LONDRES, Grâ-Bretanha Não há amor como o primeiro?

LONDRES, G.B.

Não há amor como o primeiro?

Há pessoas que vivem felizes sem nunca ter saído de suas casas; outras que sonham viajar mas não conseguem pôr em prática essa fantasia. Depois, há o grupo a que pertenço: não dá valor a fios de ouro, anéis de diamantes ou casacos de peles – todo o dinheiro que junta é para comprar bilhetes de avião.

Donde me vem o gosto pelas viagens? 

Comecei a viajar aos 21 anos, quando já não precisava de autorização para sair do país. Inglaterra foi o meu primeiro destino. Estudava inglês e alemão no liceu e meu pai tinha-me avisado quando escolhi línguas: “Filha, nunca serás fluente numa língua estrangeira se não viajares e a praticares no país onde essa língua seja falada. Vais precisar de ir à Inglaterra e à Alemanha.” 

Em 1970, no Portugal da ditadura, não era muito comum uma “menina” viajar sozinha. Tive oposição de família e amigos (infelizmente, meu pai morrera um ano antes e perdi o seu apoio). Com pouco dinheiro para viajar, foi através do Instituto Britânico em Lisboa onde estudava inglês, que encontrei uma família em Londres para onde fui servir como “au pair girl”. A troco de pequenos serviços domésticos (um dia e duas tardes por semana), conseguia alojamento e algum dinheiro. O mais importante era ter tempo para frequentar aulas de inglês e visitar museus, galerias de arte, parques e jardins.

O meu mundo nunca mais foi o mesmo depois da visita a Londres. Os museus de Londres, com entrada gratuita, oferecem uma gama de conhecimentos infindável. As mais belas obras de arte estão ao alcance de todos. Londres foi a primeira grande metrópole que conheci e onde aprendi o significado de multiculturalismo, vinte e cinco anos antes de chegar a Toronto. Em Picadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square ou nos jardins do Buckingham Palace, via desfilar na minha frente gente de todas as raças, vestida e penteada da maneira exótica. Era o tempo dos Beatles, da Mary Quant e dos “punks”. 

Londres é uma cidade fundada pelos Romanos há cerca de 2000 anos, com parques e jardins verdejantes, abadias e catedrais, torres, palácios e múltiplas estátuas. Há o encanto do Rio Tamisa que serpenteia pela cidade e é meio de transporte de pessoas e mercadorias. Londres tem cinema, teatro, dança e espetáculos para todos os gostos, todo o dia e toda a noite.

“Quem se cansa de Londres é porque não gosta de viver pois há em Londres tudo o que a vida pode proporcionar” disse Samuel Johnson. 

Regressei várias vezes à cidade, desde essa primeira viagem, e quando me perguntam qual é a minha cidade favorita, de todas as que conheço, não hesito em dizer: Londres! 

Será mesmo verdade que não há amor como o primeiro?


À porta da casa da família Cleveland

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