Saturday, May 24, 2008

Back to Portugal

142 days after I left, yesterday I returned to Portugal. I had never been away for such a long time before, and I hope not to brake this record ever again. The welcome I got wasn't exactly the warmest possible: it was raining heavily in Porto and there was no one waiting for me at the airport... when I got to the hotel, in Vila Nova de Gaia, the participants of the event I am attending had left for dinner and, having to chose between watching the Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals on television and going to the movies, I decided for the latter. I went to one of these typical Portuguese shopping centres, had dinner and bought myself an entrance for the Indiana Jones' premiere. While I was strolling around the shopping centre awaiting for the session to start, I had my first evening's positive surprise: I bumped into my parents! Just like that, without previous notice, there they were, enjoying the holiday's rainy evening, under the protection of the shopping centre's ceilings. What a small and predictable country Portugal is... The second surprise was the movie itself: either I lost my cinematography analytical capacity, or the movie is really good! Super-entertaining, funny, fast and, all in all, very well done: absolutely able to live up to the standards set by the Indiana Jones' series when it comes to adventure movies! Full marks! Today, the show has been of a different sort: attending the YEPP Chairmen's Conference can be a challenge for someone who is more used to be on the other side of the political barricades... but, as it had already been the case in Stockholm last year, I enjoy it. Apart from the professional side of it (all Member Organisations deserve the same attention from the Secretary General, right?), the truth is that YEPP is made up of a lot of people that I have come to respect and trully appreciate. Furthermore, today's seminar was on a very interesting topic (The Future of Europe) and counted with very good speakers, allowing for pleasant and useful debates. This morning I skipped the visit to the Port Wine cellars and, in the afternoon, the Douro River boat trip; but now I am looking forward for the dinner and an enjoyable evening with my European centre-right friends.


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