So far so good in Porto

It is a beautiful sunny day, I have music playing in my ears and I am walking down the street. It feels like I am flying. Spring air, morning rush, everything and everyone is fresh. Another beautiful day is ahead, even if it’s just my way of seeing the world around me. As usual, I’m in a positive mood, full of energy to immerse myself fully into the day and get as much out of it as possible.

Well, let’s start step by step. You’re probably wondering how I am doing, how I am succeeding so far, what the city and the people are like. It is now the end of the 3rd week of my stay in Porto. I still have more than five months ahead. I’m sure it will go quickly, days are passing extremely fast. I do not even know what I’m doing all the time, but everytime I come “home”, it is very late. I am always busy with the course, with the city, with the people. Everything is so new! Especially my life here. At the end of the day, I am dead. I do not even have time to cook properly, thus my „kitchen art“ is very.. let’s say alternative. Well, I like it and my housemate does too. Or she’s probably just hungry and will eat whatever. 🙂

The first days were key for me. I arrived at the hostel on a late Saturday night, the fourth of February. A few lovely Croatian girls welcomed me. I spent about 10 days there. I worked as a volunteer, which allowed me to live there for free. This was good at the beginning. I started working immediately, the next day. I became friends with the other people very quickly. Besides me and the Croatian girls, there were a few other volunteers – all interesting, young people. We would all dine together, even with the guests, who stayed in the hostel, instead of going out to enjoy the city. We just created such a friendly atmosphere, that everyone wanted to stay longer. Some guests even became volunteers for a little while. We  always had a theme night: pizza night, pancake night, pasta night … etc. The main chef was Belen, a girl from Argentina. She cooks like a queen and unites us all. It was a very nice hostel family. Since it was a hostel, I met a lot of new interesting people every day. Each one of them had a different story, different life circumstances. It’s interesting, though, to learn about the life of other people. It is not only inspiring, it passively affects you as well. You think about it, about your own life, decision making, searching for your own happiness. During those few days in the hostel I really developed relationships, that I know will last. But the time came to move on again. Otherwise I would bocome fat really very soon. 🙂 It was a fast but very intense and nice experience.

  (with the ladies from the hostel, from the left Andriana – Croatia, Belen – Argentina, Marta – Poland )

Since I believe that everything happens for a reason, due to a higher power or something 🙂 , I think that the following is also one of those „accidental“ encounters. In the hostel I met with Madli, a blond girl not from Russia, but from Estonia! She was a guest for a few days. After a short conversation we discovered, that we will be attending the same course. So on  Monday morning we went to the theatre together, which was very nice and kind of funny at the same time. I felt as if I were going to the first grade in elementary school. These new beginnings. 🙂 As my relationship with Madli grew more serious :), we decided to find an apartment together. If I were alone, I probably would have stayed in the hostel a bit longer. But since we had a good opportunity to find something together, we went for it. I did not mind the work in the hostel, on the contrary, I enjoyed it. When someone called and made a reservation in Portuguese, it was very funny. I just started feeling I had no time for anything else. I went to the course, then to work,  nothing in between. Days were passing. Half a year is not a very long time and I really want to focus on dance, self-development, English..and on nice weather! 🙂 I believe I could find some work in my field if I really looked for it, but I must keep my focus now. It seems like I could probably get a teaching job, but I will tell you more about it, when I get it. Above all, I had no space for myself. I had been living out of the suitcase for a few days. I had no room for my stuff and no privacy, which was quite uncomfortable. I came here for six months, not for two weeks. Now me and Madli live in a house with a nice big room, we have a terrace as well, so we can enjoy evenings with friends and port wine, though we have not had time for that yet. Still, I miss the hostel family dinners and I go there to visit from time to time.

 (selfie with Madli)

And the city? It is amazing. Full of inspiration. I am pretty sure it will be even more inspiring, when there will be nice and warm weather. Dinner by the river, night walk in the streets of Porto, surfing in the ocean.. probably not, I do not know yet. 🙂  I cannot wait! After some time, I have already gotten familiar with the city and I already feel more comfortable here. I always choose new streets to walk in, sometimes accidentally, sometimes on purpose. The funny thing is that I can walk almost everywhere. Although, sometimes it takes time, but to rely on busses is not very wise here. Even this morning I was in a good mood, so I decided to walk to the theatre. It took me about 45 minutes. It was like a pre-warm up. I just love walking and enjoying the atmosphere of the city.

I found my favorite coffee shop, where I can enjoy the coffee and the pleasant, cosy environment. This is the goal for me! To have a place in the city, where I feel really homey. I will take everyone, who will come and visit me, for a cake and coffee there. J Even now, at this moment, I am sitting in the coffee place. The truth is, that I have not found too many cosy places here, only this one. All the other places are too impersonal or general. Like canteens. But I will not give up on searching for more! Of course, I am talking about coffee places. Bars are a different thing. But I will write about the nightlife in the next post. Till then I will gather more experiences. 🙂

Finally, I will get to the course now. I’m really very satisfied so far. Basically, it meets my expectations. I really am enjoying it. The first two weeks we had Flying low classes with Christina Planas Leitão, who worked with David Zambrano for several years. I appreciate her as a teacher, artist and person. She brought us together as a group, which was very important at the beginning. Every day we first worked on the technique of Flying low. For those, who are out of dance field, we work on the transformation how to become a butter on the floor. Try it at home as well! It is fun! So we mainly work with the floor on the floor, with the logical and flow quality of the body movements and with the increasing spead. Very nutritious class. The second part consisted of dance composition, we paid attention to various tasks as a group or individually through an improvisation. Gradually we are getting to know each other better and better every day. I can say, that we have met interesting and a good bunch of people. I believe, that this process will last on. In addition to representatives from Portugal, we also have members from Italy, Estonia, Belgium, Uruguay,  and from the USA. It seems we are  diverse personalities with diferent interests and artistic background. What connect us is a motivation to improve, move on and dance!

The passed 3th week was a research week, when besides the classes we also worked on our own work. In the morning we had the contemporary class with Liliana Garcia. It’s very physical and dynamic class, which I like a lot. Something different from the first two weeks, which is good. Then dramaturgy with Nuno M. Cardoso, artistic director of the National Theatre in Porto. Very charismatic man who has broad experience in a field. Afternoons we had been rehearsing our pieces. So some days it is indeed very intense work and it will be even more. I am really looking forward to it!

 

I did not describe all details. I tryed to pick the most important things and my impression about being here so far. Of course there is many other stories behind. This is more general article, but I write diary every day, so probably it will become a book one day. Travels and adventures while dancing. 🙂 No, just joke…my grandchildren will might be read it sometimes. Btw in English, if it reads someone in English, it is super difficult to write for me. I try to translate what I write in Slovak, my mother language, but it is completly different. The use of words, phrases, everything. I try to be funny sometimes, but actually I am probably not..etc. I hope you all understand the meaning. Next time might be I will try to write it in Englisch first and then I will translate it to Slovak language.

Oh yes, of course I miss everyone, but espesially these days I miss Slovak mountains. Hiking, family, friends and horalka!! (the typical favorite slovak snack) I am looking forward to it soon!

Move-you by me!

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