Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Back to Portugal

Fri 22 Mar 2024 | 01:57 PM
Dr. Hadi Eltonsi - Former Ambassador, Free Lance Medical Doctor

I returned to Cascais , a suburb of the Portuguese capital and its resort on the Atlantic coast, 32 years after the end of my first job as a diplomat abroad. They say the first post is like the first unforgettable love. And here I am back. But the law of the universe is changing.

 This quiet suburb is several times its size, and I can only find my way around with a navigator. Prices that used to be cheap are now global; The money that I used to spend in the most luxurious places without counting is now subject to planning in a country whose citizen's living standard has increased seven times in that period.

 I was a young man who laughed at the question of health. Illness or death was not taken into account for a strong athlete who ran marathons and excelled in squash and rowing, made running a daily habit, and overeat, had long nights, and harsh diets as a way of life, but now I am reaping the fruits of neglect. With back pain and those small diseases that keep coming back, they stop me from exercising so I resort painkillers after walking for two hours or more. Health is a losing race against time, and the life cycle will end one day, even if I do not suffer from a terminal illness.

 I go to places of beautiful memories, and I find that they are just memories, I get high for hours, but I return to the reality of changing the situation in age, health and company; where is that young man thirsty for life and is full of activity, who does not return to his home except to sleep at night or for a few hours! Where are his many friends, maybe life gave and took from them what is irreplaceable, as happened with him, maybe he became marginal in their lives even if he met them, maybe they changed as he changed after life struggled them.

 I was a young man who enjoyed the joys of life and the durability of health, and at my old age became more serene, wiser, deeper in thought, purer in spirit, and better in communication. So, I replaced material happiness with spiritual and psychological maturity after turning the hardship of sports into the hardship of taming oneself, and the fatigue of striving for life into comfort and acceptance Its wisdom and reality.

 I go back to Portugal, the people there are still authentic; Politeness, kindness, respect, understanding, friendliness, mercy and modesty seem to be there despite the era of globalization, fanaticism and savagery in other countries. The calm, the beautiful atmosphere, the warm beaches and the original harmonious architecture still as usual. They are still a people that has lost a vast empire in Brazil and Africa, but preserved the richness of its culture, heritage and way of life. Portugal is still a point of convergence of civilizations, cultures and peoples that struggled with each other, but enjoyed living peacefully together in Portugal, and each of them found something of himself to live in and something of others that he enjoys or accepts.

 Health goes, but wisdom comes. Age progresses, but the soul grows. The youth became for others, but we are grateful for the lives we have enriched and we wish it or better for them.

For more articles by Dr. Hadi Eltonsi press here