Archive for December, 2007

Xmas on Europe’s West Coast is X-STREME

Posted by len on 27th December 2007

We’re not making up that “Europe’s West Coast” slogan. That’s actually appearing on gigantic billboards around town lately. I guess Lisbon is so desperate for a hip reputation they’re actually willing to compare themselves to Los Angeles?! Wow! Or perhaps they’re thinking of “the OC”?
Anyhoo, Christmas Day has come and gone here in the “Watts of Europe”.
How do you spend such a day in an incredibly cool city like Lisbon?
Well, we woke up around 11am. We had a friend coming over at 3pm so we made crepes, cleaned a bit, and when she called to say she’d be an hour and a half late we started drinking pomegranate cosmopolitans (pom juice, triple sec, lime juice, and vodka). Then we switched to red wine since we wanted to have some with her.
When she arrived we reacquainted ourselves with the cosmos, baked chocolate chip cookies, watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas while eating chicken, sang some christmas carols, then watched Bad Santa.
Finally, around 11pm, we headed out to meet friends of hers at an Irish pub, had a few beers, then went to a small dance club where we gyrated until about 3 am.

Could you detect the American-ness in that chronology? Yes, we miss aspects of America.
But for those that think being away has made us into alcoholics: sorry, you just didn’t know us before.

Posted in Portugal | 44 Comments »

End of the Fall Term!

Posted by sue on 22nd December 2007

ASL last day.jpg
We all finished classes for Fall Term ’07 on Thursday evening, and celebrated our freedom with beer and tapas at a Spanish place near the school. These are the people I’m fortunate enough to see every day: Hannah, Amanda, Len, Jordan, and Devon. Merry Christmas, all!

Posted in Portugal | 30 Comments »

Lisbon Social Life

Posted by sue on 9th December 2007

A small milestone: Len and I finally had our first house party! The fact that it’s the first in the seven months we’ve lived here may be a shock to frequent visitors to our house in Culver City—well, we were better set up for entertaining back then. We had it last Thursday night—Thursday is a good day for teacher socializing because hardly anyone teaches on Friday and those of us who do teach late in the day. We had a movie night, featuring “Love Actually,” a Christmas-themed movie featuring every British actor, it seems. We started the party at about 10:30 p.m. (when I got home from school, bringing two other teachers who also taught until late), drinking red wine and eating chili that Len made with seasoning packets that he bought the last time he was in the U.S. A few other people came later, and we didn’t start the movie until about 1:30, and with a couple of smoke breaks, the movie ended at about 4 a.m. Everyone stayed till the end and no one fell asleep, remarkably.

This up-till-4 movie night illustrates how life in Lisbon has caused an odd change in schedule for us. Back in L.A. we rarely stayed up really late. Parties we had might go till 1:30 or so, but that was it. Now, we stay up till 4 a.m. at least once a week (this week, twice, because we were out dancing until about 3:00 a.m. last night). Us? Out dancing? Until 3:00?

A few factors are involved here: First, I start teaching at 1:00 p.m. and finish most evenings at 9:30 or 10 p.m. So our schedule is skewed toward nighttime anyway. We usually have dinner at 10:30 p.m., and don’t see any point in getting up before 9:00 a.m. Second, although we don’t know very many people, we’re fortunate in that we can usually find at least one other person to go out with, which makes it more fun than if it were just the two of us. And third, there’s actually stuff to do in Lisbon late at night, and it’s within walking distance from our apartment. So even though the metro stops running at 1:00 a.m., and we never take cabs (we’re too cheap), we have no trouble getting home from downtown night spots, because we can walk. Well, we might stumble a little.

Posted in Portugal | 23 Comments »

Heroes of the Expedition Italiano

Posted by len on 6th December 2007

Here are cute and cuddly amigos Alberto and Francesca, straight from Milano Italy!
(They are actually citizens of the US and live in LA. I worked with Alberto for many years at Sony and my former company R&H)

They just left after a crazy-quick 2 day visit to the land of dried cod.

We had some great fun, found a great new restaurant, and watched two parents cut loose for their first vacation without their two young boys in 4 years!!
(this is one of the few photos I have of them with clothes on!)

Posted in Portugal | 24 Comments »

Choky Choc

Posted by len on 3rd December 2007

Here’s the long-awaited companion post to the now year-old, but still profoundly relevant, Choco Crack post. Remember that one? Weird cereal discovered in the supermarket of Fez, Morocco? Seems like an eternity ago.

Luckily Choky Choc is here in Portugal to remind us of just how stupid cereal naming can be!

And who loves Choky Choc? Tigers of course! (or Lions?)

BTW, here’s that seminal “choco” post from so long ago!

Posted in Portugal | 22 Comments »