The first thing I noticed when we arrived at Lisbon aeroport, was that my mother had a car (laughs). On the way home I was amused looking at the streets and buildings, trough the car window. The houses were colorful and gigantic, the ground was made of tar, and not mud and there were more cars in the streets than people. I saw no forest but a tree here and there, and felt the air was heavier. I felt great difficulty breathing, it was almost impossible …
Our new home was at “Fetais de baixo”, specifically in the “Bairro de S.Benedito” in Lisbon. My mum lived in a two bedroom apartment on the third floor of the building. I had never climbed so many stairs in my life! I could not stop thinking about how I would miss our backyard. It was a normal size house and judging by the funiture, was very modern in my opinion.
My mother, worked as nanny for awhile. She looked after a boy named Diogo in his own house. They were very affectionate people and really liked my mother, because she was responsible and hardworking. I remember that sometimes she used to take us with her, so that we could spent the day playing with Diogo.
It was not long before we made new friends. We ventured with Dionisio and Hugo who were our companions from the street. We played the ball, sneak and caught, etc. Hugo was my lover and my first kiss was with him, don’t ask me how was it, because I do not remember (laughs). Children’s things!
Our front neighbours, Selly and Mary were about our age and we played with them almost every day. They could not go out and play on the street because their mother would not let them, but we were invited to play at their house. We built houses, dolls, cars, an entire city made of plasticine.
We were always surprised and curios to know what toy our mother had brought us this time. We never had barbies and cars to play with before, so the smallest thing she could bring us, was like something out of this world.
I treasured my toys a lot, unlike my brother who destroyed them all. One day he took my favourite doll, set fire on her hair and tossed it on to a tree in front of our house. Whenever I went to the porch I saw her hanging, alone and all destroyed, poor thing!
That year both my brother and I attended nursery school. I was supposed to go into junior high school instead, because I was already six. I explain! When they were doing my documents and sincerely, I do not even know if the mistake occurred in S. Tomé e Principe or in Portugal. But anyway they mistakenly changed my date of birth. Instead of June 25, 1993, they filed July 29, 1994, so they changed my date, month and even the year, perfect!
My mother did not care much at the time, and let things go as if nothing had happened. Thank God I still have my birth certificate where it proves my true date of birth. I was always scared at school when teacher’s asked my age. I would say 6, than 5, than 6 again, and my colleges would laugh on me saying that I don’t even know how old I am.
As I grew older it seemed like a problem I would have to deal with for a lifetime, but over time I’ve learned how to deal with the situation. Professionally I always have to give the date on my I.D, of course! But for family and friends it will always be the real date and age.
Well, I can always say that I’m a year younger, so I guess that’s not bad at all!