15 December 2000: Leaving Lisbon

I went to Lisbon with such hope. When I was finally done with customs, there big clouds in the sky that looked like mountains. Unfortunately, so many people were so rude or taciturn, I couldn't help but be disappointed. I walked the streets in vain some nights just looking for a decent meal. One night, I had a nice little lasagna that made me sick as a dog. By the time I was packed and ready to leave, I was really ready to leave. Imagine my surprise when I found out I left a day early! I happily paid the extra $150 to change my ticket. I couldn't imagine going back in to Lisbon, after a night that left me physically drained from diarrhea and mostly sleepless. The kindly night clerk came into my room to make sure I woke up for my taxi, which got caught in "congestion" when newspaper delivery trucks crowded the narrow streets of the Bairra Alta, where my hotel, the Anjo Azul was.

Luckily, I got a reclining seat in the exit aisle--more room for Bookey. We were delayed taking off because of congestion at Newark Airport. I fell asleep, and literally slept through take off. By the time I woke up, we were over the Atlantic. They say that seeing Lisbon from the air when you land is beautiful, but I couldn't see it coming in, as it was pitch black. And I missed it the other way. Lisbon from the air, like many other things, eluded me, or I missed them somehow. It's a shame. Lisboa has a lot of wonders, but I can't say I would ever go back for a vacation.

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