When you live in Coimbra…

A relocation from the Tumblr of the same name.

Photo of academic building with clock tower, the words when you live in coimbra in yellow
Photo of academic building with clock tower, the words when you live in coimbra in yellow

When your Portuguese friends say dinner will be at 8.

When you first move to Coimbra and you’re not used to walking up hills.

When the Multibanco next to the post office AND in the Student Association are both out of money.

When someone trips walking up Monumentais.

When you tell a Portuguese person you don’t like Cristiano Rinaldo, and they’re just like….

“Do you want to go to Low Kost Bar?”

When I start talking to someone in Portuguese with my American accent and they look at me like…

When people ask me why I’m studying here….

When I go to Mr. Pizza and a pizza just came out of the oven.

The Pingo Doce in Celas after 5pm.

After going up the Monumentais stairs.

When you get off at Coimbra-B and then find out the train will go to Coimbra-A.

If you tell a Coimbran that you don’t drink, they’re just like…

The first time “Eu quero tchu” is played in NK

The 5th time…

The 20th time…

When someone starts speaking to me in Portuguese with a Brazilian accent.

When someone criticizes the Coimbra football team.

Eating a pastel de nata from Venus.

What meeting new people feels like when you first move to Portugal.

When someone asks you what there is to do in Coimbra.

Getting home after partying with Coimbrans.

What someone from Coimbra looks like when you suggest walking to Forum instead of taking the bus.

When you find out you will have a class the week of Queima das Fitas.

Were you just at the Queima das Fitas parade?

How I feel in the city when all the students are in their home towns for vacation.

When a tourist says “Gracias.”

When you meet someone who moved to Coimbra to go to Law School.

Walking with Havaianas on the sidewalk when it’s raining.

After you lived in Coimbra for a few months.

Walking home at 4am and you take a short cut through Jardim Sereia.

Waiting for Portugal to get out of the crisis.

When an Erasmus student orders their drink in Portuguese.

When you’ve never ordered in Matemáticas before, and you’re like…

Servicos Academicos

Looking for a room on Bquarto

Coimbrans trying to convince you to drink a Dragão shot.

Walking through Pingo Doce and you all of a sudden smell the dried bacalhau.

Whose name is “Ana”?

When a Portuguese person says something to me in English, but I have no idea what they said, and they’re just like…

When you tell a university student their clothes look like Hogwarts robes, and they’re like….

How Portuguese look when foreigners talk about how cheap everything in Coimbra is.

The fact that the Portuguese can understand Spanish but the Spanish can’t understand Portuguese.

When its midnight and you ask your Portuguese friends if they’re ready to go out yet.

How Portuguese react when someone says they’re looking for a job here.

Thinking how to explain Queima das Fitas to new Erasmus students.

After the Queima das Fitas: “who went to the hospital at least once this week?”

When you tell a Coimbran you’re not going out because you have to do work.

How a Coimbran reacts when it starts raining and they don’t have an umbrella…

When everyone is speaking in Portuguese and all the Erasmus students are just like…

How to spot the American in Noite Latina….

“Traditional” Portuguese music…

When a drunk freshman wearing 5cm high heels, walks down the hill in Se Velha without falling.

When you’re out with your friends, and they start talking about the crisis.

“Why do you live in Coimbra if all you do is complain about it?”

When you left Coimbra four years ago and then your country’s leadership went to shit, and you feel held hostage by an anti-Semitic, racist, xenophobic, islamaphobic, homophobic, transphobic, climate-change-denying, white supremecist who calls himself “president” and you’re broke af, you’ve done exactly nothing with your degree, and have little to no hope of fulfilling your dream of earning a phd fellowship, having an anchor baby, and escaping this clusterfuck of an administration by living happily ever after in Portugal.

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If you’re curious about what I’ve been up to since I left Portugal, check out these other articles I’ve written:

5 Love Poems for When Lord Byron Just Doesn’t Give You the Feels

Poems from a Grieving Daughter

Try These Ways of Adding Whimsy to Your Life in the New Year (With Me)

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Author. Playwright. Poet. Activist.

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