On the days where I travel to Portugal it would be better not to travel there. All my travels to or from Lisbon are affected by strikes with grim regularity. Once the public transport staff was on strike, the other time the aviation staff and this time the air traffic controller in France were on strike. And as one is crossing southern France and the choice of travel route is not all that flexible, my first flight at 6.20am was cancelled. And to catch such flight means getting up between 4 and 5am. Then we had to wait in an endless queue until TAP had rebooked all passengers to other flights. I was tired, impatient, but I had a lecture at the catholic university in Lisbon in the afternoon and had to get there!!
The lecture lasted 120 minutes and afterwards I spoke with a voice, which reminded of a whiskey and cigarette career. But I was speaking. When I got up on the second day, my voice was gone and I could only whisper with a lot of effort. But I was very hard to understand. On that day I discovered how difficult it is to be voiceless. One cannot order a coffee, if the phone rings, I can take the call but nobody understands me or the people at the other end of the line also started to whisper and I could not understand them, the taxi driver needed the address written down.
It was exasperating. I tried all good tips but nothing helped; neither honey, nor sauna nor pastilles. I had to cancel most of my programme because I could just listen but not speak a word. I realised how terribly I miss my voice and how much I actually need it.
If communication with the environment is only possible in writing, everything slows down. I was thwarted by myself.