1.26.2013

Lisbon

Sunday morning. Awaiting the church bells with a child-like glee. It's 7:30 am and we are pleasantly smug at what has passed so far in this lovely country. A country whose passion and geo-political evirnonment the people wear on their sleeves.  This includes fashion (IMHO the peeps wear very utilitarian garb. I hardly have seen a chick wearing high heels. The peeps dress smart casual and efficiently.  Everybody seems like they are working. I haven't noticed a group of 'dandies.'

It seems if peeps have money, they aren't wanting to spend it, or show that they are spending it. In Baixo Chiado (luxury shopping district), restaurants open, but no one in them. Bookstores are closed at night- this is, IMHO, a bad sign that the intellectuals aren't browsing books at night.

Yesterday late afternoon while we were in a square drinking the requisite bottle of Portugal's Vinho Verde, there was no one else enjoying getting their drink on outside. It was a beautiful sunny winter day with a direct view to the castle on the hill and no one was outside. The kids were outside though, across the street at the status with their skateboards queued up to show their skill. They even had a skate ramp. The city knows how to entertain their restless youth.

Anyway, the point is, everybody is affected by the economic crisis they err experiencing right. It is a somber collective spirit. The peeps watching has been fantastic. Beautiful, strong peeps. Yesterday's odyssey was a gret e-introduction to the city. I was briefly here in 2001. I had just left Morocco, where I was staying down in the Sahara Desert village of Merzouga when the events of 911 occurred. but I digress... Back to Lisbon live and direct.

We took Tram 28 to Arco do Sao Vicente and headed to the Feria do Lado Sarueday flea market. Yes, you all can collectively squeal with delight for me right now... What a blast. If you lived here, this is where you would come every weekend and make a day of it. Walking up and down the streets laden down with treasures from past and present. You can stop and drink or eat in a cafe right off the street fair, or you can venture up the hill a bit further into the Alfama- like Solo_ojo and I did... We we on a mission and I knew where to accomplish it.

Anyway, we took care of business and had a fantastic local brew to wash it down. W also met the local supah-stars if you will... Lovely motley crew! A good time was had by all, and a fantastic storyline for an Indi-style film I should write/direct/star in...

After leaving the favela... We headed back to our hood, but by foot. The Alfamais such a cool neighborhood full of vibrant peeps and a fantastic walking promenade (of sorts) with incredible views of Lisboa's harbor.  We laid down on some park benches and just crashed out for a while. The sun was beating down on my body and I had not a worry in the world for those moments. As the sun lowered, I started to have a worry. You all know how much I love buying boots, but wearing them can be sucha burden for an island girl who tends to be most comfortable running around in Havaianas. So today I was wearing my Reef's  because yesterday I wore my boots all day and my feet rebelled. They demanded to be free the following day. Well, it is certainly warm here, but it is is also wintertime... This wasn't too worrisome I suppose as we headed strait to catch sunset with a bottle of... Yep... Vinho Verde.

It felt weird though. We were loving life, yet there were so any peeps coming up to us. They had no money. Yu could see the hardship on their faces. It felt oh so very bourgeoise to be 'indulging' in an 11 Euro bottle of...Vinho Verede. W lamented we should be grateful for our jobs we complain about. It also felt weird to feel like I had a lot of money comparatively-since I don't ... It was a humbling feeling. I am definitely grateful for what I have cultivated in life thus far.

Walking round ten streets st night. Getting accounted with loves le characters with a story and a product to sell. Desperate to sell it whatever it may have been. Seriously, the streets are flooded with small time hustlers. Again, I dig this city and its 'edgy' feel. There is a grit to this city. People work. They work hard for little. They are tough, and they are real.

There as a huge manifestation (where isn't there throughout Europe and the MENA region these days) by all educators and