Four thirty in the morning, the alarm clock goes off. In the dark, it takes me a few seconds to remember where I am. I’m at home, in my own bed, but I need to be somewhere else. Over the last two months I had rarely spent more than two nights at the same place. Lisbon to London. To Lisbon. To London. To Lisbon. To Munich. To Lisbon. To Copenhagen. To Munich. To Lisbon. To Copenhagen. To Munich. To Lisbon. To Oslo. To Lisbon. To Copenhagen. To Munich. To Lisbon. To Munich. To Lisbon.
It takes me a few more seconds to I realize where I’m going next. Ah, back to Copenhagen. I briefly contemplate hitting the snooze button, but that would be cutting it too close. The recent flurry of early morning flights has optimised my routine to the point where sleep is maximised but contemplation minimised. A quick shower, a few mouthfuls of Jules’ homemade granola, and I’m out the door, through airport security and into the plane.
The meetings in Copenhagen take longer than expected. By the time I’m done with the final one, that last plane back to Lisbon has already left. My first reaction is frustration. Friday evening, away from home and stuck in a suit. My next reaction is embarrassment. Poor little Verne and his first world problems. Then comes opportunity. I am in the dead-center of town, the sun is out, and I have my camera with me.
I get out of the hotel and walk along the waterfront. The entire city seems to be out, enjoying the glorious weather. A kid, wearing a baseball hat and a Snoop Dogg t-shirt, takes quick shy glances at the two nearby girls enjoying a bottle of white wine. An Italian couple, bikes set to the side, look intently at a map, perhaps deciding what to see next. It is hard to find a piece of waterfront without a few friends chatting and enjoying the last hour of sunlight.
Jules and I walked these very same streets two years ago. I wish she was here now.