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IT SOMETIMES FEELS like things come into your life for a reason, at a time when you need them the most: books or people; cities too. Yes we look for them, are drawn to them, and try to attach meaning, but there are moments that can feel like markers, like punctuation - where it feels like everything comes together in a strange mix of old and new. Coming to Lisbon, flying over the bridge named after the date I arrived, felt like one of them. I thought we were going to land on the city itself - skimming the terracotta roof tiles with the statue of Christo Rei guiding the way. But we reached the airport and after taking the cheap and efficient metro into the city, I negotiated some of the hills and cobbles to find the Airbnb flat (in the historic Alfama area) before exploring in the afternoon heat. Revived by a quick lunch and a tiny chocolate cup filled with cherry liqueur, I made my way to the sprawling Santa Clara flea market, admiring old tiles and postcards among the tat. Admiring …

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