Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sardines and street parties

12 June, 2001 I entered this Iberian country to visit my boyfriend and see the country and leave.  I only thought about visiting, not staying for a long time.  Exactly after nine years I am still here, married with two girls. You can see the stamp in my passport:




I was in Lisbon this morning and the city was preparing its Festas de Santo Antonio.  Special seats for guests and celebraties were prepared.  Marchas Populares, popular parades will pass through these seats from Alfama, one of the oldest Lisbon districts.  At the end of the parade there would be couples married on this day, who will parade in their wedding dresses. 


A florist was ready to sell basil.  Sardines will be grilled in vast quantities.  Muitos vinhos will be drunk and the party will go on.   
Basils in pots will have flowers and poems.  The tradition says that you will find love. 


After my long flight from the USA in the evening of the 12 June I smelled the sardines and watched the street parties in Lisbon. I tried sardines but they were not great. I think I went to the wrong place to eat them - many are frozen rather than fresh, and they have a bitter taste. Lisboetas celebrate their Saints days for almost for two weeks. The first two weeks of June are basically holidays. My Portuguese friend told me that no one will work until 13 June. It is true - streets are quiet, not much traffic during rush hours.

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