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It’s not hard to understand why everybody loves Portugal. It is the perfect holiday destination with magnificent beaches, warm and reliable sunshine, friendly helpful people, super cheap prices for almost everything and as a bonus, it’s really easy to speak English to the people and most young people speak English really well, in fact better than many British people can.
Right now we are in the middle of winter but today we have bright sunshine and the temperature here is 13c at 10 am. In a few weeks we can expect the daily temperatures to be between 20c and 30c every day.
This morning Ji Sing and her beautiful Chinese friend checked out about 9 am, It was a real pleasure hosting them. Kumar never came home last night so he missed meeting them both hehehe. I hope you will be reading this at work, Bhai, (and I will leave dalbhat and chicken curry in the fridge for you tonight). They were wonderful girls. Ji Sing is from Chongqing (China) and her friend is from Harbin (also in China). They are both studying Portuguese language in Aveiro, Portugal and came to Lisbon for a weekend trip.
At 5 pm we will host two more guests, Martha from Montpelier in France and Lucia from Portugal who is in transit through Lisbon.
Life is great but not perfect yet. We are still held up by immigration matters before we can start the application process for the family. I miss our home in Kathmandu every day, and I miss Flocky too. Every time I see a German Shepherd passing down the lane, I start thinking of Flocky, our naughty but wonderful German Shepherd.
The picture at the top is of Cascais, a very picturesque seaside town to the west of Lisbon. Most guests here go to Cascais by train. It takes only about 45 minutes. The lower picture is of Peniche, to the northwest of Lisbon and very popular with surfers and sun worshippers.
Come to Portugal, everybody. You will love this country.
I somehow missed this piece of amazing news which happened in Kathmandu last April. Here is the media report:- Yesterday morning, Nepal’s international Airport in Kathmandu was shut down for half an hour after a leopard was spotted on its runway.
A pilot for a private airline noticed the wild cat walking down the airport’s only runway at 7:45am and immediately alerted airport officials.
The only international flight scheduled to arrive at the time was requested to delay landing. Runway operations were stopped until it was confirmed that the animal was hiding in one of the airport drains.
About 50 people including firefighters, security forces and wildlife officials were dispatched on the task to capture the leopard. The search was put off until later that evening. A spokesperson for the airport said, “We resumed the hunt later in the night after the animal’s eyes started shining in the dark.”
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We had a great Christmas Day here and it all happened with almost no preparation because we had very little time to prepare for anything and finally when I found some free time to go out, the shops had mostly closed down for the Christmas break.
Today we were accompanied by our friends Estela (left) and Kiki (right). Estela is originally from Kunming in China and Kiki is originally from Osaka in Japan. We had lots of fun and laughter and Kumar cooked us a nice dinner of chicken cordon bleu, mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts, peas, carrots and gravy, accompanied by a fresh salad and a bottle of excellent, ice cold sparkling wine.
My apartment in Portugal is much too small so we are very restricted for our guests and friends. Nevertheless we have been taking AirBNB guests since early this year which helps bring in some money to pay the bills. We can only take two guests at a time mostly and to do this, Kumar has to sleep on a floor mattress in the sitting room. We are much too crowded but we manage it well somehow and get almost 100% of 5 star reviews from our guests.
When we can move to a larger home, we want to invite many more friends to come here to stay with us.
If you would like to read what guests say about here and me, here is the link. Click on ‘SEE MORE’ to read all 109 reviews.
Take a look at the food which Kumar cooked for us today.
I was just telling Pat about Naxi music. This morning I was relaxing and listening to some Naxi music from Lijiang , Yunnan in southwest China. I have travelled to Yunnan four times so far and visited Lijiang twice. I love the Naxi culture. Lijiang Old Town is a Unesco World Heritage Centre and probably the most picturesque village I’ve ever seen. Here is the Youtube link to my favourite Naxi song which I first heard many years ago in a pavilion in Black Dragon Pool Park in Lijiang.
I can thoroughly recommend a visit to Lijiang. It is just a few hours bus ride from the state capital, Kunming, and there are daily flights too. There are lots of inexpensive hotels, guesthouses and homestays there. There are also hundreds of restaurants dotted along the banks of the incredibly picturesque canals. Here is a picture of Black Dragon Pool Park. It is really scenic.
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Well I don’t know about you but winter has hit us here in Portugal and yesterday we never even made it to 20c. But the sun is shining as usual and the sky is blue so with a jacket we can enjoy ourselves outside. We now have three or four months of winter to get through.
The picture above shows Lisbon City in the foreground with Cacilhas (Almada) directly across the river. The black arrow shows where I live on the little hill. The big square is called Praca de Comercio in the heart of the tourist area. Many visitors love to walk around this square and have a meal or a beer at one of the many restaurants around this square.
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Since I returned from Germany a few days ago, I really have no substantial news at all. I have been ridiculously busy here as usual and the coming week already has a full schedule for me.
I have many urgent things to do and I’ve no idea how I’m going to get everything done this week. I wish that Rasmi, Luma, Rekha and Goma were here to give a helping hand. I am missing home in Kathmandu very, very much.
Yesterday our friend Vincent arrived from Belgium and he’ll be staying here in Lisbon for two days. In the afternoon Vincent, Kumar and I chatted and drank a bit too much white wine. My proposed abstinence didn’t work for long.
Today is Mailys’s birthday and she wants to eat some pasteis de nata (a sample pictured above) so I have to get busy with the breakfast now.
Well, have a pleasant weekend. I have, so far.
No, I haven’t relocated again but I’m having a very rare break after many months of very hard work. It’s been many years since I’ve seen my old friends Keiji, Diana and Astrid so now I’m staying with them and their four kids for a rest and a holiday. It’s been great to meet my old friends again and we’ve had a lot of talking and a lot of drinking to do. I think that when I get back to Lisbon I’m going to be totally abstinent for a while.
Please ignore the picture of the mountains near Kathmandu. I can’t explain why facebook is selecting that picture because the picture in my blog is actually of three beer steins. This peculiar facebook/Wordpress glitch of publishing the wrong picture has been around for several years and I can’t overcome it.
I’ve always thought that shopping in Portugal was as cheap as it could get but after yesterday I now know that most things are actually much cheaper here in the Bundesrepublik. Wine is far cheaper in Portugal though. So as you can guess I’ve been out doing a lot of shopping and price comparing. I hope my baggage won’t be overweight for the return flight.
What’s the best cure for a hangover ?