Sunday, January 10, 2010


Alfama, Graça, Bairro Alto, Chiado. That whole first day I seemed to be forever climbing up or coming back down, miradour upon miradour upon miradour. There were tiled terraces and cobbles spattered with dog shit, red-roofed quarters and streets falling away to the wide, grey river.

I broke up the hills in the grid-like shopping streets of the Baixa. The busiest restaurants had railway-station floors, hard, white tables and middle-aged men standing up at the bar. I heard "Hey! Psst!" and turned to find a strategically opened hand and, several decibels lower, "Hashish? Cocaine?"

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