Ninth Week of a New Life
Bringing My NYC Edge to Lisbon
Living in NYC gives a person a bit of an edge. While I would argue the many reasons I believe NYC to be the greatest city in the world, you do have to be a bit tough to live there. No softies allowed. When I moved across the pond to Lovely Lisbon, I did not expect to need my edge. But this week I had to break it out…
Tis Picks Up a Creeper
One evening, I had been working in one of my usual cafés, and decided to head home through a different neighborhood. The neighborhood was not entirely unfamiliar to me, but I decided to find a different route home and see something new.
Using my map app, I found a new route back and just followed it, letting it take me home. Some of the areas along the route were familiar and others were not. At one point, I noticed a guy following me. I looked at this shady looking character who seemed to be lurking around me and other targets as he moved from one side of the street to another.
Knowing he was right behind me I stopped, turned abruptly and faced him. He smiled and said “Lady, where are you from?” I said in a tone that should have, with no uncertainty, discouraged any future conversation, “Here.”
Hoping that would end things but being realistic, I walked on and waited for Attempt #2. Sure enough, Attempt #2 came and I replied to the same question in the same way. Attempts #4 and #5 came with the same question and same answer as he bounced across the street and back looking for his best opportunity. Finally he said firmly, “No, where are you FROM?” I replied angrily “HERE!!!”.
I realized I was getting closer to home and would need a distraction to shake this creeper.
The Kindness of Strangers
Up ahead, I saw two waiters standing outside a restaurant at the fork in the road with tables outside. I continued toward them with the creeper on my tail. Just as I was about to pass them, I stopped abruptly and asked “Do you speak English?”. The waiters replied, “Yes of course!” So I asked loudly “Can you tell me why this asshole is following me?”
The creeper had already headed down the street a bit and one of the waiters followed him. The waiter came back and told me the creeper was going away but it was best to sit for ten minutes to make sure. So I grabbed a table, ordered a wine and stayed for a while.
The two waiters were good fun. They were busting their arses trying to drum up business for the restaurant but were not having loads of success. I tried to help, giving them tips on what to say and exclaiming how great the wine was when curious passersby were close enough to hear. Nothing I did worked but it was great fun.
Love One Another
Since that interesting night, I have incorporated that route home into my days. While the neighborhood has its characters, there are kind strangers everywhere. We must trust that most people are just trying to do their best in this world. Overwhelmingly we are surrounded by people with good intentions.
Another thing I would like to point out is these two waiters are immigrants from Bangladesh. They are lovely, kind, hard-working people who make the city of Lisbon a better place to live. I’ve since been back and had a wonderful dinner with them, at my same table of course, so I could work the sidewalk with them as I ate, trying to help them drum up business. And of course, having a lot of fun
They are my Lisbon Lifesavers!