sábado, outubro 20, 2007

Day 11 - After this post, even you will want to go to Lisbon

My problems sleeping are still going on... I don't remember last night's nightmare, but I did feel in trouble and I know there were lots of people in my dream. And I felt like I woke up every 10 minutes!
I think it's enough. But apparently, it's my consciousness and unconsciousness flighting one another, according to a shrink-to-be friend of mine. It can have to do with the jet lag (still) or some changes I am going through now. Or both.
I wish, for once, dreams were like Math: 1+1=3 (like in Continente, or something).

Day 11 was a very good day. It was again gorgeous. Not too hot, not cold, with the big blue sky high above embracing beautiful Lisbon.

Before idyllic Lisbon, the real life: on this day, in the morning, I went to the hospital with my grandmother, for a routine eye check-up.
I took a taxi from the train station, next to my house, to pick my grandmother up. I had told her to be downstairs waiting for me... But she is all so confused, that I had to call her to come downstairs and then had to run from the cab to grab her! She had, because she had to, put her garbage out, instead of hurrying! Gosh!
We waited for an hour, for the doctor to call us. I was starting to think that something was wrong and that I would have to take measures, as I saw the doctor coming back and forth. I'm sure she was working, but not knowing for sure...
Anyway, waiting at a hospital, in a room full of old people and their escorts, can be something. I didn't talk much. Read my book and was there. But then people started talking.
The highlight was when I said that I would ask the doctor when she would be calling us... An old man said that I shouldn't do it, because she would make me wait until the end of all the appointments. Another lady and I, smiled and told him those were the old days and that doctors are not gods and that if they are not good people have to complain. In the right way, of course, not just shouting around as so many people do.
There was also another lady sitting in front of us (one of those that, trying to be funny, just looks stupid...) and called me Francisco, as I was wearing my San Francisco t-shirt. I explained her, but she didn't listen to me. A true church-goer, she added. A church-goer and a San Francisco t-shirt. You get the point.
My grandmother was called and she recovered brilliantly from her eye surgery and she can see 80% now, which is high above what the doctors expected!
We waited another hour, so I could see my father. They didn't want me to get in, but I managed to go. There always seems to be a problem to do anything in Portugal.
He was in a good mood and his staples were looking good! He just felt weak, because he had lost quite some blood in the surgery.

I dropped off my grandmother in the city centre, had lunch there too and went to Lisbon, again.
I love Lisbon. It's so different from Oita, where there's concrete, pavement and ugly buildings everywhere. And Lisbon is full if beauty, on the sidewalks, the trees, the buildings...

Here's a picture at Marques do Pombal, right downtown. Check out the blueness of the sky!

It was on this day that I met Daniel and he took me to a really cool shop at Avenida do Brasil. An entire shop dedicated to airplanes and stuff. He wanted to buy me my birthday present. He wanted to buy me some small airplanes. And I was thrilled with that idea, the only problem being that I have dozens of those. So he bought me a really cool TAP watch and a book on its history! Thank you so much, Daniel!

He went to Portela to deal with some bank stuff. I had convinced him to take the 28 tram with me, as he had never done it and I seriously think that everybody should do it, at least, 100 times in their lives!

I took that time to meet my good friend Rui, who had invited me to go to his and Luis' place to have dinner, but I just never found the time! I already apologized to both, though!
It was so good to have a meia de leite (cafe latte) and a toast, this time with pao alentejano. I wish the cafes here had this too. But, no, the notion of bread and a cafe latte doesn't exist around here. But I can understand that! After all, it's Japan!

Lisbon is built on seven hills, like all of Jamaica, Canada and Rome. Thus the hundreds of staircases everywhere.

The trams in Lisbon are as old as Aida, from the early 20th century. And they still snake through the city. I say they are part of it.

I know the pole shouldn't be there, but still this is a nice picture, I think.
This same place, Portas do Sol, appears on a Japanese movie that I watched the other day, about a girl that dreams she is in Lisbon. My dear friend Mitsue worked for the movie people. It was so great seeing some many places I know... And love.

Then again, as you can see, the river is there, as a background.

Lisbon is a very old city, full of very narrow streets. So narrow that, in some cases, only the tram fits there!

The good thing about tram 28 is that goes through all Downtown, from one side, a little poorer, old, through the 18th century grid like built Downtown and then up to hip Chiado and a finer area in Sao Bento (where the Parliament sits) and Estrela and Campo de Ourique. It takes like an hour to do all this, but it's worth every single moment!

Dowtown Lisbon is still full of nice old style shops. They are increasingly threatened by the big shopping centres, but there is no parallel when it comes to customer service and style!
It's still my favorite place to go shopping!

Here's a basilica, in Estrela, across from the famous Parque da Estrela.

And here's an example of an old Lisbon tram. This one was going back to where we had come from, but we decided to take line 25, which is less busy, yet quite interesting. But line 28 is the thing, I must say!

Here's a picture of the main building of Lisbon city hall. It was here that the Republic was proclaimed in 1910 (on October 5th).
Some years ago there was a fire in this building, but the efforts to save it were such, that there was scaffolding even before the fire was actually put down!

Downtown after the sun went down, with the cathedral in the background. The tram goes there, as well.

And the Arco da Rua Ausgusta, an example of the extraordinary architecture from the reconstruction of Lisbon, after the earthquake and tsunami of 1755.

And that was it, for the day. I loved it, as Lisbon makes me feel good. Daniel loved it, as we popped his cherry. And, now, be honest, don't you want to go to Lisbon as well!?

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