The so-called "25th of April Bridge"
Photo credit: Vitor Oliveira
We are staying at the same hotel as we did the last time we visited Lisbon. This has its own subtle pleasures. First there is the "Do you remember" game in which you not only try to provide the most detailed recollection from the back seat of the cab on the way there, but attempt to spur your partner on to remember things which you cannot. If they can remember the right detail, it will pull the memory out and sometimes begin a little cascade of things in you that you thought you had forgotten. For some reason, this feels very good—the mental equivalent of a particularly satisfying stretch, the kind where you make sounds.
Christ the King statue. Photo credit:
As part of this game, we sit to eat breakfast in the dark looking out over a view that right now only lives in memory before it becomes slowly available to our eyes. From here, we know we will be able to see the waterfront and architectural doubles of Rio de Janeiro and the San Fransisco Oakland Bay Bridge as soon as the sun comes up. The game intensifies as the light begins to come up, and we race to see who can remember more before reality trumps memory. What was the name of the firm that built both bridges? (The American Bridge Company) Where, exactly, is the large statue situated? (Both of us point out into the dark) What did the young Portuguese woman look like who told us all about these things last time? And so on. It's a good way to start a day.