I’m not on the road long enough this time to get where I need to be for any rambling insights into my own future or past. But I’m so close. Tantalizingly yet frustratingly close, but we’re not there yet.
Instead, I’ll just account for my last few days, and note that there are still lines outside supermarkets here. People are still masked up inside everywhere. The pandemic is still very real. I don’t know if I’m clever to be out in the world when it’s empty of tourists, or just outrageously embarrassingly privileged. Probably both.
I’ve been double-vaxxed for more than three months now, an indication I’m good with finding my way through online systems, and being in Lisbon is just another example of that. I bought a return ticket to Spain weeks before Portugal opened up, and waited and watched. Within hours of the announcement of Portugal relaxing its rules, I snapped up a discount Ryanair ticket from Seville to Lisbon, then a TAP Portugal cheap ticket from Lisbon to Barcelona on Wednesday. Is all of that privilege? Maybe. Certainly, lots of people are good at ideas and finding loopholes, and this trip was not expensive since I bought the ticket before prices skyrocketed, and there’s hardly any competition for hotels. But the ability to drop everything and zip across the ocean—this is, I think, the privilege of being single and having a job. It’s a privilege that is sometimes a burden, but when it works out, it really works out.
So what did I do over the last 30 hours? There was the walk down to TimeOut Market, then a streetcar to LXFactory (an industrial area converted to hipster shopping), then the streetcar to the center where I demonstrated no 'I'm cool' fucks left to give and bought a two-day ticket for the double-decker tourist bus, then took the 28 tram all the way up and back, buying some groceries at the end of it, then grabbed the metro back to the hotel. Today was pretty busy too—I walked to a cool elevator that looks like the Eiffel Tower’s cousin, but only if the Eiffel Tower was closed due to pandemic. So I walked down the hill instead, then came back up it on a funicular. Then I had to walk down it again, so I’m not sure what the point of that was. I went to the carnival sardine store, took the second part of the tourist part trip, then caught the tram out to the cemetery to look at feral cats. Oh, and I ate a pastel de nata, and did my laundry.
One full day left in Lisbon! My plan for tomorrow is to go to the castle and work my way through the form to get back into Spain.