tiistai 24. tammikuuta 2017

My not so Portuguese neighbourhood

I live in the very heart of Lisbon, however my neighborhood is the least Portuguese place in town. Welcome to small India! Don't take me wrong, I really enjoy living here.

Not so many years ago, this centrally located neighborhood was one of the worst neighborhoods to live in. Even today, when I tell people where I live they look at me like Dory in Finding Nemo.

Moving to Martim Moniz almost a year ago made me like Lisbon. We used to live in Bairro Alto. Bairro Alto is THE place to party on the weekends with loads of tourist restaurants and small shops. Once I was told that there are 168 restaurants in Bairro Alto. Dude! The place is not that big.However, when we were living in Bairro Alto we realized that absolutely no Portuguese live in this neighborhood. Why? Because the houses are built 200 years ago, they are in bad condition, cold, not isolated, full of mold and the story goes on... Tourists and students usually occupy these houses.
Imagine going to bed on a Friday night before 2am? Sadly, you will not be able to sleep a wink.

Another sad reality of Bairro Alto was that me as a blonde was harrassed constantly. I was twice persecuted and touched inappropriately during daytime, plus the additional yelling things like I am an object. It really was nasty.  One day when I stepped out on the street in the morning I was offered "Hashish", "Cocaine" and other things I did not know of. I have never been the "try everything" kind of person, and therefore my bewildered expression and question, What is that? Resulted in confusion maximum... for both parties of the conversation.

Back to ...

... Martim Moniz, peace and quiet, Chinese restaurants (illegal and legal), Chinese pottery shops, Chinese food markets, Indian kiosks, Indian markets, Indian kebab, Indian restauarants. I am a foreigner too ...although my ethnicity is more of the Northern kind. I walk down the street in peace, with my head held up.

We also have the best rooftop bar, Topo, which plays funky music and have good drinks. Topo, overlooks a plaza where events of all sorts occur. A couple of weeks ago there was an Indian all women's event. It was beautiful to follow. During the summer, the plaza was full of small bars where people could have their drink in a chilled out atmosphere. Every Thursday we have a Kizomba party. The place is packed.

Best seafood place in Lisbon is Ramiro. If you like seafood, this is a MUST.

And I would also like to give attention to the homeless (yes they exist here too) who live outside of our house. Who kindly greet in the morning, may they be high on something or plainly drunk...


Martim Moniz