Our estimation of the good nature of the Portuguese has come crashing to the ground. We assumed the “no party” clause in our rental agreement meant no political party. I mean, given the turmoil and chaos in the US right now, that was a natural assumption as to what they meant, right?
But no-o-o. Apparently it means you cannot throw a “festa” and hire a rock & roll band to play in your room all night (with the speaker volume turned to eleven, of course).
Maybe a Fado singer would have passed muster? (Fado is sort of the national music of Portugal, known for its emotional and mournful tone.)
Or perhaps the sound of lit firecrackers plummeting down the stairwells at 4:00 AM was just a bit too much. But I did think it odd they complained about chairs being thrown through the sixth-floor window despite the fact that it improved the air flow in the apartment immeasurably. Those are pretty standard party shenanigans, right? Talk about a clash of cultures! Besides, hardly anyone was seriously injured!
Actually, we blame everything on the cereal we’ve been eating. We knew the Portuguese had (very wisely) decriminalized basically all drugs. Not legalized, mind you, they simply took away the idea that people who want or need to get high should be thrown in disgusting prisons so they can learn better how to steal in order to feed their habit. Instead, they put them into treatment. The result? Crime and addiction have plummeted. Whether you agree with the concept of decriminalization or not, you cannot argue with results. Why the US, for example, refuses to learn from other countries totally mystifies me. Still, this cereal seemed a little over the top; we just can’t remember what happened after we ate our third bowl. Our first treatments begin in April.
So, after finding ourselves thrown out on our ears, we hurriedly got on Airbnb to find another apartment. The new one happens to be right around the area where we’re looking for a rental property to buy, so now we can avoid paying the 1.35 euro freeway toll we had to fork over every time we drove from Cascais to Lisbon. Just to be safe, we tossed out the Golden Crack (or maybe just finished up the box, we can’t remember), and bought some coke instead. Coke Zero anyway.
(Carolyn, my sweetheart of a proof-reader, contributor, and companion was worried that people might believe we actually had a party like that and so asked for a disclaimer. The truth is, we are wanting to move rental locations every now and again just to experience life in different parts of the city. This new one is right near the “Alfama” district, which is famous for its old buildings and is quite a touristy part of town. So there. Besides, we only know three people here. The parties won’t happen for a couple of more months yet.)
Here are some of the recent pictures we’ve accumulated:
Street artists create impressive sand art, hoping for a few euros to be put into a hat. If things get tight here, that’s our next gig.