Brand new “wtf?” moment!

Walking one of the main streets of Lisbon, I look to the side and spot some stairs descending to a dead end. I felt an urge to go check it out. My boyfriend stood atop the stairs, slightly perplexed at my compulsion.

I found this:

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Two gorgeous, old, tiny, adorable houses. Abandoned and sealed off. Above their doors an ancient vine tree that nobody tends for, but still gives grapes. The floor beneath collapsing into some dark abyss. Nobody dares go beyond this point, so it remains untouched. A little treasure in the middle of the city.

Totally unrelated: also had a great tea that day: ginger, basil, mint, orange… it looked gorgeous! Oh, and some yummy sweet potatoes 🙂

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Oh oh oh, aaaaand I got to do something I hadn’t done in years: go on a swing. Someone decided to tie swings up on random trees around the city, and I got to swing, looking at the sky, for as long as I wanted. I missed that.

New addiction!

The other day I was waiting for a couple of friends for dinner. The restaurant was next to a beach. My boyfriend was kind enough to drive me there, so we decided to wait for them together, and walk along the beach. I found some lovely sea glass, and minutes later, my friends arrived.

I felt like someone had stolen my lollipop.

So today, to make the most of our national holiday, the boyfriend and I drove to the same spot and hunted down some great sea glass pebbles.

Here are some of my favourite:

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I’m not even sure if all of them are sea glass. Some seem to have small grains in them, so it makes me wonder if erosion did that, or if they are some sort of stone.

Either way, I’m really happy with my newfound addiction and I had a great time. I have always loved hunting stuff in beaches, and can’t believe it took me this long to realize I had such lovely treasures in my city!

Edit: That wasn’t the only highlight of my day, here’s a cluster photo of some of the most memorable bits, including a visit to a wonderful sushi restaurant!

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Well I just had my ‘Wtf’ Moment of the Day…

Phone rings.

Granpa answers. Call is for him. He sounds confused with the conversation. He passes me the call.

I pick up the call.

“Hello, I am calling from the Lisbon Medical Center…”

“And I we are calling to let you know that your grandfather has won…”

“Two tokens that exclude him from having to pay any health tax…”

“for any bone or heart related exams. You just have to bring him over. If you don’t do this soon, next time, he WILL have to pay taxes, and it can go up to 65 euros!”

So then I answer this guy and say:

“How did you get this number, and why are you calling my grandfather at work? If this is legitimate, why didn’t he receive a letter at home? And what is this ‘Lisbon Medical Center’ I have never heard of, that has the power to ‘tax’ people?”

The reply was “Oh we used to send letters, but many people did not come to their appointments because their letters got lost in the mail”.

-long ‘wtf’ moment of silence-

Then I tell him: ”Well then, please do send us a letter so that I can verify the legitimacy of…”

“OH MY GOD!!! CAN’T YOU HEAR WHAT I AM TRYING TO TELL YOOOOUUUUU?!? FUUUUUCKK…. * imperceptible bitching*

He hangs up on my face.

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Granpa asks me what he said. I told him. He looks just as stupefied as I do.

Phone rings.

I answer.

Same guy.

“I heard what you said” he says…

“And you’ll keep hearing. Now… You yelled at me, and even said “fuck”, so… fuck YOU, grow some manners, never contact me or my grandfather again, and have a nice day, ok?”

I hang up the phone.

Seriously. I have neeeeever ever had this experience or anything close to it. Emo teen from his voice. I don’t know what is weirder, the call itself, or the fact that the guy actually had the nerve to call me a second time.

I’m glad he did though, at least I got to answer him. Prick.

My “wtf?” moment of the day

Today we went on another walk, and discovered new parts of the city… again. It is good to see that the Mouraria part of Lisbon is getting a well deserved makeover and that mid-October, the tourists are still merrily walking the streets, handicraft stores are filled with really interesting and new ideas, whilst others are selling small, adorable pieces of Lisbon’s history (I really had to contain myself not to go wild and start buying stuff I have no room to put in).

