Last of Lisbon

Being consumed by an unfamiliar culture can be intimidating. You're forced from your routine of seemingly simple tasks to engage in mundane daily activities. The mini-panic attack you get when trying to count money in a foreign currency and you have no idea what the cashier is telling you can be thrilling. Simple math then warrants celebration for those tiny personal accomplishments. Playing charades to a small audience at a bodega to try and guess which spice I'm trying to find is creative interaction needed for mere survival. These are a few examples of the different experiences you have when living abroad versus passing through on a weekend trip. You develop relationships with these people when sometimes no words can be exchanged. Eventually you muster up some bravery to try out a few new phrases only to find, although executed perfectly, the response is just a long chain of unrecognizable sounds and you're left there standing, smiling and nodding your head. The goal is to one day seamlessly fit in, but for those first several encounters relish in your endearing awkwardness.

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