Gente que Cuenta

Life is so wonderful!, by Alfredo Behrens

Pablo Picasso Atril press
Pablo Picasso,
Dora Maar en la silla, 1939

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I saw it, indeed, I lived it, and it happened like this. It was at the Casa da Música metro station in Porto a few days ago. A pretty young woman, well into her thirties, was coming down the stairs to my right. On the escalator to my left was a group of about 50 young men, almost all dressed in black. I was going down the escalator between the two, the one with the young men going up and the one with the young woman hopping down on her own.
It so happened that when the boys spotted this girl coming down, with enormous joy they started shouting hoorays and cheers, and she turned to them and candidly blew them a kiss on the fly, which further stirred up the cheers of the young men. Pointing at me, the young woman told them that I was her father and I took off my hat and waved to the boys.
The police who were on the platform mobilised because, of course, so many men shouting in unison was reason to know what was going on, but when they realised that it was nothing more than a compliment to a pretty young woman, they stayed right there.
But well, it was only for a moment, all this lasted only seconds. When the stairs landed me on the platform and I was reunited with my daughter, we gave each other a big hug, she was laughing with contagious innocence and joy. I could only marvel at having witnessed the kind of excitement worthy of the reception given to the Tunisian Claudia Cardinale when she arrived in Rome.
And to think that I remember to this day, that the American pediatrician who treated my daughter a week after she was born told me that in a few more days the hairs would fall off the end of her back. And there my daughter was now, 35 years later, alive and drawing hurrays from the crowd in a metro station in Portugal!

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Alfredo Behrens has a PhD from Cambridge University, teaches strategy and intercultural issues at FIA Business School in São Paulo and at Harvard Business Education.
Some of his books can be purchased on Amazon.

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