I have been here in Lisbon since Sunday at lunch time. My cousin Gabi picked me up at the airport and then we went to another cousin where I am staying. This apartment is an adventure in itself: third floor in an old and somewhat dilapidated house now undergoing super-slow reconstruction. The first task on Sunday involved getting the kitchen ceiling off the floor. It had fallen down a few weeks or months back as a consequence of a leaky roof. My cousin has rented this apartment for over twenty years, however it was in March that she last was here. We are having a great time catching up with family stories, cleaning up all the dust, dealing with carpenters and other construction workers who occasionally come by to take one or the other measurement. On my side, I am doing a bit of reading and last minute preparation for the workshop and my presentation later in the week. In my desire to help out I took on the initiative of opening up the shower head to only discover that once opened the gasket contracted and I could no longer put the whole together. Today I tried to chase down a gasket for a thirty year old shower head… creativity is called for. However walking around in the part of town called “Alto de St. Amaro” is indeed a treat. It is the kind of Lisbon that the tourists do not see and I found myself being the “attraction” while taking photos with my pocket digital camera. The coffee is always good in Portugal!
I am now at an internet café (Portuguese keyboard, y and z are switched, but there are accents) down the street as I am without direct connection and am much too cheap to be using GPRS. Yesterday I went to the Ritz Four Seasons and had a tea so that I could use their wifi, but today I just got too involved with the presentation, and before I knew it, it was 18:00. The three cousins are going to have dinner together.