I’ll be honest, the sight of seeing just about anything open these days makes me feel wild with possibility, not completely unlike an overexcited pup. Seeing a tasca yesterday with its doors flung open, and the waft of bifanas drifting through the street made me feel positively giddy. If hope in Lisbon had a smell, I think this would be it. The not so distant, memories of the San Antonio festival linger in every resident’s mind, and its absence this year is noticeably present.
Obligatory mask-wearing and limited shop capacities has unexpectedly meant there is a new type of temporary daily awkwardness to deal with. That is, dithering at the doorway nervously, communicating predominately through a thumbs up-thumbs down approval scale, as the mask muffles sounds.
As a Brit, it’s a lesser equivalent of the Portuguese/French kissing two cheeks etiquette when you aren’t acquainted with it – a full-on personal space nightmare. Or conversely, the similar awkwardness that ensues when you are so used to doing it in Portugal, that you double-kiss other Brits accidentally when visiting in the UK, convincing strangers you are indeed madly in love with them.