It was in a church in the Mouraria that I had my “wtf?” moment. I photographed it with my mobile phone as it is was more discreet and silent than my photo camera. Here it is, in all its amazing splendor: A steering wheel in a church altar.

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Lisbon shopping eating and exploring

Went for another great walk today. Feels like it is still summer. Splendorous weather! We decided to revisit some spots we had discovered a few weeks ago. We also ate some delicious Amorino icecreams, shopped for some winter clothes for me, ate our favourite burgers at Honorato’s and discovered some new bits of Lisbon.

A great day and my feet are killing me 🙂

Here are some photos I took with my mobile:

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And here’s a photo of my very first Henna tattoo! Did it two weeks ago, practically gone now, but it will stay photographed for eternity!

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Lisboa, Lisboa…

Yesterday I went out for a long walk with my better half, a sort of commemorative promenade to celebrate our five years together. The night was hot, but with some kind strokes of cool air to help us in our way.

The city was quite beautiful, if one would ignore the plague of fucking tags that has not so recently assailed it (seriously, António Costa, you really would make my day if you started punishing these disrespectful, ungrateful, useless and degenerate pricks for ruining my beautiful city). It was alive, more than I had ever seen at night. It was alive with music, colours, smells, foods, children, tourists, immigrants, dancing, art, and it was calm, pleasant, happy.

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My boyfriend and I enjoy these long walks, and we tend to try new paths, most of the times they surprise us. It is so wonderful to have lived here most of my life and still have secrets to find. Last night it wasn’t the paths that surprised us, it was the multitude of people walking around us in such harmony, with so much to see and so much to do.

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Overall, a wonderful night, with a wonderful visit to a local Turkish restaurant to kill my “saudades”… 😉

Day 1 – Lisbon to Ankara

I am back from my long overdue holidays to some place outside of my own country. Destination: Turkey.

Day one was a whole lotta flying, from Lisbon to Istanbul and then from Istanbul to Ankara. The flights went well, had the best meal on air I had ever had (and also one of the best genuine Turkish meals I had during the holidays, weird, I know), and we sat next to a very nice Turkish gentleman who spoke to us about all the places we were going to visit over the course of the next week. Also, the airplanes had some good movies on, and I could play some games against my boyfriend, this made the flight much easier and seem faster.

Once we arrived at Istanbul, we realised we were the only people of the group that did not have their boarding tickets to Ankara with them. This was the beginning of a frantic race, from Turkish Airlines guy to Turkish Airlines guy, flapping e-tickets in their faces and each one telling us that we’d get our ticket further on. Good things our bags had wheels, we boarded to Ankara just in time, and a little sweaty.

This is the first time I was traveling with a group of strangers, all with the same travel agency. I have always done things without groups, and thus was a bit worried, if all those other people would get in the way of what I wanted to do and feel. They seemed nice enough, so after a while the concern stopped bugging me as much.

So finally, Ankara. Our bus dropped us off at the Ankara Swisshotel (it was dark by the time we arrived, but the city seems clean, (er, way cleaner than Lisbon) yet lacking personality (easy to say when you live in Lisbon). We took our bags up to our room, opened the door and I was like this:

O_O

Because the room was like this:

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When I travel, I don’t do it for the hotel unless it’s one of those holidays where you just want your brain to melt into the horizon, where all you get is comfort and wonderful food, and walks by the ocean, blady bla… I actually never had one of those, but I bet that in a few years I’ll be needing one. I always value the cultural aspect of traveling more than the comfort aspect, but if I can get both, then who am I to say no?

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Let the vacay commence!

The irony of desti(nation)

Last week as I was walking down the torrid streets of Lisbon I saw these on the walls of an abandoned building.

The cool part, apart from the obvious solidarity and empathy between two distant countries that are undergoing tumultuous (yet different) times, is that I was there, walking down that street, because I had just finished the last details for my vacation in Turkey. 🙂

Definitely looking forward to it, tumultuous or not 🙂

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