I’ve been here in Lisbon for over 2 months and am getting the hang of things…or really just hanging out. My initial fascination with this city happened when I was 19 (a very good year) and traveling Europe with my then boyfriend in our VW camper (not diesel 🙃). I remembered the beautiful rendered mosaic sidewalks and the casualness of the city on the Tagus. So here I am again on my 3rd trip and still enjoying the lifestyle, people, and the casual everyday goings-on.
My intention this time was to find a pied-a-terre where I could bide my time over the next few years. I haven’t changed my mind but it’s been a bit of a challenge to find the right place at a price I can afford. I think I’m close however.
Lisbon is a lovely city and extremely welcoming to everyone. I don’t think you can find a more diverse city without prejudice. In every little neighborhood parque one has a kiosk serving sandwiches or hamburguers, beer, wine, mixed drinks, etc. from about 10AM to 2AM (not a typo). Today, sitting, at my local parque and having a Burger and fries, the neighborhood homeless person came around the tables asking for handouts. At one table, the three young people gave him their fries and the server provided him with a coffee and a container for the fries. I didn’t see anyone give him money but I wouldn’t rule it out.
I’ve had some friends visit and was introduced to a very nice woman who invites me to go to the movies and outings from time to time with some of her friends. Although I’m generally a loner this has been a welcome interlude. It’s just another example of the friendliness and openness of the Portugese. Now, I don’t speak the language and, for the most part, it hasn’t been a problem as everyone seems to have more than a smattering of English. But shame on me…I need to get cracking on my language lessons.
One of the benefits of Portugal, I find, is that is set on the extreme edge of the Iberian Peninsula and seems to be somewhat immune to European problems. It’s also a great jumping off place for European or African journies. The prices are reasonable, the politics seem stable but maybe too liberal and socialistic for my more conservative friends; people are relaxed and non-judgmental and spend an inordinate amount of time at cafes having coffee and pastries. But not a lot of fattys because the hills. will take it all off.
Saturday is relaxing day and one of seven card-playing days for the ol’ guys in the parque. Lots to see, places to go…and the good life. Come visit!