Lisbon

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frankie
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Lisbon

Post by frankie » Tue Mar 11, 2008 2:40 pm

Am off to Lisbon for a few days - anyone been? I can't find anyone who's been - is it any good? It looks nice in the pictures!

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Re: Lisbon

Post by KingPanda » Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:08 pm

Darling! I've never been to Lisbon, but it's been one of those places I have wanted to visit for, like, forever.
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Re: Lisbon

Post by ogata tetsuo » Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:53 am

Lisbon is a really beautiful city. You must visit :)

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Klove
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Re: Lisbon

Post by Klove » Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:12 pm

I went there in January. Yes, it is great.

I met a friend for lunch last week and he was talking about all the arguments he got into with Portuguese people when he was in their country. I understand that his experience is a bit non-standard.

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Re: Lisbon

Post by moopind » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:23 am

Klove wrote:I went there in January. Yes, it is great.

I met a friend for lunch last week and he was talking about all the arguments he got into with Portuguese people when he was in their country. I understand that his experience is a bit non-standard.
This thread seems to get visited only every few months. I'd not seen it before. I lived in Lisbon for a year. It is great and certainly 'a really beautiful city', but I can understand Klove's friend's arguments with people. They are what made me leave with no intention of returning for any length of time. Of the three places in overseas countries where I have lived, I found the sexism to have been the most entrenched of anywhere. I might have expected that in some societies, but I suppose it serves me right for moving to a country without doing my homework first. I got sick of the neighbours and local shopkeepers calling my girlfriend (now my wife) a whore because she lived with me ('where's your wedding ring?' the grocer would ask her), sick of our good-for-nothing neighbour constantly telling her he'd like to 'fuck her in the arse' (because, I got the impression, she had the impudence to be independent and er, not Portuguese - he did think she was American. I merely got the football kicked at my head regularly on my walk back from work), sick of people talking past her to me about pretty much anything, when she spoke fluent Portuguese and mine was nowhere near as good. Sick of (for instance) seeing a pinstripe-suited man leaning out of the window of his BMW shouting obscenities about the anatomy of a young woman in tight jeans. Sick of seeing men wait before the sliding doors on the tram shut before having a good grope of a young woman's chest (to no reaction from other passengers). Then there were the conversations with my students, both teenagers who could not accept that being black or a gypsy didn't necessarily mean you were a mobile phone thief (I'd never had a mobile phone at the time, 1999, and they were saying this looking from their complex of appartments with balconies, with said gypsies' shanties visible in the near distance) and adults who believed that the gender pay gap was 'just the way things are' - ya know - 'boys will be boys', eh?

It made me think quite hard about having gone to a warm country and having a high standard of living and the fact that, as an economic migrant as much as a cultural 'tourist', I wasn't really that welcome. And yes, I know there are some lovely Portuguese people. This isn't all about tarring Portuguese people with the same brush, but my personal experience led me to very few dissenters. I could tell you the story about the day I joined a women's rights march in the Belem area of Lisbon expecting to find the like-minded souls, but it's not very interesting in its brevity.

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Re: Lisbon

Post by plath » Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:55 pm

Moopind, it's so sad to read your post. I live close to the border with Portugal and though I don't go there very often these days, most people here go there to spend the day, usually shopping, eating and sightseeing, though it's the north what I'm talking about and especially Porto rather than Lisboa. It's a shame that things like that happen and I want to believe that in these 10 years something has changed. It might not seem a lot, but at least Spain has significantly changed in the past 10 years.
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Vinnie
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Re: Lisbon

Post by Vinnie » Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:05 pm

Spain always felt quite different to Portugal, we noticed it the minute we crossed the border but I agree, I think both countries have changed in the ten years since we lived there ( I'm Moopind's other half by the way!). I'd lived there longer and although the things he described were dreadful, really awful,especially for people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, I still do have some very fond memories too.
But it felt like there was more of an acceptance of alternative life choices (ie : anything other than being married with two kids, living with your parents till you get married,buying all your clothes from Zara etc, etc) the last time we visited three years ago.
I think you see a society in a really interesting way as a 'foreigner' living and working there and I hold out hope that people will experience better things in Portugal now and in the future.
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plath
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Re: Lisbon

Post by plath » Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:34 pm

Things will change when religion has less presence in society, but I think it will be easier to see a different attitude towards women or different lifestyles (living with your partner without being married, etc) than respect to ethnic minorities.

