Nov 29, 2006
Jul 23, 2007
My friend Daphne flew over from San Francisco, and we discovered the souterh coastal towns of Albufeira and Lagos, walking around charming little cobblestone streets and sunning ourselves on the beach. On Friday, we attended a bullfight which was amazing and graceful (and nice because in Portugal they donīt kill the bull). My friend Fiona joined us for the weekend and we ate traditional seafood and spicy chicken (piripiri) and ice cream. A lovely week!
It was a chilly Sunday afternoon when I was picked up by a seemingly polite taxi driver who spoke English very well. That image was shattered 3 minutes into the 40 minute drive to the place I was staying. He asked where I was from ... and so it began. I was expecting it in certain places I have been - Vietnam, Egypt, Jordan, but not southern Portugal. Normally, I deal with little jabs about America pretty well, and anyone who knows me knows I have a critical view of our situation in the world, our current position in the middle east, and loathe to answer questions about our commander in chief (sigh). But maybe this guy hit me at the wrong time, all I can remember is saying to him after he spewed anti-American sentiment, "This is my welcome to Portugal? You are amazing. You have just stereotyped 300 million people." It just went on and on and on. After a while he started talking about the weather, but then he stopped midsentence and said, you are not even listening to me, are you? Luckily every other Portugese person I met was very warm and polite ... so strange that it got off to a rough start ... but the week was fantastic nonetheless!