Good Morning Lisboa

02022-11-26 | Coffee, Guitar, Lx, Photos, Travel | 4 comments

I arrived in Lisbon yesterday morning after a long, long day of traveling that started in Durango at 0600. Well, all of me arrived, except my guitar. (((I like William Gibson’s idea of the “Soul Delay” of long distance travel, whereby the soul can’t keep up and will invariably arrive later.))) Guitar had to travel as baggage, because the overheads for international flights are too small and I can’t afford a business-class ticket (((Business Class: no worries, your guitar can go into this closet. Economy: your guitar travels with the other suitcases or you won’t fly.))). I am not too worried because it’s a new case that was recommended by my luthier Keith Vizcarra, who also set the case up perfectly for the instrument. Plus this guitar will stay here and won’t have to travel for a long while. (((Tip: Don’t just buy a case and jam the guitar into it. Either take the time to set up the case yourself or ask a luthier to do it. It can make a huge difference. You don’t want the guitar to move even a fraction of an inch!!))) So I spent a long time at lost baggage in Lisbon which, after 22 hours of travel, isn’t fun. As the man, who created the claim, said: “Most likely you will get a call from us tomorrow and we will deliver the guitar case to your apartment. Most likely.”

Called an Uber to the airport. The driver called my mobile and asked me where I was, because it can be difficult to find the Uber pick up spot at this airport. I replied where Uber pick ups always happen, indicating that this wasn’t my first rodeo. A few minutes later he arrived and another twenty minutes later I was in my flat, or most of me was. Too wired to sleep and too tired to do much. Eventually I walked to a favorite cafe and had lunch. That helped. Went to the store and got a few basics, something to make for dinner, milk for morning coffee. Bought another type of oatmilk, hoping to eventually find something that can replace milk for me. The two milk products I haven’t been able to replace are yoghurt and milk for coffee. I love yoghurt.

I wanted to go to sleep at 1900 yesterday but made myself stay up until around 2200. This morning I feel much improved. While I am still waiting for my guitar, my “soul” must have caught up overnight. I got up and made coffee and enjoyed the light show of the morning sun in my apartment.

Good news: I just received a phone call from the airport. My guitar was found and will be delivered later today…


  1. Lisi-Tana

    Let’s hope the guitar arrives soon and it doesn’t decide to go backpacking around Europe now that it’s got a bit of freedom!

    Do you think “soul delay” can happen when we wake up from a sticky dream – the kind that’s so real it pulls us in and when we wake, we’re sure (for a moment) the events in the dream have happened?

    • ottmar

      Ah yes, I have had dreams like that. They can be very hard to shake off. Especially when one is on tour and sleeps in yet another hotel room and the light is off and upon waking there is, at first, nothing to indicate WHERE one might be.

      I looked up the original quote by Gibson, from his brilliant book “Pattern Recognition”:

      “She knows, now, absolutely, hearing the white noise that is London, that Damien’s theory of jet lag is correct: that her mortal soul is leagues behind her, being reeled in on some ghostly umbilical down the vanished wake of the plane that brought her here, hundreds of thousands of feet above the Atlantic. Souls can’t move that quickly, and are left behind, and must be awaited, upon arrival, like lost luggage.”

      The term “mortal soul” is interesting because many people believe that a soul is immortal. Me, I find it easier to deal with the word “soul” as a metaphor that can adapt to many different meanings.

  2. Don Soledad

    I had a similar story traveling to Manila with my guitar. I had a Calton for my DeVoe at the time that Lester made perfect for his guitars but it was SO heavy. I laughed at your Business class comment so true! Curious what case you use now for travel?

    • ottmar

      I got rid of all of my Calton cases. They were too heavy and they were also gasing off something (perhaps glue-related?) that made the strings on my electric guitar rust – I didn’t want to chance anything happening to my Flamenco guitars.

      In 2006 I bought an Accord case for my Blanca –
      When I needed a new case for the Negra last year, the Crossrock case was recommended. It was a lot less expensive than the Accord but is very, very nice – – made in China.

      I can recommend the Crossrock case. The case protected my guitar in the luggage hold of the flight to Lisbon and through whatever happened to it when it was lost for a day. You won’t believe how much lighter than a Calton it is.


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