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Monday, February 26, 2007

Portuguese 101

Essential phrases for us dumb Americans:
Olá - Hello
Adeus - Good-bye
Obrigado - Thank you.
Fala inglês? - Do you speak English?
Não compreendo - I don't understand.
Socorro! - Help!

Since I got up at 5am, I decided to take an early morning stroll around the streets of Lisbon. The Portuguese seem to be late starters -- the streets were still pretty much deserted 7:30 in the morning. I took a right from the hotel, and guess what I ran into -- the Chinese Embassy! It turned out the hotel is tucked in the middle of the Embassy District.

So I walked a little further down, and ran into various embassies and eventually the US Embassy. When I saw the Star and Spangled Banner, my heart swelled with unbounded patriotism, and I wanted to take a pic... then suddenly I heard a few whistles and people waving at me... yep you are not allowed to take any pics of the US Embassy. I guess it makes sense for security reasons. But what has the world come to? I can't bring wine back for my friends because no carry on liquid and now I can't even express my unbounded patriotism! It was kinda depressing. After a while I decided not to hang around the embassy district anymore. They probably all have surveillance cameras and I don't want them to think I am some evildoer or something. All I am interested in is urban architecture around the world!

The streets of Lisbon in the early morning hours...

See the Moorish influence...

While strolling around the streets of Lisbon, I ran into my name sake. If you look closely, there is another cat behind Cat II.