Aqua Vit

Paul Cockeram Notes from Abroad 0 Comments

Too often, civilization means not thinking about the things that preoccupied earlier humans for centuries. Maybe the greatest example is water, which enters our house at the twist of a faucet, so easily that nobody seems to trust it anymore. Instead they pay for the good stuff, bottled and purified, carbonated and mineralized, shipped from the mountaintop. Obsessing upon the …

Alfama

Paul Cockeram Notes from Abroad 1 Comment

It is one of those Facebook memes: travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer. All the studies on happiness suggest that you get more of it by purchasing experiences instead of things. There’s something about escaping our everyday context and remaking ourselves in a new place that makes it easy to believe anything is possible. …

Notes from Lisbon: Where Improving Relationships gets a Piece of the Public Works Budget

Jen Hirt Notes from Abroad 0 Comments

The year before I was born, 1974, Portugal saw the Carnation Revolution. The dictatorship masterminded by Antonio Salazar (dead since 1970) finally fell, and democracy rolled in after a no-shots-fired revolution that saw young people slipping carnations into the muzzles of opposing guns. Forty-one years later, I’m taking advantage of that democracy as I fantasize that I’m a “temporary local” …

Notes from Lisbon: Earthquake Enlightenment

Paul Cockeram Notes from Abroad 0 Comments

On November first in the year of our Lord 1755, All Saints Day fell upon Sunday, and devout Catholics across Lisbon walked to church for worship services that would end in tragedy. The earth began to shake at 9:40 a.m., just three powerful jolts, so that by ten o’clock stone walls once believed to be eternal and grand had toppled …