Monday, February 7, 2011

Dèjá vu

Today as my wife and I were walking we saw a Mercedes Benz of the same color and and style of the Mercedes Benz that my father-in-law bought in 1969 in the factory of Stuttgart, Germany. He traveled from Luanda, Angola in Africa to Germany to buy it as he was a fan of German cars because of their quality and reliability. As an Engineer himself he had a taste for quality and durability. This car has an history that is worth telling.

In 1975 when the civil war of Angola forced thousands Portuguese families to return to Portugal, my father in law was not an exception, he sent his family first to Portugal for safety reasons and stayed longer to protect the interests of the customers of the bank he worked with, then the Banco de Fomento e Exterior and now part of the Banco BPI.

Prior to his departure he gave is Mercedes Benz to a dear friend from the old days of primary school to help him take his mother to South Africa to receive needed and urgent medical treatment. 

He left everything behind; houses, land, precious personal belongings and a large collection of books, and returned to Portugal to escape the war. He continued to work at the same bank in Lisbon but begins life at the age 53 all over again.

One day when they were walking by the banks of the Tagus river in Lisbon near the the port area they recognized their Mercedes Benz in the parking lot; they went to the port authorities to inquire about the car, to then learn that their friend shipped the car to Lisbon from South Africa even though he was not sure he would be able to locate again his friend that save the life of his mother; inside the car was a note of gratitude. What he gave not expecting to receive back it what ends up to return to him. It is in this same Mercedes Benz that drove Filomena to our weeding reception in 1984. Good memories!     
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