Saturday, January 08, 2011

Portugal for business

The pavements in Lisbon are all cobbled


I just went to Lisbon for work. I left home at midday on Tuesday, and got home at midnight on Friday. That's 74 hours away from home. It includes 14 hours on aeroplanes, 10 hours in 4 airports (Tel Aviv, Rome, Lisbon, Paris), 18 hours in meeting rooms, 7 hours in restaurants with colleagues, 27 hours in a hotel room, and a bunch of transit time.

There were Christmas decorations - my first this Christmas
Things I learnt about Portugal:
  1. They don't seem to have very good Wi-Fi
  2. They like cod. A lot. Apparently they have 200 ways to cook cod.
  3. They like eating thin steak with egg on top.
  4. Portuguese parents are like Israeli ones – calling their kids every day, cooking too much food, wanting to always be near by their children – 20mins is almost too far.
  5. The country had a dictator for many years, and a lot of people remember him fondly and wish that they still had his financial management, especially considering the country is now bankrupt.
  6. Portuguese tarts are totally delicious! Flaky pastry with a custard filling, slightly charred on the top. Like magic.
  7. Women kiss men on both cheeks even when you first meet them (a bit close for me!).
  8. The Portuguese seem to be big on hygiene. Hand disinfectant everywhere. Plastic toilet seat covers.
  9. Most people have dark, straight hair. No gingers as far as I can see. And no curly hair. So I don't exactly blend in (which I do in Israel, if you would believe. There appear to be more gingers in Israel than in Australia, and combined with curly hair being so common, I look like a local! Who would have thought).
A Lisbon street