Two Nepalese friends and I went to Doclisboa yesterday, to watch the documentary Manakamana, about the temple in Nepal with the same name:
Looks exciting, doesn’t it? Now imagine this trailer, but extended from a minute and a half to almost two hours. That’s time well spent!
Needless to say, we left the theater after one hour and fifteen minutes. We had then watched no less than six groups going up with the cable car (including some goats), and one group going down. We never saw the temple.
Cooking time: 62 h or more
1. Let black beans soak in salted water for 24 h, or longer if you forget them on the kitchen counter.
2. Get invited for dinner somewhere else, so that you cannot have the beans for dinner. Remove the water and put the beans in the fridge for another 24 h.
3. Intend to boil the beans for 1 h 30 min, but forget them on the stove while you clean the house. Turn off when the kitchen starts smelling like a bonfire.
4. Pour the beans that have not burned to the bottom of the pot into a frying pan.
5. Fry the beans in a lot of oil, garlic, chili and whatever spices you have that can be used to mask the burned taste of the beans.
6. Serve immediately, or save for later. At this stage, anything goes.
This week kicked off with a new addition to my handstand program: a home bar in our own, private kitchen. In contrast to the bars in Bairro Alto, though, this bar does not serve any alcohol, but instead offers a great view over the city. Never have pull-ups been as motivating.
My flatmate enjoying the view from our new bar.
Illegal Chinese food
Considering the social abilities of the Portuguese compared to the Finns, it may be somewhat paradoxical that I (so far) have far fewer friends here in Lisbon than I did in Helsinki. The main reason for this is my decision to choose a more local living, rather than the Erasmus and international housing. But in terms of discovering Lisbon culture and life, this has definitely paid off.
For example, one thing one most likely won’t discover with Erasmus students is illegal Chinese restaurants in Martim Moniz. You enter a random apartment building, walk up a floor or two, knock on some door, and you soon find yourself in an illegal restaurant, eating amazing Chinese food. Price? Two enormous meals and four beers: 16.80€.
Finally, I also have to praise my flatmate for (both intentionally and unintentionally) introducing me to very interesting people. For example, this weekend saw my first meeting with a beekeeper – a job of which I knew absolutely nothing, other than that it is (apparently) all about being covered in bees. Turns out that beekeeping is incredibly interesting, and very much a skill which takes years to learn.
My birthday week passed unnoticed by most of my 450+ Facebook friends, but well noticed by some new lovely people.
On my actual birthday, my two flatmates took me out for dinner at a nice Italian pizza restaurant – and for the first time in my life I could celebrate my dinner outdoors, in the 24°C evening breeze. Ana had also been cleverly observant, and gave me a small, nice painting by a local street artist, whom I had mentioned a couple of weeks earlier. Many thanks!
The rest of the week passed with great, sunny weather, and last night Sia invited some friends over for dinner, including a lovely family I met for the first time a week ago: Simon from England, Kathy from France, and their gorgeous daughter Jasmine. And not only was the dinner a great way of ending the (working) week, but they also brought me a present: a beautiful map of Portugal. Just like Ana did with the painting, they had noticed my love for maps while I visited their house the previous week.
A great and warm birthday week, in every sense! And my walls are now more colorful.
If one is used to the living costs in Finland, Sweden and (above all) Switzerland, the prices here in Portugal are really paradise. A decent lunch for 5 €, a coffee and a pastry for 85 cents, or how about a good dinner including a glass of wine for 15 €?
The only problem is, that so far I’m spending more money here than I did in Finland! Why? The combination of affordable prices and an outdoors city lifestyle. With 25°C and sunshine, you will just not want to spend more time than necessary indoors. And neither do the Portuguese. So the streets, cafés and bars are full of people enjoying the lovely city atmosphere. So one coffee (40 c) becomes two (+40 c), and the third one might develop into an imperial (+2.00 €) with a snack to still the hunger (+1.00 €) – sum total: 3.80 €.
And so, one gets deceived by the cheap prices, easily leading you to spend more. Hence, the cheap-life scam!
A typical first world problem, I guess.