcards in front of me, testify for its beauty. The ambulant salesman testifies for their good price. “Choose one.” There are so many. “Not everything is for everybody. I don’t sell pictures, I sell memories. Choose yours.” I feel I’m belonging in all of them. Yet, I see this one. It’s looking at me. I feel I’m belonging to the picture more than to the place captured in it, in which I currently find myself buying a postcard. “You cannot buy memories with a credit card. But there’s an ATM after the corner, at ‘U. Hostel’. I’ll wait.” I feel I’m belonging there too. I truly am, since I booked a single room. Yes, that’s the name of the hostel. And yes, that’s where it is.
The check-in is open, but my willingness is closed. I redesign my legs, leave the bag at the reception, withdraw some cash and go out to make some memories for myself. There’s no salesman waiting for me. Now I feel I’m belonging more to the city, anyway. As I walk along relaxed, a desperately rushed somebody stops and asks me if I know where ‘U. Hostel’ is. “You cannot buy memories with a credit card”, I say to him and walk along smiling. I don’t stop until the morning, when Eurobest begins.
Material written by Lucian Talpes