Thursday, March 20, 2008

It's been a long slow collision

Yesterday was good, last night was better.
Wednesday night we went out for the first time, met ourselves some new friends, danced, walked home early (2am) because we had to get up early to go to Lisbon. A very good night. I hope Roberto and Ruben really do email us and we keep our friends from Galicia.

We drove up to Lisbon yesterday, it poured rain most of the way, as soon as we got out of the Algarve. We were not prepared. Oh man how it rained down on us. Beautiful countryside, but a tiny highway (we opted for the free National Highway instead of the toll (would end up being like €20 for the whole way), in the rain, slower than we had planned, meant for a long drive. We learned some very expensive lessons about toll roads in Portugal, and had to pay €36.50 instead of the €2 we should have had to pay, becuase we went through the wrong booth and didn´t take a ticket. OUCH. A long car ride, turned longer, since we didn´t have coats or an umbrella to get out and see things, so we drove through them. And got lost a lot. Into Sintra, beautiful, quaint, medeival town, with 7 castles, and drove winding tiny mossy roads, that looked like they belonged in Robin Hood, and we should have been in a carriage. Beautiful.
Over to Cabo da Rocca, our favorite part of the day, the most western point of the European continet, and the place where Queen Isabella deemed to be the End of the World, before they sent out Columbus. We ate oranges there in observance of all those lost to scurvey, and took pictures at the end of the world as we know it, feeling fine.

Down into Lisbon, for Pasties de Belem, and dois cafe con leites, YUM. Belem is the old neighborhood of Lisbon, famous for these custard tarts, delicious. Lisbon has a bridge like the Golden Gate and reminds us of San Francisco very much.
A long drive home was shorter than the way there, and the rain had cleared up, and I listened to the Cardigans, and had my soul warmed and my thoughts given time to gather and deepen. Lisbon is saved from being a total bust by Cabo da Roca, and majorly by introducing us to the city enough to make certain we come back. We did not get to see or experience it, and wish so much that we had. Like Amsterdam, it is a city I need to return to, because my heart is left wanting.

THEN, we finally made it home around 11, ate a little, dressed a little, made a few coctails and headed out to our little strip of nightlife. We went to the place across the street instead, and found our friends from the night before. Oh how they amuse us! There was more dancing, a LOT of laughing, especially on the box. We were about to head across the street, when we saw some more folks from the night before, chatted for a while, and then ended up at their place with wine and more laughing, until morning. They are fun kids, Shi and I had a great time, though we felt a little like hookers returning from our night before at 11am. Such is the feeling when you stay at a place with families and British retirees. We spent most of the day sleeping and lounging. Today was just gone. The sun was in and out, and rain on and off, so my hopes of coming home with a tan are slipping farther and farther away. I got a few short segments in, during breaks in the clouds, where the warm sun would almost dry up the sprinkles I'd withstand while waiting through the grey for the blue, but eventually had to go back inside becuase it started to really rain on me.

We are going out again tonight, our last night to have nightlife, becuase Saturday our flight leaves at 6am. We hope to see our new friends again tonight. They are so darling, they each have these distinct pesronalities, that we can place so commonly as other people we know, and I love their dynamic. John Paul, the Director, self-righteous, loves film and provides good conversation, wants to be a cassanova, a little dramatic. Jose the dreamboat ladies man, ever the host, tells it like it is with a smile in his eye. Joao, the soft-spirited goof, studying music, a pianist, who meets his babes online. They--like the rest of Portugal it seems-- don't let us speak Spanish, and we don't know enough Portuguese, so we speak English together. My language is not improving much this week, but I sure love to listen to them, both in Portuguese and English. I'm at a point where I can definitely distinguish Portuguese from other things, and think I catch a few words in sentances, and can say a very few things, with a very poor accent, though I am so uncomfortable with it, and feel like my Portguese is as unwelcome as it is unneccessary, that I never really use the things I know. Except Obrigado, thank you, as I leave whatever conversation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i love my postcard from bilbao, thank you!!!!