I agree about the interesting point of view of a foreigner, I've myself lived abroad a few times and have always learned new things from it. I've moved back from England in June and I can say there are so many things I like and so many I don't! :P

And sorry, this was supposed to be a thread about tourism in Lisbon.
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Re: Lisbon

Post by Vinnie » Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:11 pm

Couldn't agree more. Welcome back to the UK, it's odd coming back isn't it!?

I was thinking the same about this thread, it was meant to be about tourism and Portugal's a beautiful country and Lisbon is an amazing city and we have lot of recommendations for eating, drinking, music and art if anyone ever wants them.
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plath
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Re: Lisbon

Post by plath » Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:13 pm

Vinnie wrote:Couldn't agree more. Welcome back to the UK, it's odd coming back isn't it!?
I mean I'm back home (Spain) from the UK :P
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Vinnie
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Re: Lisbon

Post by Vinnie » Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:22 pm

plath wrote:
Vinnie wrote:Couldn't agree more. Welcome back to the UK, it's odd coming back isn't it!?
I mean I'm back home (Spain) from the UK :P

Ah, I see! But still I'm sure it's the same concept. I moved once directly from Germany to France in the when I was studying in the 1990s (I'm British) and I didn't know if I was coming or going and where home was!!!!
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Re: Lisbon

Post by moopind » Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:39 pm

Vinnie wrote:Couldn't agree more. Welcome back to the UK, it's odd coming back isn't it!?

I was thinking the same about this thread, it was meant to be about tourism and Portugal's a beautiful country and Lisbon is an amazing city and we have lot of recommendations for eating, drinking, music and art if anyone ever wants them.
Vx
Yes. True. I will say though, that I used to love 'escaping' to Spain. Portugal was so 'buttoned up', to then travel to Cadíz, drinking sherry with strangers on a train, getting plastered in make-up by men dressed as women (it was Carnaval time) and larking about in the streets high on rum and coke (as in coca-cola) amongst thousands of smiley Spanish faces was a highlight of my 'year in Portugal'. This kind of thing never happened in Lisbon. And I didn't even speak Spanish at the time. I am aware that there is conservatism in both Spain and in the UK in various ways, but it was very, very different once one crossed the Portuguese/Spanish border to say the least. We had similarly fun nights in Seville, Málaga and even in Jerez (which I understand is quite 'buttoned up' by Andalucian standards!).

Don't get me wrong: walking through Alfama or having a Super Bock at one of the miradores, feasting on pasteis de nata, enjoying brilliant seafood (or smelly sardines), overdosing on Dão, port, Douro, riding around on the trams, the trains, the metro, the elevadores, eating the bifanas, the olives, enjoying the sunshine, the coffee, the waves, thousands of beautiful un-ruined crusty old buildings, pão com chouriço, the lunchtime culture of proper meals eaten in proper cafes, the abundant music, the caipirinhas, the paving slabs. There's so much to see and enjoy. I'm merely acknowledging that sometimes your beliefs clash with the culture of somewhere where you are (you come to realise) merely a visitor - even if you've got a metro pass and a flat and a job there. Nowhere was the lesson so stark as in Lisboa. There are all sorts of cultural, historical and political reasons why many people in Portugal would have different attitudes to a lot of people in the UK. That's all! :-)

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Re: Lisbon

Post by Klove » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:22 pm

A fascinating series of posts, Moopind!

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