My son Ricardo deciced to go live in Europe and I advised him to go to Portugal, maybe was not the more upscale target, but had the advantage of language (Portuguese) and legalization of immigrants (thank to an agreement betwen Brazil and Portugal). Thus April 4, 2000, twenty one years old, he moved on, leaving me absolutely sad.

          Ricardo wanted to know Italy, so he first go to Rome and about a month later he arrived in Lisbon. As elsewhere, Ricardo has adapted quickly to life in Portugal and was able to legalize himself before the expiration of his tourist visa. Each phone call or letter we received was a party, it's good to talk or at least hear from those we loves...

          The truth is that if I knew that I would suffer so much from their absence I would never have let him leave. How hard is to live without him... My son was created for the world, I always knew he will be happy anywhere on this planet. but we never are really ready for this separation.

          But if he had no blood of adventure in his veins he would not be my son, he told me that so soon he don't come home, Sign that all is well across the Atlantic Ocean. As nostalgia was becoming unbearable and we were about to leave on vacation, I planned a trip to Portugal to spend a month in his adorable company.

          After all combined I bought the ticket and got ready to board. The flight made a stop in São Paulo, where I stayed two hours, and then follow to Lisbon, where I arrived at one o'clock pm. Upon arriving in Lisbon, after nearly fourteen hours of travel, I found a customs officers strike and there are great queues for pass by there.

          After getting about one hour falling asleep on those lines, I enter in the hall where I would take my luggage, but it was gone! I began to look around desperate and half hour later, finally, I found it in a nearby room. My son, obviously, should be concerned with all this delay.

          Once we find ourselves and give us a long hug, to kill the damned nostalgia, so he grabbed his bag and my luggage and said: "come on, dad?" I said "yes" and he started walking into the airport. I warned that the exit of the airport was in other side and he replied that he need to go to a place over there and I need to go with him. Okay, even after exhaustive fifteen hours and a half of a trip!

           We walked, then climb up an escalator and arrived to a departure gate. My son has shown some papers to the recepcionist, she returned them and my son called me: "c'mon dad?" I was not understanding anything else, get into a boarding gate? I asked Ricardo if he was shipping me back to Brazil, he laughed and said that he just wanted to surprise me, he had bought tickets and booked an hotel to spend a week with me in Paris!

          I criticized him, said that he was spending too much money and then he told me that he only wanted to pay a very little part of what I had done for him, I was completely confused, excited and happy. I think that more two hours of trip was everything that I did not want that day, but return to Paris was a dream I've cherished for so many years and Ricardo knew it. The best is that now I would return during the summer with the whole city full of flowers and without having to wear heavy overcoats. During the flight I did not see almost nothing, just hugged my son, do a little chat with him and slept heavily, but once I returned to step into Orly Airport I started to feel well, who would not feel well right there?

          When we take the taxi I remembered that I took a taxi in Orly in 1966, but don't said nothing to my son because I don't want to worry him. We took the taxi and my hunch proved true, the insane driver went to the hotel at ninety miles per hour, I could not believe, it was happening again!

          The worst is that the hotel was cancelling all reservations and cancel ours. I can't remember why, but it was midnight and I was just dead tired. My son caught another taxi and headed us to a nice hotel near the Place de la Bastille, where I finally got to sleep and recover from this so long and so marvelous trip.

Text from the book "The Roofs of Ipameri" by Lupércio Mundim

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