Wednesday, November 21, 2012

In Portugal (part 1)

Portugal is the first stop for 3 days.  Boy has it been a blessing of a rest stop on my way to Guinea- Bissau.  I have been able to practice my Portuguese, adjust my palate, and really let it sink in that I'm no longer in the US of A.  So far I’ve come to notice a couple things:

Folks selling
Brazilian Portuguese and Portuguese Portuguese really are different. I couldn’t tell in the US, but being here I can only understand 65-75% of what is being said. This might also be because the folks I am with are combining it with creole.. none the less, the "SHHHH" in Portuguese from Portugal makes it so much more difficult to understand for me. 

Folks in Lisbon are dressed impeccably well ALL THE TIME! While I can absolutely appreciate casual/hippy/sporty American (and apparently English as well) waredrobe, there is definitely something to be said about a cultural norm of  looking your best all the time.  My step dad and I stuck out like sore thumbs walking around downtown. It is also 50 degrees outside and we are packed for 8 months of 85+ degree weather.  Nonetheless its really inspiring so see literally everyone so well dressed.

The food is ooooh sooo good! Fresh bread, wine, grilled fish, potatoes and salad. On the other hand, my step dad ordered a nice steak with some French fries and rice.  To be real, most people are ordering that as well. Regardless, it is obvious they are doing something right with food because no one is rocking the electric scooter look. There is a restaurant below where we are staying and the food is just amazing! We eat there every single day and i get the same thing every time. Its one of those places where you want to try what else they have but what you get is also too good to stray away from. 

Bacalhau is the main dish here in Portugal. I never got the name of the fish, but its not one that we are accustomed to on the Cali coast. Bacalhau is fish with potatos, carrots, eggs, and sometimes broccoli or chick peas. Everything is boiled and put on a plate. You cover it with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Its definitely a testament to simple cooking being the best cooking.  I'm looking forward to seeing what types of food Bissau has in store.

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