By admin on February 23, 2012 in Blogs

A gradual transformation has occurred over my trip to the central group. I no longer feel like a tourist in Ponta Delgada. This weekend, a planeload of Swedes have dropped into the city. I watch them, a large family asking my neighborhood cafe owner for a toy store to calm a wailing kid. A couple walking up and down the streets towards the Carlos Macado museum, consulting their maps, unaware that it is closed on Sunday. Later that afternoon at the free swimming pool in the harbor a young man tells his girlfriend in accented English that she cannot change in the municipal bathrooms without paying a fee. I listen to all of them, without getting involved. I could tell the family to head to the commercial centre near the Santa Ana palace, stop the couple in their useless trudging through the streets, or correct the misinformed young man. But I remain silent. I am not longer a tourist, but neither am I an inhabitant of the city yet. I occupy some nebulous in-between space. I have my daily routine: the library in the morning, a walk about the city to the harbor for my afternoon swim, an evening in a cafe. The people on my route know me, the librarians expect me to be among the first to arrive, the old timers in the harbor keep an eye on my bag when I am in the water. But they are curious about this man who speaks so little Portuguese and who smiles through their attempts at conversation but lingers unlike any tourist. I know how they feel for I feel the same way.

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