EVICTED!

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?

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We’re outa here! Our rented VW Golf is packed to the gills with everything we lugged over on the plane and then some.

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. img_3598Instead, 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:

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If you only drive around Lisbon, you’ll never see all of the ornate artwork that adorns so many buildings. Walking is da bomb.
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The April 25th Bridge is in the distance in this shot from near Praça do Comercio, aka  Commerce Square.
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This is the view of the St. George castle (the gray walls beneath the tree canopy) from Commerce Square. We will be visiting that castle soon… because we like castles.
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This statue is of King Dom Jose I, who was riding around stomping on snakes (look closely below the horse’s hooves) right about the time the U.S. was declaring its independence from Britain.
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On February 1, 1908, Carlos I, the King of Portugal, was assassinated in this square. Carolyn is not giving her thumbs up to that fact, because she didn’t know about it at the time.
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The Portuguese understand how to do golden arches much, much, better than Americans.
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The sign to the left is “Museum of Beer.” If that’s not reason enough for some of you to come visit, I don’t know what is. Or maybe it’s for the parties we throw, I dunno.
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One of the famous Lisbon cable cars driving by the arch on Commerce Square. Not sure if those two women are kissing in the lower right. I think one of them is just a “close talker.”
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Our feeling is that living in a place like this, where even a mundane street seems a work of art and offers testimony to an incredibly long history, is quite something.
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This is the view from our new kitchen window. It’s called “The Pantheon,” although it was originally the Church of Santa Engracia.
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This is how they repair their sidewalks. The stones are distinctly Lisbon and give the city so much of its charm. Not too good for spiked heel wearers, however.
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This is where all this blogging stuff happened, before we got kicked out, -er moved. 
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This is the new place we’re staying. It looks impressive from the outside, but the apartments inside are small and basic. And that’s not our car. Ours is parked in the building’s indoor parking facility, which only takes four hairpin turns designed mostly for cars the size of Hot Wheels to get into the sideways stall, which only takes fifteen back and forths to fit into.
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This is a fountain in Belem. Belem is pronounced “Belay,” sort of, with the “ay” being more like a very soft “ayng,” which is pronounced with a sort of nasal twang that only Portuguese can master. No wonder they say the Portuguese language is hard to learn!
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This was in Cascais, just a few minutes walk from where we were staying. The view is sort of ruined by that big galoot, but we improved on it below.
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This is one of our favorite pictures. The scene is even more beautiful in person.

 

 

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Serenity Now.

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.

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