15 Jan

Instructions for a day alone in Lisbon

1. Order what you can neither pronounce nor translate. It’s likely it will taste good.

2. Listen to how nice everything sounds on the lips and tongue.

3. Saudade.

4. Go to a record store where you like the sounds coming out the door. Maybe in the Bairro Alto. Ask the clerk, in Portugese (“fala ingles?”) if they speak English. If so, ask for recommendations of local music, or his/her favorite music. Say you are a musical omnivore; if “omnivore” doesn’t register, then say, “I like everything,” in either language.

5. Do things earnestly but with a sense of humor, if possible.

6. Enjoy the fact that the Portugese, “No,” sounds like the English “Nao.”

7. Read whatever book you are carrying, preferably outside. See how long it takes to finish a chapter.