Eurotrip Day 49: Retro Lisboa

I’m not going to talk about the weather again, because it was, as expected, warm, clear and lovely, like it has been for most of the previous month in Spain and Portugal.

Explored the city with Joao and Ivo.

Woke up at lunchtime and had Portuguese fast food at a food court near Baixa/Chaido metro station. Portuguese food seems to have had a lot of influence from American junk culture. Burgers are everywhere, and french fries go on the same plate as traditional Portuguese dishes. It makes for an interesting combination. Tried bacalhau, which means codfish. It's apparently an ubiquitous dish on the Portuguese menu, and both Joao and Ivo expressed surprised that it was my first time having it.

Walked around a bit, saw the tourist sights, and then took one of those trams. It was wonderful. I loved it so much, taking a tram… brought back memories of tram rides in Japan, and a feeling of old-fashioned nostalgia and romance for the bygone days…

white and yellow tram no. 12
wood-panelled interior
sunlight streaming in

clanking loudly uphill
traversing old winding cobblestoned streets
laundry flapping outside old houses
old retirees peering from balconies

We stopped at a hilltop terrace near the castle overlooking the Alfama and had a pleasant beer there (more pricey but still cheap compared to back home), just chatting and relaxing. Now, that’s what life is about!

Explored the streets of the Alfama, and then went to the Adamastor, this hugely popular hangout spot for locals in the Bairro Alto neighbourhood. Had a couple more beers there, played a little rabbit game with some Portugese people, and felt very content watching the sun set over the 25th of April Bridge and old rooftops.

Back at home, I cooked a Singaporean dinner. This one was average, I guess. Portugal’s not as cosmopolitan as the UK so it was a bit harder to find the ingredients but I just took whatever I could find. Cooked curry chicken and stir-fried some cauliflower with green peppers, prawns, garlic and minced pork. And for dessert, something which weirded out the Portugese people, tang yuan, i.e. glutinous rice balls. It was pretty funny looking at their expressions when they chewed on the tang yuan! Apparently they have never tried anything as remotely similar to this before.