• James Eric Fristad

Writing back

Or not writing back, and consequences thereof. We swapped prospective rentals yet again. Truly there was nothing physically wrong with the former place, the one overlooking that tree-fringed neighborhood square. You had to conquer a zigzagging lacework of streets to get there, but nothing that a clever cabbie could not figure out. It was 20 or so Euros less than this one, and a bit larger. Two bedrooms. So, what's the deal? I am attaching a screenshot of today's revised Lisbon page, which explains part of it.

But wait (Ginsu knife commercial), there's more.

The hostess for those four days in the previous Lisbon apartment setup, for whatever reason never replied to a single email from me. Not that she really had to acknowledge my greetings or questions. But the opportunity for relational rapport was present and she evidently chose not to respond. I even wrote the last missive in Portuguese (good old Google Translate) and nicht, nada, rien. And for some reason I find that matters to me.

In the French coastal town of Antibes two years ago, our rental was a pleasant if somewhat antiseptic place on the fourth floor of a centuries-old building. The owner had in her likely-stylish handbag a whole catalog of excuses for avoiding face to face contact. To me that shouts, "Leave your key when you walk away the last morning; your Euros matter — you do not, particularly."

The scent of that absence, kind of put scratches in the joy of that whole week. I find that such a mode of sterile professionalism bothers me still. Interesting the things we discover in our trove of impressions, in our latter years.

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