so first of all… i tried for 3 months to meet my semi-recluse neighbor and the literal day i left for portugal, he came over and introduced himself to my bestie when she came to let the dogs out…. i got the call in the philly airport. like, what? seriously, what? fyi his name is rick and he’s all on top of my snake issue, but no that’s not a euphemism but it is another blog for another time; also rick looks like albert einstein.
a brief overview of my outbound trip to actually get to portugal… my international flight was a plane that had no outlets of any sort. so when i landed, my phone was at 9% battery life. the plan? use public transport to get around, and use my CC to pay for things and not cash (so i had none). i had booked air bnb’s in three different cities…. aaaaand tbh, that was pretty much the extent of my planning.
if your blood pressure is rising, take a breath– it wasn’t your trip, it was mine. also… probably don’t travel with me in the future at any point.
SO. it’s 9 am. i get off the plane. i make the choice to first get myself to the train station, and then figure out how to get where i’m going, charge my devices, maybe consider getting some cash…
i grab a taxi, because i don’t think i have enough battery life to; re-download and create my uber account, (i deleted it after that whole thing where we were mad at uber), and then get an uber, and then google search the nearest train station, and then get the address.
so the taxi doesn’t take cards– he insists on taking me to an atm– my bag is already in the trunk… so naturally i panic, and respond, “oh! yeah. definitely.” so off we go to a gas station with an atm. spoiler alert, i obvs. can’t get any cash because, do you think i set up my credit card with a pin for this??
so, two lovely ladies try to help me. taxi driver wait long time, get big mad. he starts yelling in Portuguese. the nice ladies decide they will take me to the train station. i tell them it’s all good, i’ll just charge my phone inside and get an uber, but they insist. i get in their car. we start to drive away and the nice lady says, “SO. welcome to portugal…” she follows that up with, “rule number one about lisboa… NEVER take a taxi here. rule number two. NEVER GET IN A CAR WITH STRANGERS.”
i laughed. she looked at me funny. i said, yeah no, you’re right… then she asked me which train station… i had no idea so i just picked the main one. she asked if i was sure… i said, not even a little bit, but yes. and thus began my adventuring.
the minute i stepped out of the train station in Porto i realized this was exactly why i planned this trip. old-world europe. brick. cobbles. tiny streets and tall, narrow buildings. people. smoke. graffiti. seagulls.
a special thanks to my host Paulo for taking time to show me around two nights in a row, and letting me borrow an umbrella because it rained– like, a lot that day– and a big ‘hello’ to my friend percy, wherever you are, who stayed at the air bnb also and befriended me even though i wasn’t being very friendly. (don’t be shocked…)
lisboa. huge. loud. smells. noise. all-night bars. a questionable german air bnb roommate. an irish pub. so many big hills. the offer of drugs next to the ocean. an evening of watching skateboarders and drinking sangria. a last-minute tattoo. one dead laptop. a zoo with dolphins. all the espresso.
some of my favorite images are now for sale in my fine art gallery. If there’s a print you would like to purchase that’s not in the gallery, just contact me directly!