“Been a long time, we shouldn’t have left you. Without a dope blog to step to”
They say travel changes your perspective and helps you grow as a person.
I don’t think this is what they had in mind.
Here are 10 unnecessary things I learned from our final 2 weeks living in Lisbon (plus taking side trips to Sintra/Porto.)
1. Houses are a chumps game. When I grow up, I’m living in a castle
Castles/a palace in Sintra
Now you may be thinking “living in a castle is a bit much.” But here’s the thing…
I’m going to need a stone fireplace over which to hang my sword.
(not buying that flea market sword is the single biggest regret in my 30 years of living)
Plus, I’ll need a throne.
We drink wine and we know things
And I don’t know how, when, or why gargoyles ever went out of style, but I am bringing those back for sure.
So obviously, I’m going to need a castle.
2. If you want to make a town look pretty, put a giant bridge in the middle of it
It worked in Porto.
Porto was a bit foggy that day because the country caught fire
Worked in Lisbon, too.
Stole this pic from Google because mine was dark and useless
So get on it, Detroit.
(Oh, and if you don’t have water, whatever. Just hang a jellyfish up there. Same difference.)
The Great Jellyfish of Porto!
3. I’m exceptionally generic
I found out that before learning my name, one of the girls on the trip referred to me as “Standard Issue White Boy”. This would have been offensive if it wasn’t so accurate.
Standard Issue Group Castle Selfie
4. Pictures are just as good as being there in real life
In Porto, we walked across town to see this old bookstore. Then saw a line, a whopping 3 euro charge, and thought “eh let’s Google a pic”. We did, then called it a day and left.
Googling this > joining the horde of sweaty tourists inside
Now to counter the very point I was making, that same day we wandered into a cathedral after we heard a badass organ music coming from the inside. I prefer to believe it was being played by a mad genius who lives in the basement and hasn’t seen the sun in 20 years. So, that was cool.
Listening to some bitchin organ music
5. Actually, pictures are better than real life
Everyone was all “you gotta see Alfama!” which is an area of Lisbon. One of the girls on this trip is a badass photographer. After seeing her pictures I was on board thinking “Ohhhh maaaann I need to go there!”
Then I went. It was resoundingly alright. Maybe Porto gave me unreasonable standards because you’d turn the corner and things like this would happen:
But my biggest takeway from all that is a newfound respect for pro photographers. They can take a wall us mere mortals would walk by without thinking and show you how pretty it is.
5. If you go to a “doll hospital” expecting to see creepy old dolls, you will in fact see creepy old dolls
I’m sure there was some beauty or history to be learned in this doll museum we went to. But that was completely lost on me. I spent 45 minutes wandering about looking for the weirdest stuff I could find. Which, come to think of it, isn’t a bad way to go through life in general.
This doll definitely isn’t possesed by any demon, that’s for sure
They must have seen Toy Story and thought “That Sid is onto something…”
6. I still got it!
The percentage of Portuguese women at bars who get angry at me the moment I tell them I’m American is currently 100%. Yes, it’s a small sample size. No, I will not start saying I’m from Canada. Nothing in life is worth admitting to being Canadian.
Is this what you want, women of Portugal?
7. Go to Portugal for the Chinese food
Let’s be real, 90% of travel is just finding different places to eat. All the hikes and site seeing is filler between lunch and second lunch.
So let’s talk food.
Thanks to Lisbon having pastry shops on every corner, my body is now40% pastry.
Lunch on Tuesday
Portuguese food isn’t all that special. Especially when they’re up against Italians making spagetti in an orange juice/lemoncello sauce, Japanese doing all-you-can-eat sush (that’s actually good), Napalese doing yummy Nepalese things, and Chinese people turning their apartment into an illegal restaurant and make you the best damn meal you’ve had. For 10 freaking Euros.
Best. Chinese. Ever.
Though the Portuguese did redeem themselves with this saucy pile of greatness.
Turns out the correct number of meats for cheese-drenched sandwich is 3
8. If you eat french fries with your hands you’re basically a barbarian
I got french fries. They came with a stick. I ate them with the stick. It made me happy.
When I have my castle all french fries will be served with sticks.
9. CEREAL BAR!
Found this place at midnight around a bunch of bars. I don’t know what this is, why it is, or how it works. I didn’t ask questions and quite honestly I don’t want to know. Any details would only ruin the magic of Cereal Bar.
10. This guy knows how to party
Street performer in Porto with a parrot on, accordion thing, dolls for some reason, and a kid doing some very complicated coloring in the back
Okay, my damage to Portuguese dance floors and pastry shops is done. Tomorrow we leave for Morocco.
Maybe I’ll actually make a point to kick it with some locals this time around. Or plan things more than 2 hours in advance. Those seem to be good life choices I haven’t quite put effort into yet.