On my way to Tribodar eco village, sitting at Sete Rios station in Lisbon waiting for my bus to Nisa, I feel excited that I will soon reconnect with nature and learn about sustainable living and at the same time struggling to detach from technology. Searching for wifi, plugs, adaptors, checking emails, updating statuses, and wondering when did I become such a tech freak. Or I’m I rather addicted to be connected with the rest of the world? Correction, with the rest of the world that knows me? Is that an addiction to the feeling that I exist? Why can’t I just disconnect and sit in silence?
The station is loud, dirty and dark and people look grumpy. I wonder if it could have been any different. All you can find here to eat is ham and cheese sandwiches or smoked ham and cheese sandwiches. Judging from the Lisboa airport food scene, the bus station sandwiches collection and the total population including tourists, I estimate that at any moment there must be approximately three hundred thousand ham cheese sandwiches in Lisbon, ready to be munched. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a ham and cheese toastie every now and then. But every time you eat?
That’s just way too much ham and cheese.
That brings into my mind the time I roughly estimated the number of items for sale at any moment in Oxford street’s Primark. 8 million items, most of them useless, badly designed and made, what a spectacular celebration of waste of resources, human time and effort.
In any case, one thing is for sure, I won’t eat meat for a month.
I better go grab a ham and cheese sandwich for the way before the bus arrives.
I arrived last night in Nisa at 8 pm and was picked up by Gennaro, an architect that lives permanently in Tribodar. It was cold and rainy. We drove for about 20 min in the dark until we reached this lovely place. I was greeted by Michael and a few volunteer peeps in the kitchen that had just finished dinner. The vibe was chilled, wearable signs were hanging from the walls saying ‘I need a massage’ ‘free hug’, loads of plants and vegetables around, I felt the energy of the place, relaxed, simple, honest and playful.
Kitchen and table area are basically semi outdoors, with two sides and roof covered, and the other two sides protected by green net. Moabi made me a simple and delicious salad, brown rice and a boiled egg.
Looking around, some things caught my attention. The main cleaning product used vinegar. Most surfaces are cleaned with vinegar and the plates are washed with natural soap. Yes, living without chemical cleaning products is possible, ecological and very good for you and the planet. If a place with 15 people can run with no chemicals for any activity including cooking, washing, laundry, toilets, showers then you and I can do it too, there’s no excuse.
I was offered a cute two bed caravan to sleep in. What a sudden thrilling change, from the artificial comforts of a studio flat in London to the real challenge of a life somewhere in the wild middle of Portugal.
I disconnected and sat in silence.