when i get hungry…. i um…. i change. diana can attest to this. when going through my photos, i always know the exact moment at which hunger struck, because all of a sudden there are either no photos to speak of, or the ones i do have look like they were snapped by a five year old. so anyway, just believe me when i tell you that after exploring the castle, i became a little hungry. since i am extremely high maintenance with my food choices, i dragged poor diana all around the city to find the perfect meal. i had expectations! it needed to be a. vegetarian b. cheap c. come with no pushy maitre’d’s shoving their menu, which is in five different language to suit every specimen of tourist, in my face and d. authentic. i hate myself sometimes.
we walked around the city, scouring it high and low. we wanted to go to this one joint, a legitimate hole in the wall with tons of old men inside (that is how i gauge the authenticity of the restaurant: by the number of local old men inside), however it turned out to be so authentic that the waitress, in portugese, told us they were either closed, too busy, catching fish, or not serving touristy american girls until 2 pm. the true reason, well… i couldn’t tell you. that’s the thing about portugese. i don’t speak it!
we asked police officers for their recommendations, tried to follow directions in their native tongue… and ended up deciding between two places, choosing one over the other simply because there was more old guys inside. (and they had fried fish on the menu! diana was in heaven!) but then we walked in, sat down, ravenously ate the bread basket, only to get our request of fried fish shot down. the waiter just looked at us like we had three eyes and told us they didn’t have that today… so ordering was tricky. sensing our confusion, another waiter came over with a plate of the fish they DID have, put it about 6 inches away from my face and again, proceeded to explain in portugese the different cuts and varieties of the “fish of the day”.
needless to say, i got an omelette.
the plaza that houses the “WORLD’S SEXIEST WC”, whatever that means. all i know is that we had to pee, and we figured that if we had to do that business, it might as well be somewhere sexy. the main lobby was like a gift shop, however the only thing you could buy was colored toilet paper… we paid our 50 cents and then, to our delight, discovered we had free reign of a wall of multicolored toilet paper. awesome.
one of the coolest things in lisboa is the streets, which are made of immaculately placed tiles. my research prior to the trip told me that this was done in the old days for sanitary purposes, and now it is just a thing they keep doing. in fact, tile layers have to go to a special school to learn the art of tile placement, and they have templates they have to follow.
also, sometimes we rode the lift trolley up and down the hill, just because we could…. and there are roasted chestnut vendors EVERYWHERE. they smell delicious and i have yet to try one, but their presence made us think of christmas. no matter how hard we tried, we just couldn’t quit humming THAT SONG while walking through clouds of roasted chestnut smoke. tis the season, ya’ll!