By Alexandra Cook aka Linandara, linandara.com/blog
I am too self absorbed to surprise myself often. I usually see what’s coming. Perhaps I need to go out of my box a bit to have more surprises in life.
A few years ago with my family we went on a trip to Portugal. I was preparing by listening to Portuguese lessons, songs and radio for a month (I used to study Spanish in the university but by now mostly forgot what I learned).
We arrived at night. I love finding myself in a new place at dawn, love to watch it revealing itself piece by piece. I woke up first and went to see the local market by the harbour. There was a beautiful sunrise, boats, palm trees, seagulls and juicy colourful local vegetables on the stalls right by the sea. Market traders were talking to each other and to a few early customers. And it was the biggest magic because I could understand almost anything they were saying. First time in a strange land… It was so warm and sunny comparing to Wales, yet some ladies complained that they were cold today…
I was still no good at speaking but that didn’t matter so much. Understanding created some special connection. I had and art and craft market stall for a while and have been participating in an artist-run market-based gallery in Britain. I love markets.
I’ve bought a full rucksack of fruit, vegetables and olive oil and really enjoyed cooking for my husband and kids this fresh produce during our stay. I’ve also got a hand painted pot of honey from a girl helping her mum at the stall, the girl suddenly reminded me my daughter, who was still sleeping in our apartment. The honey was eaten fast, the pot since broke but was fixed and stands proudly on the kitchen shelf. This whole experience will always stay with me anyway.
So, what can I say (to me and to you)? Learn something new, make a connection and surprise yourself, again and again.